What are your RIDDOR requirements to report to the HSE in light of COVID-19?

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08 April, 2020

Ridwaan Omar
Partner and Head of Regulatory

Following on from the recent article on COVID-19 Risk assessments, the Health & Safety Executive, have provided further guidance on the reporting requirements under 'The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013' (RIDDOR).

A report should only be made under the RIDDOR regulations when:

  1. An unintended incident at work has led to someone's possible or actual exposure to coronavirus.

    In such circumstances, this must be reported as a dangerous occurrence. The example used by the HSE is where a lab worker accidently smashes 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 and exposure to a biological agent. This could for example apply to Health Care Professionals who contract COVID-19 after treating patients with COVID-19 whether that be in hospital or a social care home setting.

  3. A worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus.

    If the death is confirmed by a registered medical practitioner as being caused by Coronavirus, this must be reported as soon as practicable and within 10 days of the death.

Employees working on the frontline whether in hospital, care homes, supermarkets, public transport, health care or medical research settings are likely to be most at risk of exposure to this virus, and we have sadly seen many an example of this in recent weeks.

It is essential that Covid-19 specific risk assessments are undertaken by employers as detailed in the previous article. Where a risk of exposure is inevitable or possible, the nature of the risk needs to be determined, and steps taken to reduce foreseeable risks, whether by the implementation of additional control measures, adapted safer systems of work, and the free provision of medically advised "fit for purpose" Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) . As ever, PPE is to be used as a last resort.

Source: HSE - www.hse.gov.uk/news/riddor-reporting-coronavirus.htm.

For more information contact Ridwaan Omar in our Insurance department via email or phone on 01254 222457. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

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