November 2010 in Network Rail and Suppliers
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:
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.
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.