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18th August 2011

RIDDOR reporting period extension gets the green light

It has recently been announced by the HSE that the reporting period for injuries sustained at work is to be extended from three to seven days.

The decision was based on 776 finalised responses to the recent consultation – held between February and May this year – among which there was a two-to-one majority in favour of the change.

According to the HSE, a majority of respondents felt the change would not have an adverse consequence on national statistics. Other positive key themes identified from the consultation were that admin burdens will be reduced; aligning the reporting period with that required under the new fit-note system will make sickness absence easier to manage; and the extended period will allow more time for employers to investigate the incident internally.

Concerns highlighted by those against the change included the likelihood of a negative impact on the health and safety culture of organisations, leading to a lowering of standards; less opportunity for duty-holders and regulators to spot trends and incidents that could have resulted in more serious injuries; and overall less compliance with RIDDOR – under which around half of all non-fatal workplace injuries currently go unreported.

To this end, the HSE has signalled its intention to look at wider issues surrounding RIDDOR 12 months after the current amendment comes into effect, which is likely to be from 6 April next year.

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