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Changes to accident reporting

From April 2012, the way in which employers have to report accidents in the workplace will change. This is good news for the owners of small businesses, potentially reducing the number of incidents that they have to report to authorities.

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From April 2012, the circumstances in which employers have to report accidents in the workplace will change. This is good news for the owners of small businesses, potentially reducing the number of incidents that they have to report to authorities. As part of its drive to cut health and safety red tape, the Governement has published amendments to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurances Regulations (RIDDOR). These mean that, as of 6 April 2012: The period of time an employee has to be incapacitated after an accident in the workplace before their employer has to report the incident to the appropriate authority will increase from three to seven days. Businesses will also be given five more days to report any accidents that result in employees being unable to work, taking the total up to 15 days. What is RIDDOR? Under RIDDOR legislation, all employers, the self-employed and anyone in charge of premises must report certain workplace incidents to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). How do I report an accident? All businesses must report accidents via an online system, which can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/riddor. Fatal and major injuries and incidents can be reported to HSE's Incident Contact Centre by telephone. What do I need to report? Deaths Major injuries, such as fractures, burns or electric shocks Injuries where an employee or self-employed person is away from work or unable to perform their normal work duties (see above) Injuries to members of the public where they are taken from the scene of an accident to hospital Some work-related diseases, such as asbestos and hand-arm vibration syndrome Dangerous occurrences, which don't result in reportable injury, but could have done, i.e. collapse or failure of equipment Gas Safe registered gas fitters must also report dangerous gas fittings they find, and gas conveyors/suppliers must report some flammable gas incidents. What records do I need to keep? You must keep a record of any reportable injury, disease or dangerous occurrence. This must include: The date and method of reporting (i.e. accident book, kept on hard copy file, electronically) The date, time and place of the event Details of those involved A brief description of the nature of the event, injury or disease. When you report the incident, HSE will send you a copy of the record held within their database, which you should also keep for your records. It is worth noting that while employers will no longer have to report accidents that result in an employee being incapacitated for less than seven days, you will still have to record these incidents in your company's accident book. Get health and safety expertise that you can rely on with our Practical Health and Safety package, which includes step-by-step guidance to ensure that you are not only legally compliant but are also providing a safe working environment for your employees and customers.

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