Changes to health and safety regulations on reporting accidents may relieve the burden on employers by cutting the amount of incidents that firms have to report to authorities, a legal expert has said.
This week, the Government published changes to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurances Regulations as part of its drive to cut health and safety red tape.
The changes, which come into force on 6 April, will increase the period an employee has to be incapacitated before an employer is required to report a workplace accident.
Under the Regulations, the period of incapacity that triggers the employer’s requirement to report an accident will rise from three to seven days.
Organisations will also be given 15 days to report any accidents that result in employees being unable to work for the revised period, an addition of five days from the current Regulations.
According to Richard Bretton, a consultant at Osborne and Clarke, which specialises in health and safety issues, the increase of the incapacity period from three to seven days may relieve the burden on employers dealing with accidents.
Bretton commented: “The changes to the Regulations will result in a great saving of time for many firms because only more serious injuries will last beyond the seven-day period, meaning employers will have to report fewer accidents.
“However, while employers will no longer have to report accidents that result in an employee being incapacitated for between three and seven days, they will still have to record these injuries.”
For more information on the changes, including what accident records employers will need to keep, read XpertHR’s summary of the Regulations.