RIDDOR is the statutory regime which requires employers, the self-employed and those in control of premises to report certain serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences (near misses) to the HSE.
In accordance with the new guidance published, this now can now, in certain situations, include COVID-19:
Dangerous Occurrence – Reg 7, Schedule 2 – Section 10
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 – Reg 9(b)
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.
- Ensure you continuously manage the risk of employees contracting COVID-19.
- Ensure that you can clearly evidence all the steps taken to manage this risk.
- If you have any cases that you think might be reportable under RIDDOR then you must make a RIDDOR report. This can be done online and the HSE website (www.hse.gov.uk) has a lot of useful information.
If you would like to discuss in further detail any of the issues raised above, please contact Julie Gowland or a member of the Regulatory Corporate Defence team.
The content of this article is for general information only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. If you require any further information in relation to this article please contact the author in the first instance. Law covered as at April 2020.