Fall from ladder

The latest statistics compiled by the Health and Safety Executive

….indicate there were 144 workers killed at work in one year with a further 72,702 other injuries to employees being reported under the Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).

All accidents and incidents, no matter how minor, need to be investigated to some degree to ensure that it can be assured that they are less likely to reoccur in the future and to assist in the monitoring of the health and safety management system.

Certain types of more serious incidents need to be recorded or reported using the online form to the HSE Incident Contact Centre under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. So, this week I thought that I would look at this topic and provide guidance as to what you need to have in your company.

Accidents and Incidents.risk-assessment

What is reportable?

Deaths and injuries

If someone has died or has been injured because of a work-related accident this may have to be reported. Not all accidents need to be reported, other than for certain gas incidents, a RIDDOR report is required only when:

  • the accident is work-related
  • it results in an injury of a type which is reportable

Types of reportable injury

The death of any person

All deaths to workers and non-workers, with the exception of suicides, must be reported if they arise from a work-related accident, including an act of physical violence to a worker.

Specified injuries to workers

The list of ‘specified injuries’ in RIDDOR 2013 replaces the previous list of ‘major injuries’ in RIDDOR 1995. Specified injuries are (regulation 4):

  • fractures, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes
  • amputations
  • any injury likely to lead to permanent loss of sight or reduction in sight
  • any crush injury to the head or torso causing damage to the brain or internal organs
  • serious burns (including scalding) which:
  1. covers more than 10% of the body
  2. causes significant damage to the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs
  • any scalping requiring hospital treatment
  • any loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia
  • any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space which:
  1. leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness
  2. requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours

For further guidance on specified injuries is available.

Over-seven-day incapacitation of a worker

Accidents must be reported where they result in an employee or self-employed person being away from work, or unable to perform their normal work duties, for more than seven consecutive days as the result of their injury. This seven day period does not include the day of the accident, but does include weekends and rest days. The report must be made within 15 days of the accident.

Over-three-day incapacitation

Accidents must be recorded, but not reported where they result in a worker being incapacitated for more than three consecutive days. If you are an employer, who must keep an accident book under the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1979, that record will be enough.

Non fatal accidents to non-workers (eg members of the public)

Accidents to members of the public or others who are not at work must be reported if they result in an injury and the person is taken directly from the scene of the accident to hospital for treatment to that injury. Examinations and diagnostic tests do not constitute ‘treatment’ in such circumstances.

There is no need to report incidents where people are taken to hospital purely as a precaution when no injury is apparent.

If the accident occurred at a hospital, the report only needs to be made if the injury is a ‘specified injury’ (see above).

Occupational diseases

Employers and self-employed people must report diagnoses of certain occupational diseases, where these are likely to have been caused or made worse by their work: These diseases include (regulations 8 and 9):

  • carpal tunnel syndrome;
  • severe cramp of the hand or forearm;
  • occupational dermatitis;
  • hand-arm vibration syndrome;
  • occupational asthma;
  • tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm;
  • any occupational cancer;
  • any disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent.

Further guidance on occupational diseases is available.

Specific guidance is also available for:

Dangerous occurrences

Dangerous occurrences are certain, specified near-miss events. Not all such events require reporting. There are 27 categories of dangerous occurrences that are relevant to most workplaces, for example:

  • the collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment;
  • plant or equipment coming into contact with overhead power lines;
  • the accidental release of any substance which could cause injury to any person.

Further guidance on these dangerous occurrences is available.

Gas incidents

Distributors, fillers, importers & suppliers of flammable gas must report incidents where someone has died, lost consciousness, or been taken to hospital for treatment to an injury arising in connection with that gas. Such incidents should be reported using the Report of a Flammable Gas Incident – online form.

Registered gas engineers (under the Gas Safe Register,) must provide details of any gas appliances or fittings that they consider to be dangerous, to such an extent that people could die, lose consciousness or require hospital treatment. The danger could be due to the design, construction, installation, modification or servicing of that appliance or fitting, which could cause:

  • an accidental leakage of gas;
  • incomplete combustion of gas or;
  • inadequate removal of products of the combustion of gas.

Unsafe gas appliances and fittings should be reported using the Report of a Dangerous Gas Fitting – online form.

Recommendations for employers

  • Ensure your organisation has an Accident Book available at each location or an equivalent means of recording accidents to employees (that has been approved by the Department of Work and Pensions).

  • Ensure that the reports are removed from the accident book, evaluated and filed confidentially once completed.

  • Produce quarterly and/or annual reports showing accident trends.

  • Ensure that your organisation has an agreed process for accident investigation. For larger organisations it is recommended that the procedure is documented and includes clear instructions for managers on the actions to take in response to accidents including escalation arrangements.

  • Ensure that your organisation has arrangements to promptly identify incidents which are reportable under RIDDOR, arrangements for reporting these within required timescales and for maintaining records.

  • Ensure that you have trained first aid personnel and equipment.

Legal obligations

Case Law

Supermarket giant Tesco was prosecuted for not reporting staff accidents properly at two of its Berkshire stores for incidents, which took place in 2009 and 2010.

Council officers discovered Tesco had failed to report two employee accidents at its Warfield store and another at its store at The Meadows in Sandhurst.

The failures were uncovered during an investigation into the retailer’s failure to stop an unsafe working practice that involved using a metal plate to unload vehicles at the Warfield store.

Tesco was fined £34,000 after pleading guilty to three breaches of Regulation 3 of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995. (These Regulations were those in force prior to the current 2013 Regulations).

If you want guidance as to your duties re Accidents and Incidents please contact us by phone 01458 253682, email or via our Facebook page or by Twitter.

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Introducing a new member to our team.

Julia Talbot-Williams

Julia Talbot Williams

Julia is joining the team in the new year. She has for many years been working as Health and Safety, Environment, Quality and Compliance Manager in the food and cold storage facilities business. As well as being well qualified Julia has a sound knowledge of CDM regulations and management of the Health and Safety file and Construction Phase Plan. She is also fully trained in workplace transport – tachos, working time directive, drivers’ hours, defect reporting. Julia can also help you reach ISO 45001 accreditation.

She has extensive training in Environmental matters and can help you put procedures in place to ensure compliance with an environmental permit and can help you manage and review your environmental management system to ensure attainment and continued certification to ISO14001. Julia can also assist clients implement and manage various management systems including BRC Storage, ISO 9001, PAS110. ISO 14001: 2015 and ISO 45001 in order to attain certification.

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