The HSE has made it clear when you must report exposure to coronavirus under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).
The HSE has identified that there are two types of coronavirus incident that must be reported under RIDDOR. These are:
- An unintended incident at work has led to someone’s possible or actual exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence
- 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
The guidance identifies that a dangerous occurrence is something that happens in the workplace which results in the release or potential escape of coronavirus.
You don’t need to make a report to the HSE every time someone self-isolates or reports that they think they have the virus.
This guidance makes it clear that for it to be reportable as a work-related disease, the individual must be diagnosed. Plus, there must be a clear link between their work and their illness. When it comes to the dangerous occurrence, this really only relates to those handling the virus, such as lab technicians or medical professionals.
Although you might not need to keep the HSE in the loop, maintain records to identify how you’ve dealt with any cases/suspected cases. You might need these at a later date to prove that you have followed guidelines and behaved responsibly.