What to report
You should only make a report under RIDDOR when one of the following circumstances applies:
- an accident or incident at work has, or could have, led to the release or escape of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence
- a person at work (a worker) has been diagnosed as having COVID-19 attributed to an occupational exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a case of disease
- a worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a work-related death due to exposure to a biological agent
Dangerous occurrences are certain unintended, specified events, which may not result in a reportable injury, but which do have the potential to cause significant harm.
For an incident to be reportable as a dangerous occurrence, the incident must have resulted (or could have resulted) in the release or escape of coronavirus, that is, led to a possible or actual exposure to coronavirus.
The assessment does not require any complex analysis, measurement or test, but rather for a reasonable judgement to be made as to whether the circumstances gave rise to a real risk or had the potential to cause significant harm.
Find out more about what the law says including some examples of what is not and what is reportable as a dangerous occurrence.
Cases of disease: exposure to a biological agent
When deciding if a report is required, the responsible person (usually the employer) must make a judgement, based on the information available, as to whether or not a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 is likely to have been caused by an occupational exposure, that is, whether or not there is reasonable evidence that a work-related exposure is the likely cause of the disease.
The report should specify a disease due to exposure to a biological agent and use the case of disease report form.
Get more information on what constitutes a diagnosis and more guidance on making a judgement and reasonable evidence.
Work-related deaths due to exposure to a biological agent
For an incident to be reportable as a death due to occupational exposure to coronavirus there must be reasonable evidence that a work-related exposure caused the worker’s death.
The responsible person should notify the enforcing authority by the quickest practicable means, without delay, and send a report within 10 days. The report should specify death due to exposure to a biological agent using the “case of disease” report form.
More on work-related deaths from coronavirus: What the law says and information on making a judgement using reasonable evidence.
Make a RIDDOR report online
You can access the FIS COVID H&S Toolkit here