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 13 March show:
- over the period 10 April 2020 – 13 March 2021, 31,380 occupational disease notifications of COVID-19 in workers have been reported to enforcing authorities (HSE and LAs), including 367 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 and January, peaking in January with 5,710 reports, before falling back in February (4,183 reports over the month).
- by week: while the weekly numbers are subject to a degree of natural fluctuation, since mid-January weekly numbers show a generally downwards trend, reflecting the overall UK COVID infection rates. Weekly numbers in early March are now around the level last seen around early/mid-October.
- of the total occupational COVID-19 reports made since April 2020, just over 70% have been made since early September during the second wave of employer reporting of occupational cases of COVID-19.
- the majority of reports received since 10 April were for workers in the Health and Social Work sector (including for example hospitals, residential homes and day care). Over 60% of reports were recorded by employers against these activities, although the actual percentage 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.
- the proportion of reports recorded against Health and Social Work activities was higher in the first wave of reporting (April through August) than the second wave (September to date) – 78% compared with 54% - in part reflecting the re-opening of the economy in July with more reports now coming through from other sectors. In particular, Education and Manufacturing combined accounted for less than 2% of all first wave reports, but around 16% of all reports made so far in the second wave. 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.
- around three-quarters of all worker COVID-19 reports (fatal and non-fatal) received since 10 April were from HSE enforced workplaces.
- 85% of worker COVID-19 reports received since 10th April were from workplaces in England, 7% in Wales and 8% in Scotland.
Total suspected occupational COVID-19 reports made by employers to the Enforcing Authorities, April 2020 to February 2021
|Month||Number of reports|
Total suspected occupational COVID-19 reports made by employers to the Enforcing Authorities, 12 April 2020 to 13 March 2021
|Week commencing||Number of reports|
- 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 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, they will not be consistent with later time periods. Therefore, the data considers reports from 10 April 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.
Advance notice: Next planned update
These numbers will next be updated at 10.00am on Monday 26 April to cover the period ending 17 April 2021.