This guidance is for the person reporting, usually the employer (known as the ‘responsible person’).
Members of the public and non-work-related cases
There is no requirement under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) to report incidents of disease or deaths of members of the public, patients, care home residents or service users from COVID-19.
The reporting requirements relating to cases of, or deaths from, COVID-19 under RIDDOR apply only to occupational exposure, that is, as a result of a person’s work.
What to report
You should only make a report under RIDDOR when one of the following circumstances applies:
- an accident or incident at work has, or could have, led to the release or escape of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence
- a person at work (a worker) has been diagnosed as having COVID-19 attributed to an occupational exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a case of disease
- a worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a work-related death due to exposure to a biological agent
Dangerous occurrences are certain unintended, specified events, which may not result in a reportable injury, but which do have the potential to cause significant harm.
For an incident to be reportable as a dangerous occurrence, the incident must have resulted (or could have resulted) in the release or escape of coronavirus, that is, led to a possible or actual exposure to coronavirus.
The assessment does not require any complex analysis, measurement or test, but rather for a reasonable judgement to be made as to whether the circumstances gave rise to a real risk or had the potential to cause significant harm.
Cases of disease: exposure to a biological agent
When deciding if a report is required, the responsible person (usually the employer) must make a judgement, based on the information available, as to whether or not a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 is likely to have been caused by an occupational exposure, that is, whether or not there is reasonable evidence that a work-related exposure is the likely cause of the disease.
The report should specify a disease due to exposure to a biological agent and use the case of disease report form.
Work-related deaths due to exposure to a biological agent
For an incident to be reportable as a death due to occupational exposure to coronavirus there must be reasonable evidence that a work-related exposure caused the worker’s death.
The responsible person should notify the enforcing authority by the quickest practicable means, without delay, and send a report within 10 days. The report should specify death due to exposure to a biological agent using the “case of disease” report form.