Updates for Entrants

Updates for Entrants

15 January 2024

Section 1 – Statistics and Accident History

What are Reportable Diseases?

For NI entrants, reportable diseases are prescribed here on pages 15 –24
https://www.hseni.gov.uk/sites/hseni.gov.uk/files/228582%20HSENI%20RIDDOR%20Book%20final.pdf

For ROI entrants, we would like to update all entrants as to what are classified as reportable diseases

Biological Agents
Diseases caused by working with a biological agent * (not just SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of the disease COVID-19) are reportable to the Authority under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Biological Agents) Regulations 2013 and 2020.
Reg. 12 (5) an employer who becomes aware of, or a registered medical practitioner (including a responsible medical practitioner) who diagnoses, a case of disease or death of an employee resulting from occupational exposure to a biological agent, to notify such occurrence to the Authority. A case of COVID-19, resulting from working with the virus can be notified using the reporting template (form) provided on our website at the following link.

https://www.hsa.ie/eng/topics/covid-19_coronavirus_information_and_resources/covid-19_guidance_and_advice/guidance_and_advice/form_bar01.docx

https://www.hsa.ie/eng/topics/covid-19_coronavirus_information_and_resources/covid-19_guidance_and_advice/guidance_and_advice/covid_19_%E2%80%93_faq_s_and_advice_for_employers_and_employees/reporting_of_covid-19_cases.html

* How do I determine if a case of COVID-19 is work-related?
There are two scenarios where occupational exposure to biological agents can occur:

  1. Occupational exposure to SARs-CoV-2 can result from carrying out work activities that involve a deliberate intention to work with the virus e.g. propagating the virus in a research laboratory.
  2. Occupational exposure can also occur incidentally from specific work activities involving direct exposure to the virus e.g. working directly with a COVID-19 patient, handling SARs-CoV-2 infected waste, conducting COVID-19 testing or carrying out diagnostic testing for COVID-19 in a laboratory.

Establishing if an employee was infected with COVID-19 due to occupational exposure as a result of their work activities will require the employer to make a reasonable determination of the relevant circumstances.

Employees in work settings such as retail, offices, construction, manufacturing, hospitality, transport (air, rail, bus) etc. are not working directly with the coronavirus (SARs-CoV-2) and therefore the Biological Agents Regulations would not be applicable to those places of work including the reporting requirements.

Carcinogens
Reg. 12 (7) Carcinogen Regulations 2021 requires: an employer who becomes aware of, or of any registered medical practitioner including a responsible medical practitioner who diagnoses a case of cancer resulting from occupational exposure, to notify such case to the Authority.

Asbestos
For diseases due to exposure to asbestos, Regulation 24(2) of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Exposure to Asbestos) Regulations 2006 requires where a registered medical practitioner becomes aware of a case of asbestosis or mesothelioma, they are reportable in writing to the Authority.

Prescribed occupational diseases
Under S.I. No. 102 of 2007 Social Welfare (Consolidated Occupational Injuries) Regulations, there is a list of prescribed occupational diseases (categorised into occupational diseases caused by physical, chemical, biological agents or other causes) which is taken from the European Schedule of Occupational Diseases.  The Department of Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands, manage the Prescribed Diseases system. Included in the list are conditions relating to occupational exposure to noise and vibration etc, as well as extrinsic allergic alveolitis (“including farmer’s lung”), and Mesothelioma / pneumoconiosis caused by asbestos exposure is also included in the list.

The diseases and relevant occupations are listed in S.I. No. 102/2007 – Social Welfare (Consolidated Occupational Injuries) Regulations 2007 and in the Department of Social Protection’s Information Leaflet SW33 or here (Appendix 3 – Pages 96 – 102).

Occupational illness surveillance scheme (THOR)
Finally, there is also an occupational illness surveillance scheme (THOR) operated in Ireland for medical practitioners where occupational physicians, chest physicians, dermatologists and general practitioners anonymously report occupational illness. The data provides valuable information on the types of work-related illnesses, causal agents and the industry sectors they occur in. More detailed information on THOR is available on our website.

If your organisation is made aware of any of the above diseases, they are reportable.