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Accident when on call?

eddscott 6 months ago   Reply
From RIDDOR "work-related accident" means an accident arising out of or in connection with work. On call is when a person is expect to answer the phone if it rings and provide advice or support. If a person who is on call, receives a call, but when going to answer the phone falls down the stairs and breaks a leg - is this reportable? CDM and RIDDOR are not very specific on this - one thought is no - its not reportable as they were not at work. The other yes it is as they would not have fallen if not answering the phone.
Frank 6 months ago   Reply

Interesting set of circumstances 

My initial thoughts are; One would assume that on call  and at home you would not necessarily be expected to carry out a risk assessment on the premises (private home) as they are not working from home in the true meaning. That said if one is contracted to be on call then by definition you are at work. I can recall a case of a care worker who slipped and fell on a footpath, she was deemed as being at work as so won the case. I think that it is reportable purely as one is performing a work related duty no matter the location. I have no definite answer just my opinion. On balance I would report.

Regards   

Bill Sowerbutts 6 months ago   Reply
I think Frank has it here.  If you slipped on your floor in your own home – not work related. But if you slipped whilst running out to answer a call – work related. I know this is a greyish area but I think the difference is whether the activity causing the accident is related to your work. After all a wholesale company’s delivery man tripping whilst carrying a box into a supermarket would be reportable. But me tripping whilst carrying my shopping bags to my car wouldn’t be.  Even if both took place in the High Street, it is the activity, not the situation that defines reportability.
Bill Sowerbutts 6 months ago   Reply
at risk of being a bit nerdy about definitions – I would have thought yes,  Reason – well the person was technically “at work” in going to answer that call. I mean he could have  a mobile/pager or something provided that didn’t mean he had to reach a fixed phone – so depending on the work equipment provided (ie portable communication vs fixed line) the risks could vary. Also as the future father in law of a worker for a utility company, I know the urgency with which X responds when he gets the call. It’s not just a calm have my breakfast – work starts at 9am shuffle out and off, it’s more like an fighter pilot scramble!

For this reason id say as soon as the phone goes – then they are “at work”

Barry 6 months ago   Reply
You could say he is only at work once he answered the phone
Bill Sowerbutts 6 months ago   Reply
No Barry – The person is at work (and therefore an employee) as soon as his employer calls. Because the call is from his employer and the person is “on-call”, it elicits a response.  RIDDOR is about accidents caused by work activity. There’s a danger that in defining “work activity” your view can be tainted by other factors (such as incentives or praise from keeping stats low). Whether it is reportable or not depends on whether it is work activity – not the place where it happens.

Bill

Barry 6 months ago   Reply
Bill Did his employer call; that's the question that should be answered surely before deciding whether to report or not
Barry 6 months ago   Reply
Bill If the call was not work related, then the accident is not reportable surely
Bill Sowerbutts 6 months ago   Reply
yes Barry I am agreeing with you 100% - sounds like you think I don’t? 
Barry 6 months ago   Reply
Also, although he was going to answer the phone, the call may not have been anything to do with work, he would only know that once he picked up the phone, so to be picky work starts after answering the phone.
Frank 6 months ago   Reply

Barry

I do disagree in as much as you are either at work or not, answering the phone is just a red herring, the point is an injury has occurred. If you are on call and can be expected to attend a call out then you are at work as circumstances prevent you from total freedom to go shopping, visiting or have a pint because you are on standby. The employer is then controlling your movements and behaviors for the time you are on call, which you will also be paid for or at least contracted to do. If you make a personal call from your works office are you not at work for that period? Answering the phone is neither here nor there.

Regards 

Barry 6 months ago   Reply
Frank, will have to agree to disagree on this one, if a family member rings the person on call, which is not work related then falls and is injured, it's not in the course of his work.
Frank 6 months ago   Reply

Risking going off piste on the original question, it was put to us as answering a call for work, in which case I would report it. That said if the conversation was around liability then this is much more uncertain, the lawyers would I believe be divided on this one for all of the reasons put forward on the forum. RIDDOR does not seek to place liability its just a recording tool for statistical purposes. My views are not necessarily written in stone as this is not as straight forward as it appears but given that I would have to make a decision this is the way I would go.

Regards  

PP Construction Safety Ltd 6 months ago   Reply
HSE advice on "work related" states: "When deciding if the accident that led to the death or injury is work-related, the key issues to consider are whether the accident was related to: ? the way the work was organised, carried out or supervised; ? any machinery, plant, substances or equipment used for work; and ? the condition of the site or premises where the accident happened. If none of these factors are relevant to the incident, it is likely that a report will not be required." May be helpful
Charlie Says 6 months ago   Reply
The RIDDOR notification would be irrelevant for most employees. Would you be required to complete an accident book entry if you did suffer an injury? would be more important to me, since it is this which would potentially entitle you to compensation payments from DWP if you are off work as a result.
Bill Sowerbutts 6 months ago   Reply
Well without me being even more nerdy about this Charlie – yes you would!

I have had to conduct many assessments over the years for home workers in all kinds of industries and commercial activities. This to me is just the same.  It’s just that life is a bit short to be agonizing on whether tripping over the cat in answering a phone is your responsibility (because you choose to have a cat)  or the employers’ (for having the temerity to call you to an emergency)?

I hope you have all swept your chimneys because if Santa gets stuck or trips over your safety boots in the hall, then I see a claim coming!   But then he’s self-employed and a foreign national so maybe he doesn’t have access to a good lawyer?

Bill

Frank 6 months ago   Reply

I will sue Santa for criminal damage when he puts soot all over my lambswool carpet, OLA assumes that postmen have implied permission for entry to your premises, but to gain entry out of hours and cause damage is definitely a criminal act.bah humbug !!!  

Bill Sowerbutts 6 months ago   Reply
and show me evidence that the reindeers have been regularly serviced?  (does that mean little reindeers)?