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ivorheadache  
#1 Posted : 13 March 2019 11:45:25(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ivorheadache

Afternoon everybody. I need some advice,

IP made himself a black coffee with boiling water. Sat at his desk and made a phone call. Whilst on this call he was gesturing with his arms and knocked the coffee on to his lap and leg.

Taken to hospital and told 10% burns (RIDDOR)

My question is, is this in connection with work activity? Making a telephone call, Yes. Drinking coffee, No.

Not sure whether to RIDDOR or not. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Evans38004  
#2 Posted : 13 March 2019 12:07:02(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Evans38004

Ivor,

Is it really in the public interest to report this? Will the HSE bother investigating / proposing any changes to working procedures? Will you as an organisation make any changes to prevent a recurrence?

I'd record it and file it as an accident .

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webstar on 13/03/2019(UTC), linda xc on 13/03/2019(UTC)
ExDeeps  
#3 Posted : 13 March 2019 12:25:05(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
ExDeeps

Does this stray into the "off on a frolic of his own" teritorry?

10% burn / scald - must be a very big cup, or an inflated report perhaps?

jim

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linda xc on 13/03/2019(UTC)
PIKEMAN  
#4 Posted : 13 March 2019 13:23:57(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
PIKEMAN

I once worked for a "safety excellent" company where this happened. It was decided that we were liable since we supplied the kettle and allowed drinks to be taken to the workplace and not the canteen. If it genuinely is a RIDDOR then report it - you have to be even handed on this, it's reportable or not reportable. I think it is in connection with work - who has not supplied coffee for safety meets etc? You should have a risk assessment for this. Ask yourself - 1) could he sue? Answer YES. Is it a forseeable risk - answer YES. So, do a RA and investigate, stop it happening again. Veryt often it it "trivial" risks like this which catch you out.

Ian Bell2  
#5 Posted : 13 March 2019 13:37:24(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Ian Bell2

A risk assessment for making a personal cup of coffee...... you jest.

The old Management regs guide used to say something like, everyday activities didn't need risk assessment.

I wouldn't report as RIDDOR. Not directly connected to work.

As others have said what are the HSE going to do with the report.

So glad I do process safety and got away from this type of stuff.

thanks 3 users thanked Ian Bell2 for this useful post.
Evans38004 on 13/03/2019(UTC), aud on 13/03/2019(UTC), webstar on 13/03/2019(UTC)
chris42  
#6 Posted : 13 March 2019 14:03:53(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

The accident didn’t happen through making, carrying or even drinking a cup of coffee, it was just there. The IP was technically working (not on a frolic of their own in my view) by using the phone (if it was a works call).

If you took the hot coffee out of the equation and say had one of those metal spikes you put notes onto to stop them getting lost on the desk, and he was on the phone and did a similar thing, but stabbed his hand. Would you consider it was work related then – hurt by something harmful on the desk? No real difference

Interesting how it would also be viewed if the coffee had gone over a person at an adjacent desk

I have in the past reported two hot drink accidents, but they were different and due to other people. This one = RA – no, RIDDOR report not sure, possibly not.

Would HSE be interested, doubt it, but then who knows what they are actually interested in. If someone tries to take my coffee away there will be a fight!

Ps you shouldn’t pour boiling water straight onto coffee as it burns it apparently. Wait for the water to cool a bit or a splash of cold water (or milk) first.

James Robinson  
#7 Posted : 13 March 2019 14:34:39(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
James Robinson

What is the purpose behind RIDDOR... are we informing the HSE about a failure of something that in the bigger picture may lead to a recall, or we are not a good employer ?

When in the Management Regs do "insignificant risks, and risks arising from routine activities associated with life in general that are not compounded or significantly altered".... trigger the need to risk assess?

Liability/Insurance/Civil Claims operate in a different sphere

If I paid someone at work to make hot drinks I would expect an assessment... catering company, etc.

If people have access to these horrible water boiling machines at work that can cause injury, first off I would remove them from their homes where there are millions, and worry about workplaces later.

What are you going to do - if you risk assess then you either remove this person from making drinks, or remove drinks from everyone....good luck with that, I'll read it in the papers. If your the type of business that risk assesses wallking up the stairs, handrail holding, etc....then go for it......

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A Kurdziel on 13/03/2019(UTC), Dave5705 on 14/03/2019(UTC)
chris42  
#8 Posted : 13 March 2019 14:48:24(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Note RIDDOR states more than 10%, as it is 10%, not more than, then not reportable anyway. Always go back to the legislation for the actual wording.

PIKEMAN  
#9 Posted : 13 March 2019 16:01:36(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
PIKEMAN

Many organisations use "RIDDOR reportables" as a metric, this is not just about reporting to HSE. Being scalded is not trivial. It is also foreseeable; furthermore we usually have hiugher standards at work than at home. It may seem macho or trendy to only look at "big risks" however eliminating small risks enables a "zero accident" mindset. Think about safetyy culture and Heinrich..............

Clark34486  
#10 Posted : 13 March 2019 16:21:49(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Clark34486

Chap scalds himself with a cup of coffee when gesticulating with his arms?

Not a RIDDOR, by any stretch.

Investigate and record because it happened in the workplace and the IP is injured, yes

achrn  
#11 Posted : 14 March 2019 10:58:45(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

For what it's worth, after driving, drinking coffee seems to be the most dangerous thing in my workplace - we've had people dropping mugs and cutting themselves on the debris, cutting themselves on broken milk bottles, tipping hot coffee on themselves in numerous different ways, and in one case someone filled a mug with boiling water, then forgot they were making a drink and thought they were washing the mug up so plunged their hand into it.  Interestingly, in our statistics coffee seems more dangerous than tea.

