Following a consultation earlier this year on the reporting period for injuries sustained at work, the Government has given the ‘green light’ to extending the current period of 3 days to 7 days.
The HSE Board have recommended to the Work and Pensions Secretary that the proposed change to reg.3(2) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 should be approved. This was based on the consultation process finalizing with a two-to-one majority in favour of the change.
The HSE believe the majority of respondents said they felt the change in the reporting period would not have a negative effect on national statistics. Other positive outcomes of the change would be a reduction in burdensome admin and aligning the reporting period to that of the fit-note system. This in turn should make it easier to manage sickness absence and it will allow employers adequately more time to internally investigate accidents.
There were, however, a number of people against the change who stated it would have a negative impact on the health and safety culture within businesses. The concerns are that it would lead to lower standards and reduce the likelihood of trends and incidents being identified at an early stage that potentially could have much more serious consequences.
A small percentage of respondents believe the change will have no significant advantage to either businesses or health and safety within the UK as a whole. A number of organizations such as IOSH, the CBI and some trade unions have called for a much fuller review of the regulations. The HSE responded to the concerns by stating its intention to review RIDDOR in a much larger capacity 12 months after this amendment comes into effect, which is likely to be on 6th April 2012.