The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has received almost 8000 reports of COVID-19 among workers, including 119 deaths, new statistics have revealed.
Between 10 April and 11 July 2020, 7971 disease notifications of COVID-19 in workers where occupational exposure is suspected were reported to enforcing authorities.
About three-quarters of reports received were for workers in the health and social work sector, such as hospitals, residential homes and day care. Most (85%) were from workplaces in England, 8% in Wales and 7% in Scotland.
The statistics show a fall week-on-week since the beginning of May, and is now at the lowest weekly level since 12 April.
'All cases that are reported to HSE and Local Authorities are being assessed and investigations initiated where incidents meet our published Incident Selection Criteria'
The figures include a total count of notifications where a worker is reported as having died as a result of COVID-19 following suspected occupational exposure; and a total count of notifications where a worker has been diagnosed as having COVID-19 following suspected occupational exposure.
Throughout the pandemic, IOSH magazine has contacted the HSE regarding COVID reports on a number of occasions, but the safety watchdog decided to temporarily hold back on providing statistics until it could recalibrate its processes.
The COVID-19 RIDDOR statistics will be updated on a rolling monthly basis for a short period of time, said the safety authority.
'All cases that are reported to HSE and Local Authorities are being assessed and investigations initiated where incidents meet our published Incident Selection Criteria,' the HSE added. 'We are unable to comment on individual investigations at this time.'
The statistics come days after a Yorkshire MP branded the regulator's response to COVID as 'appalling', while the agency announced a crackdown of businesses in and around Bradford.