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 9 January show:
- the number of occupational COVID-19 notifications made to enforcing authorities generally increased week-on-week between September and early November, back to the level seen at the height of the first peak in April, though has remained broadly level since.
- over the period 10 April 2020 – 9 January 2021, 21,622 occupational disease notifications of COVID-19 in workers have been reported to enforcing authorities (HSE and LAs), including 254 death notifications. Of these reports, over half (58%) 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). Around two-thirds (65%) 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 55% - 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 15% 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 80% of all worker reported cases (fatal and non-fatal) since 10 April were in HSE enforced workplaces. This proportion was higher in the first wave of reporting (April through August) than the second wave (September to date) – 84% compared with 77% - largely reflecting the re-opening of the economy in July.
- 84% of worker COVID-19 reports received since 10 April were from workplaces in England, 8% in Wales and 8% in Scotland. This profile is broadly consistent in both the first and second wave of reporting.
Total suspected occupational COVID-19 reports made by employers to the Enforcing Authorities, 12 April to 9 January 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 15 February to cover the period ending 6 February 2021.