From 1 October 2013 changes will be introduced to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) that will simplify the mandatory reporting of workplace injuries for businesses, while ensuring that the data collected gives an accurate and useful picture of workplace incidents.
To allow businesses time to familiarise themselves with the changes, the following information has been developed to support duty holders with the requirements.
The main changes are to simplify the reporting requirements in the following areas:
- The classification of ‘major injuries’ to workers is being replaced with a shorter list of ‘specified injuries’.
- The existing schedule detailing 47 types of industrial disease is being replaced with eight categories of reportable work-related illness.
- Fewer types of ‘dangerous occurrence’ will require reporting.
There are no significant changes to the reporting requirements for:
- Fatal accidents.
- Accidents to non-workers (members of the public).
- Accidents which result in the incapacitation of a worker for more than seven days.
The Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013
In Force from 11 May 2013
The Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013 came into force on 11 May 2013. These regulations are intended to control the risks posed by needles and other ‘sharps’ in healthcare.
Northern Ireland introduced equivalent regulations on the same date.
The regulations implement a European Directive. They will supplement the existing health and safety legislation that already requires employers across all sectors to take effective action to control the risk from sharps injuries.
Employers and contractors working in the healthcare sector will be required to:
- Have effective arrangements for the safe use and disposal (including using ‘safer sharps’ where reasonably practicable, restricting the practice of recapping of needles and placing sharps bins close to the point of use)
- Provide the necessary information and training to workers
- Investigate and take action in response to work related sharps injuries
It’s estimated that over two million ladders are in daily use in the UK, and with falls from height still one of the main causes of death and injury in the workplace, it’s vital that these ladders and stepladders are regularly inspected and safe to use.
The annual Ladder Exchange, now run and managed by the Ladder Association, is your opportunity to exchange any dodgy, bent and broken ladders for safe, brand new ones.
Simply take your old ladders to a participating partner near you and swap them at a discount. You get a new ladder at a concessionary price and everyone stays safe. And this year you’ve got an extra month to do it in!
The HSE have released new guidance on the Health and Safety of young persons in the workplace. This guidance covers work experience placements and will assist with the process and management of those companies who have work experience students attend their workplace. The guidance also highlights what companies should be doing to ensure the safety of work placement students whilst in their care.
There are dozens of deaths and more than 40,000 injuries each year related to the use of machines.
The HSE argues that many of these could easily be prevented with the use of adequate machine guards.
On 30 September 2013, the HSE prosecuted Oldfields Ltd, an East London food manufacturer, for a series of safety failings in relation to its dicing machine.
The HSE found that Oldfields:
- did not carry out a sufficient Risk Assessment for use of the machine
- failed to follow their own safety procedures for its use
- failed to follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions
- failed to adequately instruct, supervise or train employees
- failed to prevent access by workers to dangerous moving parts
- failed to conduct adequate safety checks on the machine, or ensure that its controls were clearly visible.
Oldfields was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay £9,399 costs after pleading guilty to offences under Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The HSE is taking active enforcement measures against employers and employees who actively remove or tamper with machine guards in an attempt to make their work quicker or more efficient.
With increasing automation in modern UK industry, employers must ensure machine guards are in place and used where necessary, or face potential action by the HSE.
In addition, employers should ensure that its risk assessments are suitable and sufficient, and deal specifically with the identifiable risks arising out of the use of a machine. Serious consideration should be given to any machine guards which could minimise the risk of injury.
Importantly, if machine guards are being used, employers must have procedures in place to ensure they are being utilised and adequately maintained.
Fire and rescue authorities attended noticeably fewer fires in 2012/13, according to recently-released statistics from the government.
Crews were present at the scene of 487,000 blazes or false alarms throughout Great Britain, which was 17 per cent less than the previous year’s tally of 586,000.
In addition, 2012/13’s figure is almost 50 per cent lower than ten years ago.
Within the 487,000, fires accounted for 192,600, a huge 29 per cent reduction from last year’s 273,000. False alarms made up the remaining 294,800, which also marked a six per cent decline.
The number of outdoor blazes dropped by a noticeable 38 per cent on account of more rainfall in spring and summer than the country is typically used to.
There were 350 fire fatalities in Britain in this time frame, in comparison to the 397 from the year before. This figure was also the lowest it’s been in the last 50 years.