The Health and Safety Executive has announced a consultation on proposed changes to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (the RIDDOR regulations).

The decision to consult on the issue was prompted by Lord Young’s Report on Health and Safety “Common Sense, Common Safety” which was published in October 2010. Lord Young recommended that the current three-day threshold for submitting a RIDDOR report when an employee is absent for work following an incident or injury at work be extended to seven days. This would coincide with the requirement for individuals to obtain a ‘fi t note’ from their GP if their absence from work was expected to last more that one week. Such a measure would ensure that every person suffering a reportable injury has a professional medical assessment before returning to work.

The RIDDOR regulations were made under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They came into force on 1 April 1996 and place a duty on employers, the self-employed and those in control of premises to notify the relevant enforcing authority (HSE or the relevant local authority) when certain incidents occur at work, including death, major accidents and occupational diseases. Dangerous occurrences must also be notifi ed.

Section 50 of the 1974 Act places a legal obligation on the HSE to consult before submitting proposals to change regulations. The consultation documents were published on 31 January 2011 and the deadline for responses is 9 May 2011.

Judith Hackitt, the HSE Chair, commented that “whilst there will be some obvious advantages in reducing the reporting requirements 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 is to advise the Government appropriately.”