October 2013 saw the implementation of two key revisions to health and safety regulations. The reporting of workplace injuries was simplified and greater flexibility was introduced for managing the provision of first-aid training.
From 1 October, the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 were amended to remove the requirement for the Health and Safety Executive to approve first-aid training and qualifications.
The second change was to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995, with simplification of the reporting requirements.
The main changes have been that the classification of “major injuries” to workers has been replaced with a shorter list of “specified injuries” and the existing schedule detailing 47 types of industrial disease has been replaced with eight categories of reportable work-related illness.
The Health and Safety Executive has stressed neither change alters the duties and responsibilities already placed on employers. The British Red Cross has also warned employers that the change to first-aid training Regulations has, if anything, increased their responsibility to ensure the standards and quality of training provider they choose.
The change, it warned, must not encourage employers to become complacent about first-aid training.
Joe Mulligan, British Red Cross head of first aid, said: “The health and safety landscape is changing, but this does not remove risk or accountability for workplace accidents.”