Tuesday 16 April 2013

Diseases to be retained in RIDDOR

The HSE had originally proposed that disease reporting be dropped, but this resulted in many objections. The proposal now is that:
  1. Disease reporting is restricted to the 6 diseases listed below (under background data).
  2. To avoid the complexity and ambiguity associated with current reporting requirements, the existing complex schedule of diseases mapped against specific occupations would be replaced by simpler, more general reporting requirements to capture all of those situations where a person’s work has caused their illness:
    eg. any new diagnosis of asthma, where the person’s work involves significant or regular exposure to a known respiratory sensitiser.
Strategic Safety Systems welcomes this proposal (Proposal B in the HSE paper.)
The revised requirements would address the majority of concerns raised in relation to the loss of valuable regulatory data, and the reduction of the existing complex and lengthy schedule  would ease the capture of ill health data relating to existing, novel or altered processes.
Background data
Under current RIDDOR reporting requirements, ill health and occupational diseases represent a very small proportion (less than 2%) of all reports received. Annually, approximately 1,800 disease reports are received, compared with over 111,000 non-fatal injury reports.
Whilst there are currently 47 distinct reportable diseases, 90% of the ill health reports received are accounted for by 6 conditions: 
  • Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (46% of all reports)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome, 
  • Dermatitis, 
  • Severe cramp of the arm, 
  • Tendonitis, and 
  • Occupational asthma. 
Around one third of all disease reports are submitted by approximately 100 organisations.
The list of diseases occupies 13 pages (62 to 74) of the present guidance on RIDDOR.
Whilst there is a lot of statistical data on injuries available from the HSE there is, understandably, little on diseases.   

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