There are two circumstances in which employers must make a report which are:
- Where 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.
Reporting is only necessary in limited circumstances and full details can be found on HSE website https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/riddor-reporting-coronavirus.htm
In relation to COVID-19 a Dangerous Occurrence may be the inadvertent release of the virus in a laboratory or similar setting. This might be where an employee has accidentally broken a glass vial containing the virus which has led to either possible or actual exposure.
Where someone is exposed to the virus because of their work and is diagnosed with COVID-19, you must report this to the Health and Safety Executive. An example might be a healthcare professional diagnosed with COVID-19 after treating patients. Unlike the Dangerous Occurrences example, this category of exposure is potentially far wider and could easily include care homes and similar settings.
A failure to comply can lead to criminal liability and fines. Do check your reporting requirements carefully.