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December 16, 2010

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RIDDOR consultation to be launched in the new year

Lord Young’s recommendation to increase the period before a workplace injury or incident needs to be reported from three to seven days is to be taken forward by the HSE, which has announced its intention to publish a consultation document on the proposed change next month.

Currently, when an employee is absent from work for more than three days following an incident or injury at work, employers are required to report the incident to the relevant enforcing authority – either the HSE or the local council. €ᄄ€ᄄThe proposed amendment increases this ‘over-three-day’ period to over seven consecutive days (including rest days, excluding the day of the incident). This change would align the incident reporting threshold with that for obtaining a ‘fit note’ from a GP for sickness absence, and would ensure that someone who has suffered a reportable injury has had a professional medical assessment.  

The duty to record incidents that result in an incapacitation for more than three days, and retain these records for three years, will remain unchanged.

According to an assessment of the impact of the change already carried out by the HSE it will result in a reduction in the number of lost-time incidents reported to the Executive and local authorities of around 30 per cent. This would equate to a total financial ‘benefit’ of £5.5 million over a 10-year period, calculated on the basis of savings for duty-holders in admin costs, and reduced handling and familiarisation costs for the regulators.

The HSE has said the estimated reduction in the number of lost-time reports should not have a significant impact on its enforcement and investigation work, as it currently investigates such a low level of OTD incidents reported (just 0.8 per cent).

At a meeting held yesterday, the HSE Board concluded that “overall, the proposed amendment will not weaken enforcing authorities’ abilities to investigate and enforce in response to serious individual incidents and promote occupational health and safety”.

Announcing the consultation, which will be launched on 17 January with a deadline for responses of 11 April, HSE chair Judith Hackitt said: “While there will be some obvious advantages in reducing the reporting requirement on business, there will be other factors which need to be taken into account. We hope that interested parties will use the consultation exercise to provide the range of perspectives we need to consider in order for us to advise the Government appropriately.”

The HSE said it will begin work on Lord Young’s second RIDDOR-related recommendation – which asked the regulator to re-examine the operation of the regulations to determine whether they are the best approach to providing an accurate national picture of workplace accidents – once the impact of this first change has been evaluated.

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13 years ago

Maybe I am being ignorant or missing something here but has anybody seen the consultation document yet or is it by invite only?
I have checked the HSE website this week, including the ‘Public Consultations’ section of the site and have seen nothing on the subject yet.
Many thanks,