A twelve week consultation on proposals to simplify and clarify the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) was launched by the HSE in August.

RIDDOR places duties on employers, the self-employed and people in control of work premises to report serious accidents in the workplace, occupational diseases and specifi c dangerous occurrences. Reporting assists regulatory bodies in establishing when further investigation is required. It also provides regulators with statistics which assist in identifying trends and subsequently providing the most appropriate forms of guidance on prevention.

The consultation manager for the HSE, David Charnock, has provided that ‘we are proposing to simplify the requirements by removing the duty to report in those areas where the information can be better obtained from other sources or where the data isn’t particularly useful to the regulators.’

The proposals include the removal of the duty on the self-employed to report injuries and illnesses to themselves, and the removal of the requirement for employers to report dangerous occurrences outside of high-risk sectors or to report most occupational diseases. The need to report all fatal injuries as a result of a work activity remains, as does the duty to report major injuries to workers.

Criticisms of RIDDOR were raised in Professor Löfstedt’s report on health and safety laws, where it was noted that the reporting requirements were unnecessarily complicated. Similar issues had previously been raised in the Lord Young’s ‘Common Sense, Common Safety’ report published in October 2010. Following suggestions in the latter, employers have only had to report injuries that keep workers off normal duties for seven days or more since April 2012, rather than the previous rules relating to those off work for three days or more.

The consultation ran from 2 August to 28 October 2012. The consultation paper can be viewed at www.hse.gov.uk/consult/condocs/cd243.htm?ebul=consult-riddor&cr=1/2-aug-12