Injury reporting changes to cut paper work by 30%

Amendments to the rules on reporting work place injuries will save British companies thousands of hours of paper work, says the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the independent watchdog for work-related health and safety and illness.

Changes which came into effect on 6 April now mean that employers only have to report injuries which keep workers off normal duties for seven days or more. The previous time threshold was three days incapacitation, not including the day on which the accident occurred.

The HSE estimates the changes to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995 act will see a 30 per cent fall in the number of legally reportable incidents - an average of 30,000 fewer reports a year.

The increase in the reporting threshold now aligns with the 'fit note' system, previously known as the 'sick note', which means anyone off work for more than seven days must have a professional medical assessment.

Employers however, must still keep a record of all injuries resulting in employee absence of three days, through other legislation in place, such as an accident book.

The deadline in which employers must report the over-seven-day incident to the relevant enforcing authority - either HSE or a local authority - has also increased from 10 to 15 days from the day of the accident.

HSE's chair Judith Hackitt said: "The change to the RIDDOR regulations will cut paperwork, help employers manage sickness absence and ensure that the reporting system is focused on risks which have resulted in more serious injury.

"This is just one of many changes we are making to the health and safety system to make it simpler, clearer and more easily understood - stripping unnecessary paperwork out of the system without compromising essential protections for workers."