Amending RIDDOR could increase personal injuries at work

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers has warned that a proposed trade-off against business expenditure could leave employees at risk of suffering a recurring personal injury at work.

The HSE had launched a consultation into proposals to amend RIDDOR. The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations are designed to enable employers to report serious workplace accidents.

The president of APIL, David Bott, said the proposed amendments are a real concern because they could cause employers to take a more blasé attitude towards safety in the workplace.

Under the Health and Safety Executive proposals, employers would only need to report an incident which resulted in an employee being absent from the workplace for at least seven working days instead of the current three.

Workers could be at a higher risk of further injuries because employers may not learn important lessons about the error that caused the initial accident to occur.

If the proposal is implemented, it will save employers slightly under £8 for each report they no longer need to submit.

Mr Bott pointed out that the HSE is trading workers safety against a £7.91 cost saving. This is a pitiful sum when compared to the value of stopping serious injuries occurring. He went on to say that lessons can be learnt from previous mistakes and watering down safety regulations will increase the risk of them suffering further harm.

The way to reduce costs is to reduce negligence. Companies that spend a lot of time filling up RIDDOR reports should be addressing their health and safety issues, he concluded.

APIL’s personal injury solicitors are dedicated to enhancing and protecting access to justice as well as changing the law and improving the standard of services provided to people who have suffered personal injuries.

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