RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19

The Health & Safety Executive (“HSE”) has released guidance on when an employer must make a report in relation to coronavirus under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (“RIDDOR”)

The HSE has directed that you must only make a RIDDOR report when;

  1. An unintended incident at work has led to someone’s possible or actual exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence.  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. The HSE explained that an example of a dangerous occurrence would be a lab worker accidentally smashing a glass vial containing coronavirus, leading to people being exposed.
  2. 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. 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. The example given by the HSE of a work-related exposure to coronavirus is a health care professional who is diagnosed with COVID-19 after treating patients with COVID-19.
  3. A worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus. If someone dies as a result of a work related exposure to coronavirus and this is confirmed as the likely cause of death by a registered medical practitioner then you must report this as soon as is practical and within 10 days of the death.

It is yet to be seen how broadly the HSE will interpret “exposure in the workplace”. It is likely, however, that businesses operating care settings such as care homes where residents are either experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 or have been diagnosed with the virus, will need to make a RIDDOR report under the second criteria if a member of staff is then diagnosed with the disease.

If you have any queries in relation to RIDDOR reports or the current position with health and safety in the workplace, please contact Jennifer Sewell on 01482 337368 or email jennifer.sewell@rollits.com

Posted on: 09/04/2020

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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