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COVID-19 RIDDOR Reporting

Should I have to report a case of COVID-19 under RIDDOR? Find out more below.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently clarified the requirements for Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR). Duty holders should review the content from HSE in full using the below link.

A clear principle is that the HSE do not want all COVID-19 cases to be reported via RIDDOR. It specifically identifies that:

HSE Statement

There is no requirement under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) to report incidents of disease or deaths of the public. The reporting requirements relating to cases and/or deaths from COVID-19 under RIDDOR only apply to occupational exposure.

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.
  • 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 cause of disease.
  • A worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus.

Working with the general public, as opposed to working with persons known to be infected, is not considered sufficient evidence to indicate that a COVID-19 diagnosis is likely to be attributable to occupational exposure. Such cases do not require a report.

Examples from HSE

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. An example of a dangerous occurrence would be a lab worker accidentally smashing a glass vial containing coronavirus, leading to people being exposed.”

Our Comment

Unless you are working with the pathogen or biological samples that may contain the pathogen, you are highly unlikely to experience a dangerous occurrence as detailed in RIDDOR Regulation 7, schedule 2 – section 10.

Cases of Disease: exposure to biological agents

“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.”

Our Comment

HSE guidance given on infections states that “infections that could have been acquired as easily in the community as in work are not reportable, unless the infection was definitely acquired at work”. Due to the current pandemic with community infections of COVID-19 as high as they are, it is unlikely an infection would be more readily acquired in the workplace, unless you are working in a healthcare or laboratory setting with COVID-19 patients or biological samples containing the virus.

Work-Related Fatalities

 “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.”

Our Comment

It is highly unlikely you would need to report a death from coronavirus unless the circumstances meet one of the criteria outlined above.

Related Links

Get in contact

Compass HSC is a leading Lancashire based health and safety consultancy and we are ready to help. If you need any further clarity on RIDDOR reporting,  or another matter relating to Safety and COVID-19, get in contact with the team.

Our team of health and safety consultants are available to discuss any concerns you may have. Contact us via email at info@compasshsc.co.uk or call us on 01253 735 755 or use the links below.

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Further information

For HSE’s latest news and advice on coronavirus visit:

hse.gov.uk/news/coronavirus

For more specific guidance for your industry or sector visit:

gov.uk/workingsafely

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Speak to one of our experts today

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A Lancashire based Health & Safety Consultancy

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