HSE’s consultation on proposed changes to RIDDOR reporting raises criticisms

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The proposed changes included* the removal of employer’s obligations to report:-

  • non-fatal injuries to people not at work, i.e. members of the public and
  • occupational ill-health conditions, except occupational cancers and diseases attributable to biological agents. Currently there are forty seven distinct reportable diseases.

There has been widespread criticism of the above proposed changes by a number of organisations, including the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS), with some of the HSE’s own staff saying that the proposals suggested that “health [and safety] doesn’t matter”.

Due to this criticism the HSE Board have agreed to a revised proposal addressing some of the concerns and a further new draft of RIDDOR retains the current requirement to report non-fatal injuries to members of the public and, in addition to occupational cancers and diseases attributable to biological agents, retains the requirement to report the following six short-latency occupational diseases:-

  • hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS)
  • carpel tunnel syndrome dermatitis
  • severe cramp of the arm
  • tendonitis
  • occupational asthma.

The decision to consider retaining the six categories listed, alongside occupational cancers and diseases attributable to biological agents, is welcomed, particularly as 90% of ill- health reports fall into these six.

*The proposed changes also include provision of a simplified list of major injuries to workers as a result of a work-related accident and a shorter list of reportable dangerous occurrences, which are to be redrafted for clarity reasons.

It is expected that implementation of the revised RIDDOR, and any accompanying guidance, will be on the 1st October 2013 and Citation will provide more information on the proposed changes as they become available.

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