Reverse Accident Reporting Plans, Says IOSH

Peninsula Blog

November 17 2022

IOSH, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, has called on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to reverse plans to exempt 40,000 businesses from accident reporting requirements and regulations

The decision was made by his predecessor, Liz Truss, during her 38 days in office. The exemptions plan claimed to “free” small businesses and those with fewer than 500 employees from “future bureaucracy”.

Currently, the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013 puts legal duties on employers, the self-employed and people in control of work premises. These duties mean they must report certain serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences (in other words, near misses) to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

IOSH Chief Executive Vanessa Harwood-Whitcher has written to the Prime Minister to urge him not to go ahead with the proposals, warning him it would be a “backward step”, which “risks increasing costs (direct and indirect) from occupational injuries, ill-health and damages that will inhibit growth in the long term.”

She highlighted the progress occupational health and safety has made in the last 50 years but noted this progress has recently stalled. Failing to reverse the decision could lead, she said, to “a race to the bottom that disadvantages everyone.”

Having already written to Liz Truss in September on the three key areas for action, Mrs Harwood-Whitcher reiterated them in her letter to Mr Sunak. They are:

The recent resolution to include a safe and healthy working environment in the International Labour Organization (ILO) Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work

The imperative to protect, maintain and reinforce UK health and safety standards and bring the long-awaited Employment Bill forward as a matter of urgency

The need to lead policy makers, regulators, employers and workers’ representatives in ensuring asbestos is handled and disposed of in a safe, regulated way that prevents its exposure – workers’ and people’s lives depend on it.

Commenting on the above, Mrs Harwood-Whitcher said: “Any failure to act on these key areas for action and associated challenges will not only lead to poorer work, working conditions and workers’ welfare but also a workforce that’s characterised by low productivity, with economic and structural inequalities.

“This is why we look forward to working with you and your new Government – to ensure this does not happen. So that we can all share in a future that is safer, innovative, and more productive.”

If you have questions on RIDDOR, visit BrAInbox today where you can find answers to questions like Why should I report or record an accident?

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