UK: A Steep Learning Curve For RIDDOR?

Last Updated: 25 April 2014
Article by Lukas Rootman

Summary and Implications

A second set of revisions were made to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR), the second such in less than two years, in October 2013.

These changes are based on the 2011 Löfstedt regulatory review Reclaiming Health and Safety for All. They build on the first revision to RIDDOR in April 2012 which raised the time off work that triggers the duty to report an accident causing incapacity for work from three days to seven.

The thrust of the amendments will see the introduction of further measures which seek to simplify the reporting of workplace injuries and reduce the number of incidents which will be required to be reported in the future.

Changes

The previous classification of "major injuries" to workers which fall to be reported under RIDDOR is being replaced with a shorter list of "specified injuries", namely:

  • a fracture, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes;
  • amputation of an arm, hand, finger, thumb, leg, foot or toe;
  • permanent loss of sight or reduction of sight;
  • crush injuries leading to internal organ damage;
  • serious burns (covering more than 10 per cent of the body, or damaging the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs);
  • scalpings (separation of skin from the head) which require hospital treatment;
  • unconsciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia; and
  • any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space, which leads to hypothermia, heat-induced illness or requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours.

Occupational disease

In addition, the existing schedule detailing 47 types of occupational disease is being replaced with eight categories of reportable work-related illnesses, namely:

  • carpal tunnel syndrome;
  • severe cramp of the hand or forearm;
  • occupational dermatitis;
  • hand-arm vibration syndrome;
  • occupational asthma;
  • tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm;
  • any occupational cancer; and
  • any disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent.

"Dangerous occurrence"

There are to be fewer types of "dangerous occurrence", 27 in total, which will require reporting. The guidance gives examples of:

  • the collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment;
  • plant or equipment coming into contact with overhead power lines; and
  • the accidental release of any substance which could cause injury to any person.

For a full detailed list, please see the HSE's online guidance at www.hse.gov.uk/RIDDOR.

Scope of change

The HSE originally proposed a more radical set of changes including the removal of most occupational diseases from the reporting requirements but this was overturned by the HSE's own board.

Another of the reversals was the board's insistence that non-fatal accidents to members of the public should still be reportable.

The HSE believe that the changes will facilitate improved reporting of such information, while not requiring businesses to provide information that is either not used or could be better obtained from other sources. But not everyone is confident the changes' impact will be as envisaged.

Less work?

The first concern expressed by safety bodies is that the overhaul will actually increase employers' work in the short term, as managers and supervisors have to be briefed and reporting systems adjusted to accommodate the changes. 

The British Safety Council has welcomed the fact that the HSE issued guidance before the changes but still thinks the requirements are complex and hard to navigate.

There is also the risk that every time the reporting rules change, we lose the ability to monitor injury trends, since we are no longer comparing like with like.

More reporting?

It is unclear whether the new rules will help reduce the problem of under reporting of incidents — the HSE estimates news of as many as 40 per cent of reportable incidents never reaches it or local authorities, and the shortfall is believed to be most serious in the lost time, accident and ill health categories.

Employers and managers may fear that reporting will set off a costly chain of events, where reporting leads to investigation, investigation to evidence of non-compliance, ending with an unwelcome invoice for inspectors' time at £124 per hour, even where enforcement action such as notices and prosecution is not warranted.

Do the changes present a missed opportunity?

Several safety organisations believe the changes have missed a key opportunity to address fundamental flaws of the old rules, meaning that some key risks are not being given the priority they deserve.

Occupational road risk is one such example. RIDDOR 2013 remains almost silent on the road risk issue, with only very specific types of road accident being reportable, such as those involving road works, dangerous goods and loading and unloading.

There has also been the removal of some major injury categories such as dislocations, of which there are 1300 a year, as well as electric shocks and "any other injury leading to resuscitation or hospitalisation". This may lead to loss of this data, as such incidents may not be caught under the specified injuries headings.

Conclusion

At the time of public consultation on the HSE's proposed RIDDOR reforms, there was a lot of opposition to the planned removal of the requirement to report occupational diseases other than those due to biological agents.

The executive had to backtrack on diseases, but there is still concern about the lack of data being collected on diseases such as silicosis.

There are a lot of questions as to whether the changes will either save a lot of time for employers or make real a difference to under-reporting, and whether this was the "fundamental" review of RIDDOR that Löfstedt called for. Only time will tell.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.