Management information: Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease reports
Made by employers to HSE and Local Authorities since 10 April 2020
Where a worker has been diagnosed as having COVID-19 and there is reasonable evidence to suggest that it was caused by occupational exposure, employers are required to report the case to the relevant enforcing authority under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).
Latest published figures up to week ending 12 June 2021 show:
- over the period 10 April 2020 – 12 June 2021, 33,448 disease notifications of COVID-19 in workers where occupational exposure is suspected were reported to enforcing authorities (HSE and LAs), including 402 death notifications (see notes 2 and 3 below).
- by month: the number of occupational COVID-19 notifications made to enforcing authorities increased month-on-month between September 2020 and January 2021, peaking in January with 5,710 reports, but have fallen each month since. There were 344 reports in May 2021 (latest full month’s data), a decrease of around 50% from the 690 reports received in April 2021. However, there are potential early indications of an increase in reporting in June with 304 reports made in June to date (up to 12 June). (See also note 3 below).
- by week: since the peak of reporting in mid-January, weekly numbers showed a generally downwards trend until around late-April/early-May, reflecting the overall UK COVID infection rates. Since then, numbers have stabilised at around 100-150 reports per week, similar to the previous lowest level seen in August 2020, though there are early indications that the number of weekly reports may be increasing again. (See also note 3 below).
Total suspected occupational COVID-19 reports made by employers to the Enforcing Authorities, 10 April 2020 to 12 June 2021
|Month||Number of reports|
Total suspected occupational COVID-19 reports made by employers to the Enforcing Authorities, 12 April 2020 to 12 June 2021
|Week commencing||Number of reports|
|Week commencing||Average reports|
Focus on reports made in the last 13-week period (14 March – 12 June 2021):
- Total of 2,068 notifications of COVID-19 in workers reported over latest 13 weeks, 14 March – 12 June 2021. While the number of reports has generally declined over this period, (average of 271 reports per week in the first 3 weeks compared to a weekly average of 147 reports in the end 3 weeks), there are potential signs of a small increase in recent weeks.
- The majority of reports received since 14 March 2021 continue to be for workers in the Health and Social Work sector (including for example hospitals, residential homes and day care). Around 58% of reports were recorded by employers against these activities although the actual percentages may be higher as it is known that many reports for this sector get mis-classified by employers, particularly to the accommodation sector and to other personal services.
- Other sectors with a sizable number of reports over this period include education (11% of reports in last 13 weeks), public administration and defence (8%) and manufacturing (8%). It should be noted though that the RIDDOR notification system suffers from widespread under-reporting which has the potential to give a distorted view of both the scale and spread of cases by important risk factors such as industry sector.
- By country, number of reported cases have generally declined in all 3 home nations over the last 13 weeks, though in England and Scotland there are early signs that numbers may be increasing again. 70% of worker COVID-19 reports received over this period were from workplaces in England, 7% in Wales and 22% in Scotland. The number of reports by country can be affected by reporting of multiple cases by individual employers (see also note 3 below).
For more details of these breakdowns see table in the link below.
All cases that are reported to HSE and Local Authorities are assessed and investigations initiated where incidents meet our published Incident Selection Criteria. We are unable to comment on individual investigations at this time.
- The statutory disease reporting form was changed on 10 April 2020 to enable systematic identification of COVID-19 reports. Guidance was also issued on this date around reporting requirements for COVID-19 deaths under RIDDOR. While some COVID reports may have been made prior to 10 April 2020, they will not be consistent with later time periods. Therefore, the data considers reports from 10 April 2020 onwards only.
- Data is as reported by employers. While individual cases are reviewed by the relevant enforcing authority, these counts do not reflect the outcome of these reviews. It should also be noted that as the data is ‘as-reported’ by employers there is potential for some error in some of the reported data items. In particular, there is potential for some non-fatal COVID-19 cases to have been reported as fatal and vice versa.
- This data is intended to provide an indicator of the numbers being reported to the enforcing authority and how this changes over time rather than an accurate count of the absolute number of occupational COVID-19 cases. It should be noted that many of the reports made reflect historic cases, sometimes from up to several months ago.
Advance notice: Next planned update
These numbers will next be updated at 10am on Monday 26 July to cover the period ending 17 July 2021.