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Reporting cases of disease under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR)

  • Operations notice: 60
  • Issue date: Apr 2003

Introduction

1. This notice draws attention to the low level of reporting of occupational diseases offshore and clarifies some aspects of the reporting requirements under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR).

Background

2. Two categories of disease are reportable under RIDDOR:

3. The level of reporting of diseases from offshore is low. Information on occupational dermatitis below provides an example:

4. Some incidences of offshore disease may not be captured because of the reporting requirements set out in RIDDOR (see paragraphs 6-12 below), eg where there has been:

Reporting requirements

5. The arrangements for reporting injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences offshore are explained in Operations Notice 30.

6. A report should be made by the responsible person when:

7. For self-employed people, a written diagnosis is not required to trigger a report; but if they are diagnosed by a doctor to be suffering from a disease listed in Schedule 3, and told about it directly by the doctor, then they (or someone on their behalf) must report it. As with employees, this only applies if their current job involves the corresponding activity in column 2, Part I of Schedule 3 or is a disease additionally reportable in respect of offshore workplaces.

8. Unlike injury reporting, there is no ‘over-3-day’ rule for reporting cases of disease. The length of time that an affected individual is away from work does not affect the need to report; and it may be necessary to report an occupational disease in an individual who has not been away from work at all.

9. For reporting purposes, offshore workers are regarded as ‘at work’ during both their working shift and their rest periods under regulation 2(3) of RIDDOR. Therefore, diseases arising from living on the installation are reportable whether or not they are directly caused by work. For example, dermatitis caused by biological washing powder left on laundered clothes or by soap provided in cabins would be reportable.

10. If there is good evidence that a condition has been caused solely by exposure to an agent found outside the workplace it need not be reported. However, if there is any possibility that the working environment contributed to the condition it should be reported.

Action required

11. Employers will need to have a system in place to ensure that RIDDOR reports are made. Employers should also advise employees to see a medical practitioner on return from work offshore if;

12. Employers should also be aware that information on reportable ill health and diseases in an employee could be obtained from various sources. Systems need to be in place to track these sources and to identify where diseases and ill health may have workplace causes and therefore be reportable to HSE. Examples include: sick notes going to the human resource department for payroll reasons; medical reports on employees with long-term ill health; and medico-legal reports (eg by an expert witness) supporting claims.

13. Where more than one employer is involved, they must all co-operate and co-ordinate measures to comply with the requirements of regulations 11 and 12 of MHSWR. This includes passing on information related to the recognition and reporting of occupational diseases. For example, the owner/operator should inform the relevant employer where a medic has identified a possibly reportable disease in one of their employees.

14. HSE’s Hazardous Installations Directorate, Offshore Division will consider enforcement action where there is evidence of a failure to report diseases under RIDDOR.

References

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 SI 1995/3163

Further information

Any queries relating to this Notice should be addressed to:

Health and Safety Executive
Hazardous Installations Directorate
Offshore Division
Lord Cullen House
Fraser Place
Aberdeen
AB25 3UB

This guidance is issued by the Health and Safety Executive. Following the guidance is not compulsory and you are free to take other action. But if you do follow the guidance you will normally be doing enough to comply with the law. Health and safety inspectors seek to secure compliance with the law and may refer to this guidance as illustrating good practice

Updated 2011-11-17