Last reviewed 7 April 2020

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published new guidance on when and how to report incidents of the coronavirus under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).

The guidance explains that employers should only make a report under RIDDOR 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); or

  • 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).

In terms of reporting dangerous occurrences, the HSE says, “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.”

With regard to reporting a case of disease, the HSE says, “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 healthcare professional who is diagnosed with COVID-19 after treating patients with COVID-19.”

Further information about what employers must report is available through the HSE website.

Reports of dangerous occurrences and diseases can be made online.