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Violence → stress = RIDDOR?

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:37 am
by witsd
Hi all, another fiddly RIDDOR question.

I'm struggling to explain my thinking on this, but it largely comes down to this:


A member of staff was hit by a member of the public during their work (during an interview). If they then take >7 days off due to stress, is this reportable?

I know that stress is not a reportable injury in itself (although the HSE's reasoning: "because it does not result from a single
definable accident" wouldn't seem to apply in this case), but the wording of the legislation does not seem to preclude that an injury from the violence couldn't be stress.

Hopefully this makes sense...!?

Re: Violence → stress = RIDDOR?

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:47 am
by witsd
As always, the moment you throw your hands up in the air and ask for help is the moment the answer falls into your lap.

From ... idents.htm :

Q. Are cases of occupational stress reportable as lost-time injuries?

A. No. For the purposes of RIDDOR reporting, an accident is considered to be something which causes physical injury. This is because stress-related conditions usually result from a prolonged period of pressure, often from many factors, rather than just one distinct event. This does not mean that stress cannot be discussed with the enforcing authorities, nor does it mean that a concern cannot be raised which could result in an investigation.

Q. What about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a one-off incident?

A. No. For the purposes of RIDDOR reporting, an accident is considered to be something which causes physical injury. PTSD is a recognised medical condition and is regarded as a disease. Since it is not one of the listed occupational diseases, you do not need to report cases.

Thanks for your attention anyway!

Re: Violence → stress = RIDDOR?

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:18 am
by Alexis
Many thanks for enlightening us on this one witsd. clapclap

I know many will find this of interest as stress in the workplace is becoming more and more highlighted.

Re: Violence → stress = RIDDOR?

Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:04 am
by grim72
But would the fact they were hit (ie a physical injury) not be the cause of the stress (not sure how/if that would have an impact on the definitions provided)?

An interesting scenario.

Re: Violence → stress = RIDDOR?

Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:01 pm
by WillPool
It is interesting.

More and more is being made of mental health (a good thing) prior to the upturn in understanding we didnt look at stress as a workplace injury as you were always told stress would more than likely come from home.

With this case above, it is quite clear that part of the stress, if indeed not all of it, was caused by the injury at work.

Even though it is not reportable through RIDDOR I would be looking at what could be done to eradicate future instances of violence.

Strange that if the IP had been taken to hospital for the injuries from violence or been off work due to direct physical injuries from the violence it would have been reportable though and not for the mental health aspect. Maybe something that will change through time with the HSE?? .scratch

Will .salut

Re: Violence → stress = RIDDOR?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:55 pm
by witsd
Thanks guys, your responses make me feel like I wasn't being completely amateurish in my approach.

There are certainly aspects of RIDDOR that I think fail to capture the spirit of the law, and this is probably an example of this. Given that PTSD example though, I think it's pretty clear that the HSE doesn't (currently) want to know about these situations.

Re: Violence → stress = RIDDOR?

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:11 pm
by ddlh
You need to remember that RIDDOR - is just a reporting method - to allow the recording of statistics. It is not a "policing" service and things reported to RIDDOR - apart from fatalities - will be ranked and prioritised accordingly. So never be afraid to report as chances you will never hear anymore than an acknowledgement of recording.

That said - physical violence - or the threat of it - is massively stressful to some people and their loved ones at home - and may means they will not return to work. Indeed it affects their non work lives as well.

So you need to ensure that the risk of violence to your staff is reduced and that you have suitable support for victims and families in place. RIDDOR reporting in this case - in my mind - is the lesser importance!


Re: Violence → stress = RIDDOR?

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:54 am
by witsd
Oh absolutely, there are all sorts of other processes going on, both relating to care for the individual affected and reviewing risk assessments. The RIDDOR was just a separate thing, and 'if in doubt, just report it' has long been my approach!