This quick guide aims to summarise what businesses need to do if they are affected.
- RIDDOR places duties on employers, the self-employed and people in control of work premises (the Responsible Person) to report certain serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences including near misses
- All incidents can be reported online
- A telephone service is also provided for reporting fatal/specified incidents only - call the incident contact centre on 0345 300 9923 (opening hours are Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm)
- Incidents that happen in Northern Ireland should be reported to HSE NI
- In relation to COVID-19 businesses must only make a report under RIDDOR when:
- An unintended incident at work has led to someone’s possible or actual exposure to COVID-19. 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 COVID-19
The following scenarios also need to be reported:
If something happens at work which results in (or could result in) the release or escape of COVID-19 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 COVID-19, 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 form. 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 the disease. COVID-19 would be classified as a biological agent under the COSHH Regulations.
Work related fatalities
If someone dies as a result of a work-related exposure to COVID-19 and this is confirmed as the likely cause of death by a registered medical practitioner, 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 practical means without delay and send a report of that fatality within 10 days of the incident.