HSE eases reporting guidance on COVID-19

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has reduced the reporting demands of the RIDDOR guidance to avoid penalising businesses unnecessarily as they resume full operations after the UK lockdown. 

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013 guidance over COVID-19 were quite restrictive. The HSE however released new guidance last weekend that allow employers to make a judgment based on the information available as to whether a confirmed case of COVID-19 in an employee is likely to have been caused by occupational exposure. This allows employers to make their own decision as to whether or not to submit a report.

Elizabeth de Jong, Director of Policy at the Freight Transport Association, commented: “Following constructive discussions with HSE, FTA is pleased that the safety body has listened to the concerns of our members and amended its RIDDOR guidance to provide employers with greater flexibility to decide whether a confirmed COVID-19 case is likely to be due to occupational exposure, and as such, requires the submission of a report. Before this addition, our employer members were concerned that the lack of clarity on the guidance would have left them vulnerable to excessive or unfair litigation, as well as facing an administrative burden when resources are already strained. It would have hindered the return to work and created apprehension among both workers and their employers, impacting ultimately the nation’s economic recovery.

“FTA is fully committed to a safe and efficient return to work for all businesses across the UK economy, and especially within the logistics sector. A successful return to work must be built on trust and confidence right across business; we are grateful to HSE for adapting its guidance so we can get the UK back to work safely, effectively and quickly.”