Reporting COVID-19 exposure in the workplace

22 October 2020

All pharmacy employers must make sure they comply with health and safety reporting requirements, particularly in the context of the current pandemic.

The Health and Safety Executive has published clear guidance on the expectations and duties in relation to reporting cases of Covid 19 transmission that happened in the workplace under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013. This includes guidance for the employer about using their judgement on whether or not a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19 is likely to have been caused by an occupational exposure and when to report.

In relation to the current pandemic, where a worker has contracted COVID-19 as a direct result of their work, the incident should be reported under RIDDOR, either as a disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent (under Regulation 9 (b)) or as a death resulting from occupational exposure to a biological agent under Regulation 6 (2).

Failure to make a RIDDOR report in certain situations is a criminal offence and individuals and companies can be prosecuted for failing to do so.

The HSE guidance takes the reader through a series of links to help them understand when to report a work-related case of disease or the death of one of their employees as a result of an occupational exposure to COVID-19.

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