Health and Safety Executive proposals to extend the length of time an employee must be off work before a work-related injury needs to be reported will lead to employers failing to fully investigate accidents, Thompsons has warned.

The consultation on amending the RIDDOR regulations to extend the period from three to over seven days will exacerbate the already serious problem of employers under-reporting accidents.

Judith Gledhill, head of personal injury said: “Accidents are already seriously under-reported by employers, especially in non-unionised workplaces. The proposed change can only make this worse. It is inevitable that employers, buoyed by the reduced potential of litigation that the government’s proposed civil justice reforms will produce, will fail to fully investigate accidents where the employee was not off work for seven days. Less investigation means more workers injured when the same accident happens again.”

The consultation has been driven by the review of health and safety carried out for David Cameron by Lord Young last year (see Health and Safety News Autumn 2010). It closes on 9 May. The full consultation, CD233 – Proposed amendment to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) is available at: