Dangerous occurrences and cases of actual ill-health related to coronavirus exposures have now to be reported, the UK regulator the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said.
The enforcement agency said the new legal reporting requirement under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) applies “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.”
Employers must also make a report when “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.”
An update to the HSE reporting webpages advises employers: “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.
HSE adds: “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.”
Incidents can be reported to HSE online.