Approximately 600 Employees thought to have caught Covid-19 at Work in Scotland

Employers have a legal duty to report cases where there is evidence which suggests that an employee diagnosed with Covid-19 caught it whilst at work.  According to data published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a total of 594 reports were made to them by employers in Scotland concerned that employees had contracted Covid-19 at work.

The figures released show:

  • 373 of the cases were in the residential care sector;
  • 32 were healthcare staff;
  • 146 were classified as working in “personal services” such as hairdressers or funeral directors; and
  • 43 worked in “other industries”

Hand sanitizer bottle

It has also been reported that the HSE has made inquiries into 5 reported deaths in Scotland.  They concluded that in 4 cases there was insufficient evidence to confirm they were the result of work related exposure to coronavirus.  The 5th case is still under investigation.

The figures have been criticised by Trades Unions across Scotland.  The secretary of the GMB, Gary Smith stated that “the events of the last 6 months simply do not give any confidence in these figures”. 

Roz Foyer, the General Secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress was a highly critical of the Government:

“These figures are almost certainly the tip of the iceberg.  We suspect that there has been significant under-reporting, not to mention a significant incidence of transmission from workers without symptoms.

Even taken at face value these figures shine a light on the failures we have witnesses in the delivery of adequate PPE and the slow response to the provision of testing for suspected Covid infection. 

Now more than ever, Government and every employer have the responsibility to get things right.”

Employers must continue to monitor government and industry body advice to show, on balance, they are complying with their legal duties to ensure their employees are safe in the workplace.  If employers do not take the risk of transmission seriously it is possible that there will be a rise in workplace related claims.

Walker Laird’s experienced personal injury lawyers in Glasgow and Paisley advise clients all over Scotland in respect of accidents at work.  Offering funding on a No Win No Fee basis our personal injury lawyers are on hand to provide pragmatic expert legal advice.

Contact us today and a member of our team will be in touch.