Coronavirus RIDDOR reporting requirements (COVID-19)

Outsource Safety LtdSafety newsCoronavirus RIDDOR reporting requirements (COVID-19)
April 9, 2020 Posted by Roger Hart

Coronavirus RIDDOR reporting requirementsFor those businesses who still have to operate throughout the shutdown, there is a potential for the change relating to coronavirus RIDDOR reporting requirements to affect you.  In more typical times diseases are only to be reported when a doctor confirms their presence, examples would be vibration white finger or dermatitis.  However, with the NHS under unimaginable strain at present, the changes mean that employers will be expected to report instances coronavirus related diseases where there is reasonable evidence to suspect that the exposure was caused by work.

We are in uncharted water here and the statements are, of course, open to some interpretation.  As always, our advice is to report rather than choose not to as it is a legal requirement.  If you have questions we’re still working and will do our best to assist those on our retained competent person service, Safety~net


Update 01/06/2020; https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/riddor-reporting-further-guidance-coronavirus.htm#disease-diagnosis you should now only report with a confirmed diagnosis from a recognised COVID test centre although some room for judgement is being made.

Diagnosis

A diagnosis normally means a registered medical practitioner’s identification (in writing, where in relation to an employee) of new or worsening symptoms. 

Unlike with usual diagnosis of occupational disease, many cases of COVID-19 are currently being confirmed without a registered medical practitioner’s written diagnosis, for example, on the basis of laboratory test results. HSE has decided to adopt a pragmatic approach in the current highly unusual circumstances and not require those results to be confirmed by a registered medical practitioner before a report is made under RIDDOR. 

Responsible persons should consider any official confirmation of COVID-19 infection such as from a public testing body as being equivalent to a registered medical practitioner’s diagnosis.


Please see the press release from HSE below for further guidance.

RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19

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

What to report

Dangerous occurrences

Read about RIDDOR regulation 7, Schedule 2 – Section 10 on legislation.gov.uk 

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

Read about RIDDOR regulation 9 (b) on legislation.gov.uk

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

Read about RIDDOR regulation 6 (2) on legislation.gov.uk

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.

Make a RIDDOR report online

Find out more about what you must report.

Make a report online:

Resources;