The HSE has issued new guidance and clarifies where incidents of coronavirus should be reported under RIDDOR, see the information on the HSE website at – RIDDOR reporting of COVIS-19
An overview of the guidance from HSE states, ‘you must only make a report under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) when:
- An unintended incident at work has led to someone’s possible or actual exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence; or
- a worker has been diagnosed as having COVID-19 and there is reasonable evidence that it was caused by exposure at work. This must be reported as a case of disease; or
- a worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to Coronavirus.
What to report
Dangerous occurrences – If something happens at work which results in (or could result in) the release or escape of coronavirus you must report this as a dangerous occurrence. An example of a dangerous occurrence would be a lab worker accidentally smashing a glass vial containing coronavirus, leading to people being exposed.
Cases of disease – exposure to a biological agent – If there is reasonable evidence that someone diagnosed with COVID-19 was likely exposed because of their work, you must report this as an exposure to a biological agent using the case of disease report. An example of a work-related exposure to coronavirus would be a health care professional who is diagnosed with COVID-19 after treating patients with COVID-19.
Work related fatalities – If a worker dies as a result of exposure to coronavirus from their work and this is confirmed as the likely cause of death by a registered medical practitioner, then you must report this as a death due to exposure to a biological agent using the ‘case of disease’ report form. You must report workplace fatalities to HSE by the quickest practicable means without delay and send a report of that fatality within 10 days of the incident’.
In these difficult and unprecedented times all Government agencies are working hard to contain this pandemic and sometimes it difficult to keep pace with the ever-changing challenges. In their statement, HSE said, ‘As prevalence of Coronavirus increases in the general population, it will be very difficult for employers to establish whether or not any infection in an individual was contracted as a result of their work.’ Therefore, employers should look to seek the advice and guidance of a medical professional if they are unsure and also consult any Occupational Health Service, they have access too.
Employer’s duty of care for all their employees and those who could be affected by their operations remains the same, see joint statement from HSE, TUC & CBI, therefore it is vital that the safety of these individuals should always be the first priority.