From 6 April 2012, employers will only have to report injuries that lead to a worker being incapacitated for more than seven consecutive days as the result of an occupational accident or injury. RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences) is a legal requirement and helps the authorities to provide advice about how to prevent accidents. Prior to 6 April 2012, the requirement was for accidents to be reported where the worker was incapacitated for over three consecutive days.
As a personal injury solicitor, these changes do concern me. We are not going to know the real extent of accidents in the workplace to identify how risks in the workplace arise and employers are not likely to be provided with advice about how to prevent further accidents from happening. As we see more and more employees increasingly reluctant to take time off work in the current economic climate despite being honestly incapacitated there will ultimately be fewer reports of injuries. A record should still be kept if the worker has been incapacitated for more than three consecutive days but I’m not convinced employers will keep a record after the 6 April 2012.
As employers must still keep an accident book it is important that an employee who has suffered an accident at work completes the accident book at the earliest opportunity as often the only record is the RIDDOR report. When completing the accident book, make sure you ask to see a copy of the report and if the details are correct, ensure the records entry is signed by both you and your employer. If medical attention is required then make sure you state this and confirm the extent of your injury.
The Health and Safety Executive have produced a booklet for further information and accidents can be reported by visiting www.hse.gov.uk/riddor or by telephoning the incident contact centre on 0845 3009923.
By personal injury solicitor, Jennifer Holt