I write in response to the article "Snap Judgment" in the July
Reference is made to the reporting of violence under Riddor (Reporting of
Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995). There are
Where an incident has resulted in major injury, as per Riddor
classification, or more than three days absence, a report is made to the Health
and Safety Executive.
But no report is needed in the case of a serious incident causing
post-traumatic stress. For example, in the instance of ram raids, armed
robbery, threats with knives or baseball bat, needlestick injury by an
assailant claiming to be HIV or Hepatitis B positive, being sprayed with CS gas
or being tied up and held hostage – no report is required, unless there is
major physical injury.
An incident involving an employee who had a gun put to his head and was
threatened with his life would not be reported unless it met Riddor criteria.
This is despite the fact he may have many weeks off work and persisting problems
due to post-traumatic stress-related illness.
In view of the HSE campaign to address workplace stress-related illness,
perhaps it could review the Riddor reporting criteria to account for the impact
of traumatic events.
Until this happens the HSE and employers will not get a full picture of the
extent and consequences of violence in the workplace.
Name and address withheld