Scottish Ambulance Service fail to report staff who catch Covid19 at work to health and safety executive

UNISON is calling for an investigation into Scottish Ambulance Service after it emerged that they were failing to report cases as transmitted in the workplace.

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR), which is Health & Safety legislation, requires employers to report and keep a record of Covid19 cases that are caught at work. Employers who ignore RIDDOR, or fail to report incidents, could be breaking the law.

The employer-produced absence statistics show that while over 1000 ambulance staff, almost 1 in 4, have been diagnosed with Covid19 not one case has been recorded through RIDDOR as work related.

David O’Connor, UNISON regional organiser said: “Over 1000 staff in the Scottish Ambulance Service, around a quarter of employees, have been diagnosed as Covid19 positive but not one case has been recorded through RIDDOR as work related. This cannot be an accurate reflection of what is happening.

It’s vital that Covid19 cases are are properly recorded, especially for those employees suffering the longer-term effects of the virus. It’s also crucial for the Health & Safety Executive to identify where and how risks arise so they can prevent similar occurrences in the future. It would appear that Scottish Ambulance staff are recording some of the highest levels of Covid19 for NHS employees in Scotland.”

The information has come from weekly Covid19 absence updates. UNISON is raising at National Partnership Meeting with Scottish Ambulance Service. At the meeting on 3 December we referred to well over 25 per cent of staff having tested positive, that recently figures have seen an increase due to testing catching asymptomatic. First grievance has been lodged over the employers failure to report.

The vast majority of Scottish Ambulance staff who have had the virus have been patient facing staff: Paramedics, technicians and patient transport. Making it difficult to explain why they are not recorded as transmitted at work.

UNISON is the trade union that represents all NHS staff including paramedics, technicians, and health and social staff, local government, police staff and utility workers

RIDDOR statistics HSE reported a 2019/20 figure of 65,427 injuries reported under RIDDOR ( ).

UNISON contact details
David O’Connor, regional organiser: 07958 121861