To all Prime Customers
I hope you are all well and staying safe. I wanted to make sure you all were aware of new HSE guidance about how COVID-19 cases should now be reported under RIDDOR. They have announced new rules that make it clear that there are only two specific circumstances under which you should report COVID-19 cases under RIDDOR, these are;
An unintended incident at work has led to someone’s possible or actual exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence.
This is if something happens at work which results in (or could result in) the release or escape of coronavirus you must report this as a dangerous occurrence. An example of a dangerous occurrence would be a lab worker accidentally smashing a glass vial containing coronavirus, leading to people being exposed.
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.
If there is reasonable evidence that someone diagnosed with COVID-19 was likely exposed because of their work you must report this as an exposure to a biological agent using the case of disease report. An example of a work-related exposure to coronavirus would be a health care professional who is diagnosed with COVID-19 after treating patients with COVID-19.
I am not aware of any of our customers who work in a scenario where the first circumstance would occur, but some of us may have workers who are confirmed to have COVID-19 (the second circumstance), but please note that there needs to be reasonable evidence that it was caused by exposure whilst at work. It will clearly be difficult to prove where and when a worker was exposed to the virus but if you have “reasonable evidence” that it happened at work then you are required to report it under RIDDOR, as a disease.
The PRIME System is set up to send your RIDDOR reports to the HSE through the automatic gateway that they provide, but only for INJURIES and not for Dangerous Occurrences or Diseases, therefore if you think that you have a COVID-19 related incident that matches either of the 2 circumstances above then you should report through the HSE’s website at https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/riddor-reporting-coronavirus.htm. This page also gives more information on the updated regulations.
Just to confirm, there are NO changes to how PRIME processes RIDDOR reports, and the reporting of major injuries and over 7 day absences due to injury is unchanged.
I also want to remind you of the following;
The Prime Support Team are still working and ready to help with any queries you have. The team are working from their homes but we are able to do so with no restrictions on how we operate and communicate. The support number 01494 778877 is manned 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, any calls outside of these hours go to a message service, and your message is then emailed to the Help Desk for action. As usual you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
We are here to help you, so please ask if you have any questions or need help closing down your sites and switching checks off. If you want to add any new checks to be done during these unusual times, you can do so, just contact us with the details.
I also wanted to remind you of the following features in Prime that may help you over the next few weeks and months. These are things you may already be making use of, but there may be some of you who are not aware of what can be done to help your reporting and analysis.
If you use this application in Prime, you can set it to have illnesses or suspected illnesses reported and tracked. Most of you already have an Incident Type of “Illness”, but some of our customers have already asked us to set up new Incident Types such as “COVID-19” or “Suspected Virus”. These can be set up so that when a user reports one, email alerts are sent to the relevant people in your organisation to inform them immediately. Our standard reporting and analysis functions will allow you to report on these incidents and provide you with detailed management information. On all incident types, there is a tab called “Affected Persons” where you can record details of people affected, illnesses and symptoms.
If you use this application in Prime, don’t forget it’s easy for us to set up new checks for your sites to complete. There may be additional controls you want your sites to carry out in the coming weeks to ensure your sites are following procedures and instructions. By having checks added, even on a temporary basis, you can make sure your sites know what they should be doing, and you can see that they are doing it.
If you use this application in Prime, don’t forget you can upload any policy, procedure or other information for your sites to have quick access to. Things are changing by the day at the moment so new policies and procedures that you produce can be quickly uploaded to this system for immediate visibility to your users.
Again we wish you all the best over these next few months and we will be here to help you hit the ground running when things start getting back to normal. Please get in touch if you have any questions or need any help.
Many thanks, Paul and the Prime team