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41098 RIDDOR reportable injuries going unreported

November 2010 in Network Rail and Suppliers

tagged Communication and teamwork Method of working Not Specified

A reporter has raised concerns about the lack of reporting accidents and injuries at Balfour Beatty Renewals.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) state that:

"the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) place a legal duty on employers… to report work-related… injuries… diseases and dangerous occurrences".

If there is an accident connected with work and an employee suffers a major injury, such as a dislocation, fracture (other than to finger, thumbs and toes) or amputation, the employer is legally bound under RIDDOR to report and record the accident.

Although RIDDOR reportable injuries have occurred at Balfour Beatty Renewals, the reporter knows of staff not informing their employer of such occurrences due to a fear of losing their jobs. Also, where a Manager or other responsible person is aware of such an injury, the reporting process is not being followed - injuries haven't been reported using the appropriate form. Despite this, the reporter believes that Balfour Beatty Renewals are stating that there has not been a RIDDOR in over three years. The reporter believes this indicates that staff are feeling less confident in reporting accidents at work.

Could Balfour Beatty Renewals help:

  • clarify how RIDDOR reportable injuries should be recorded;
  • address the perceived lack of confidence staff currently appear to have in reporting RIDDOR reportable injuries at work; and
  • address the under-reporting of RIDDOR reportable injuries?

Response from Balfour Beatty Rail Renewals

We are pleased that the reporter has used CIRAS to raise their concern. There are four specific points raised by the reporter

The reporting of all accidents, both minor and RIDDOR events, is of paramount importance to Balfour Beatty Rail Renewals as we seek to improve our safety performance through learning from incidents. The management position is that all accidents should be reported and no one is at risk of losing their job as a result of having an accident or making a report. Where an individual believes that they are unable to do this on a Balfour Beatty Rail Renewals site we urge that they contact our Site Access Controllers (SAC), Safety Coach, Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) Advisor, or their employer/sponsor. Alternatively we recommend them to use CIRAS. If we find evidence of the "hiding" of accidents we will investigate matters further.

With regard to the "appropriate form" we currently use the Network Rail accident report form on worksites on Network Rail infrastructure and London Underground form in the Track Alliance. We are currently developing a process where the SAC reports the incident by telephone to our control centre. The form is completed by the Controller. When this is in place there will not be a requirement for a form on site.

RIDDOR Reporting

Currently BB Rail Renewals have recorded 13 RIDDOR reportable accidents in the last 12 months. Our annual accident frequency rate this period is 0.23. We are striving to find ways to reduce accidents and as part of this all accidents are reviewed with the Delivery Managers at a fortnightly conference. In addition we have a programme of actions to remove and reduce risk in the business. This programme of improvements, called our Zero Harm Journey Plan, is supported by accident investigation. The reporting of all accidents is encouraged as it contributes to this improvement plan.

Reporting Confidence

  • Recording RIDDORs: The sequence of recording is as follows (i) injured person advises Team Leader, (ii) Team Leader advises the SAC and Site Manager, (iii) record is made in site log and Control Centre is advised by SAC, (iv) accident form is completed, (v) company SHEQ Advisor receives accident form (vi) investigation commences (depending on severity of the incident).
  • Lack of confidence: As a result of this report the next internal safety cascade briefing to all staff will mention that accident reporting is mandatory on BB Renewals sites. In addition a further briefing will be given to Site Managers regarding the importance of recording all accidents.
  • Reluctance to report: The above briefing will encourage all our people to report accidents and incidents correctly. In addition we encourage reporting via SACs, Safety Coach, SHEQ Advisor, or their employer/sponsor. In addition we display the CIRAS contact details at site access and in our welfare facilities on site.




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