However, I'm not going to ban hot drinks nor am I going to mandate that all staff must use plastic sippy cups like you give to toddlers.

fairlieg  
#12 Posted : 14 March 2019 11:52:47(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
fairlieg

Originally Posted by: PIKEMAN Go to Quoted Post

Many organisations use "RIDDOR reportables" as a metric, this is not just about reporting to HSE. Being scalded is not trivial. It is also foreseeable; furthermore we usually have hiugher standards at work than at home. It may seem macho or trendy to only look at "big risks" however eliminating small risks enables a "zero accident" mindset. Think about safetyy culture and Heinrich..............

Pikeman I think you have raised an interesting discussion point, there have been a few threads reacently about Zero and 

There are many studies about the Triangle and the relations between accidents and fatal injuries and also zero accidents, zero harm, vision zero or........... zero vision

This is a quote from Heinrich in the 5th edition of his book published in 1980, unfortunately the myth had already perpetuated from his 1931 edition

"There has been much confusion about the original ratio in industrial accident prevention. It does not mean, as we have too often interpreted it to mean, that the causes of frequency are the same as the causes of severe injury. National figures show that different things cause severe injuries than the things that cause minor injuries. Statistics show that we have been only partially successful in reducing severity by attacking frequency."

Focusing on the low consequence incidents does not reduce serious injuries and fatalities, preventing twisted ankles or paper cuts does not stop people being electrocuted or being crushed by falling loads.  Each event needs to be assessed in terms of potential and resources for investigation and corrective actions allocated accordingly because the things that hurt workers are rarely the same things that kill them.  Smaller severity more frequent accidents can provide information about the direct and underlying causes of bigger severity more catastrophic accidents but only if looking within the same hazard category (L.J. Bellamy, 2015, Exploring the relationship between major hazard, fatal and non-fatal accidents through outcomes and causes)

Regarding someone spilling coffee on themselves, the OSHA guidance is much clearer on this it's a shame the HSE can't provide the same kind of guidance.  I personally would not report it as I don’t see it as work related.  In my offices we supply insulated cups with lids that screw on, but i think the FM team were thinking about the carpets rather than the people ;)

ttxela  
#13 Posted : 14 March 2019 13:44:47(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ttxela

From the HSE website;

'Burns which meet the above criteria are reportable, irrespective of the nature of the agent involved,'

So I would say, yes report under RIDDOR. I wouldn't start doing risk assessments and controlling coffee at desks etc. though. Sounds like its one of those unfortunate circumstances where a trivial risk produces disproportionate outcomes.

If you took the approach of not reporting it your rationale must be that is was not work related, HSe define that as involving the equipment, tools or machinery used to do the work, the condition of the work premises or the way the work is carried out.  I think if your work involves phone calls and you carry it out whilst gesticulating wildy around hot liquids then you might reasonbly call it work related. It is marginal though but I don't think you'll suffer any consequences or trigger any response for reporting.

Dave5705  
#14 Posted : 14 March 2019 14:54:42(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Dave5705

I am curious.

I can see you might not report as it is under not over 10%.

I can see that you might not report because you feel that making and drinking (and knocking over) a cup of coffee is not work-related because it would not be a  task or operation required by the employer, (even the the phone call might have been)

But if you did decide to report, it is clear that the employee didn't do this as a result of carrying out his duties otherwise you would have issued scald resistant trousers, so what would be the potential harm to the company of reporting it? If you ring them for advice is it likely to cause the company trouble? Is it because it goes on a tally against the company (of 'things that company have done wrong')? Does that not go against the mantra of 'if in doubt, report, even the small things, because accident and near miss information is invaluable'? Surely the HSE preach the same mantra and surely they apply reasonable and proportionate to their decision as to what to investigate? They can't fine the company for an accident like this, they'd have to shut everyone down.

Or could they?

My wife has a sore ear, someone rang her while she was ironing.

jwk  
#15 Posted : 14 March 2019 16:55:23(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
jwk

'an accident arising out of or in connection with work'

This is the wording in the definitions to the Regulations. In my view, this is broader in its meaning than just 'in connection' with work, 'arising out of' is there for a reason. Did the accident arise out of work? Well, in my view yes it did if it was a work-related call, so I'd report, personally,

John

Edited by user 14 March 2019 16:56:34(UTC)  | Reason: Forgot something

biker1  
#16 Posted : 14 March 2019 17:00:28(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

Originally Posted by: Dave5705 Go to Quoted Post

My wife has a sore ear, someone rang her while she was ironing.

Priceless!!
Ian Bell2  
#17 Posted : 14 March 2019 17:38:10(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Ian Bell2

#13

If you took the approach of not reporting it your rationale must be that is was not work related, HSe define that as involving the equipment, tools or machinery used to do the work, the condition of the work premises or the way the work is carried out. 

This is where the definition falls down/does not apply to routine cups of hot drinks in a normal office - a cup of coffee is not 'tool or machinery to do the work'.

Record it in the accident/provide first aid etc if needed. That is all that is likely needed in the vast majority of circeumstance. Its a normal part of life. Not work related, very unlikely any employer negligence 

Move on, life is too short. These things happen. And [reference removed] wonder why the job has a bad press.

thanks 1 user thanked Ian Bell2 for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 15/03/2019(UTC)
Dave5705  
#18 Posted : 14 March 2019 18:02:58(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Dave5705

Originally Posted by: biker1 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Dave5705 Go to Quoted Post

My wife has a sore ear, someone rang her while she was ironing.

Priceless!!
Thanks, I'm here all week!
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