COVID-19 & RIDDOR for care providers: when and when not to report

The Health & Safety Executive’s (HSE) guidance in respect of RIDDOR and COVID-19 presents a significant challenge to those responsible for reporting within a care setting. Care providers are understandably concerned that notifying the HSE of a non-reportable incident could result in an unnecessary HSE investigation. Some care providers are also concerned that a notification under RIDDOR may be construed as an admission of responsibility should a criminal and/or civil action be pursued.

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RIDDOR reporting of deaths of health & social care employees due to COVID-19

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) provided guidance on when deaths from COVID-19 or instances of COVID-19 should be reported to it.  The HSE emphasised RIDDOR reports were only required in relation to employees where a death had occurred as a result of occupational exposure to COVID-19 or a person had contracted COVID-19 in the workplace.  When deciding on whether a RIDDOR report is required, a “responsible person” within the organisation should make an informed decision on whether a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 is likely to have been due to exposure at work.

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