This guidance is for the person reporting, usually the employer(known as the ‘responsible person’) or appointed health and safety competent person.
Members of the public and non-work-related cases
The reporting requirements relating to cases of, or deaths from, COVID-19 under RIDDOR apply only to occupational exposure, that is, as a result of a person’s work.
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
The report should specify a disease due to exposure to a biological agent and use the case of disease report form.
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.
Make a RIDDOR report online