HSE Reporting Changes ‘May Undermine Workplace Safety’

Injury Specialist Concerned By Plans To Move Services Online

24.05.2011

Changes to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE’s) reporting arrangements could lead to a reduction in the information relayed about incidents, a workplace injury expert at Irwin Mitchell has warned.

The organisation has confirmed that, from the middle of September, employees will only be able to report the majority of work accidents and injuries through an online system.

Under the changes, businesses will still need to notify the organisation of fatal or major incidents by phone.

In addition, the Infoline telephone service is set to be brought to an end on September 30th, with the organisation also focusing on keep guidance available through its website.

David Urpeth, national head of workplace injuries at Irwin Mitchell, said that while the changes reflected the increasing use of online services, there are concerns that they could have a negative effect.

He explained: “Unfortunately, such moves demonstrate the impact that the cuts imposed on the HSE are set to have.

“The removal of the phone service for the reporting of serious injuries and major work accidents poses a real issue, as it reduces the lines of communication and may prevent firms from providing comprehensive and prompt information on cases.

“Health and safety must always be a priority in the workplace and it can be argued that changing the current system could undermine that fact.

“If it intends to continue with the plan, I hope the HSE ensures that the new system is effectively promoted and communicated so businesses are able to prepare and have the tools to report if problems arise in the future.”