Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements: Their Influence on Safety Management in the U.S. and the U.K.
- Vladimir Ivensky
- Document ID
- American Society of Safety Engineers
- Professional Safety
- Publication Date
- August 2015
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 34 - 37
- 2015. American Society of Safety Engineers
- 1 in the last 30 days
- 37 since 2007
- Show more detail
- Regulations on reporting and recording of occupational incidents influence safety management programs designed to comply with those regulations.
- Two regulatory incident reporting and recordkeeping systems are compared in this article: OSHA’s 29 CFR 1904 Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses and U.K.’s Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations. The article also compares data on incident underreporting in both countries.
- OSHA’s standard does not include “dangerous occurrences,” which constitutes the major difference between the two regulations, potentially contributing to the superior safety performance in the U.K. construction industry.
In 2012, the U.S. construction industry fatality rate was 9.9 per 100,000 full-time equivalent employees (BLS, 2013); the U.K.’s 2013 rate of fatal injuries in construction was 1.9 per 100,000 full-time equivalent employees, with a 5-year average of 2.3 (HSE, 2013).
The U.S. rate is approximately 5 times higher than that in the U.K. This significant gap calls for a comparative analysis of safety regulations, cultures and practices in both countries, including safety management systems, incident reporting systems, safety and health regulations and their enforcement, legal systems and technical safety aspects in construction in both countries, as well as a review of overall safety management priorities in both countries.
This article compares OSHA’s recordkeeping regulation for the U.S. and Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) in the U.K. As a starting point, consider these primary differences (Table 1):
- OSHA does not require reporting or recording of near-hits and property damages (dangerous occurrences). Serious injuries or fatalities are reportable to OSHA (the incident reporting mandate was expanded Jan. 1, 2015). Incidents that result in injury must be recorded (starting from relatively minor medical treatments).
- RIDDOR requires reporting and recording of high-potential near-hits and property damage events (dangerous occurrences) in addition to incidents that cause injury. Both injury categories (actual and potential) are given equal priority under RIDDOR. The standard’s severity recording requirement is higher than in the U.S. An employer need only record occupational incidents that result in a person being away from work for more than 3 consecutive days, and an employer need only report an incident to RIDDOR’s Incident Contact Center if it results in a person being away from work for more than 7 consecutive days.
The regulatory attention to higher potential dangerous occurrences in RIDDOR, which makes eliminating those events a priority, as well as the U.K.’s Construction (Design and Management) (CDM) regulations, which establish clear safety roles and responsibilities for multiemployer construction projects, likely play a positive role in the U.K.’s superior safety performance in the construction industry.
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