Reporting serious incident and documenting exposure to COVID-19

If a member of staff or a student at Umeå University has been exposed to COVID-19, this must be reported as a serious incident to the Swedish Work Environment Authority. Also, the head of department or equivalent manager who is responsible for the work environment, must also document each incident if infection has been confirmed.

A report must be made if exposure has occurred at work or during studies

If an employee or student has been exposed to an infectious agent related to a social infectious disease in the line of their work or studies, the head of department or equivalent manager is responsible for reporting the incident to the Swedish Work Environment Authority without delay. A definition of exposure can be found further down.

A report of a serious incident must also be made if a head of department or equivalent manager later finds out that an employee or student has been exposed to an infectious agent related to a social infectious disease in the line of their work or studies. In other words, the requirement also applies retroactively, for incidents that have already occurred.

Examples:

  • When you are informed that a member of staff or a student has been infected with COVID-19, you must file a report if it is suspected that the member of staff or student may have been infected during their work or studies in premises that the university has activities in.
  • If a member of staff or a student who is carrier or a suspected carrier of disease has met other employees or students in premises that the university has activities in.

A report of a serious incident must NOT take place if the incident occurred:

  • when work or studies took place at home.
  • in situations outside of work or studies, for instance during the commute to or from work or studies.

The head of department or equivalent manager is responsible for filing the report. When a member of staff has several employments, it is the head of the operations in which the exposure occurred who is responsible for filing the report.

If several members of staff or students were exposed at the same time, only one report is required.

How to file a report of a serious incident

File a report of a serious incident through the link https://anmalarbetsskada.se/p2/tillbud on the Swedish Work Environment Authority's website. The form is only available in Swedish, so please ask a colleague or the Crisis Management Team for help if necessary. It is important that you fill in the field "Vad hände?" (What happened?) under headline 5 by explaining the situation. Please note that no personal data or names of people involved may be entered into the form.

When you have filled out all the fields and submitted the report, you will receive a receipt that you must save and keep. The receipt must also be emailed to corona@umu.se for forwarding to the university's work environment coordinators.

Requirement for documentation and measures

If an employee or student has been exposed to COVID-19 at work or during their studies, and it has been confirmed that it really is the coronavirus, this must be documented and the details must be stored for at least 10 years in a GDPR secure file storage space. Head of departments or equivalent managers responsible for the work environment at the workplace are also responsible for documenting and taking measures to ensure that other members of staff or students do not risk being exposed to the coronavirus during their work or studies in premises that the university has activities in. If you fail to document this, you may be liable to pay penalty.

The following information must be documented:

  • which members of staff or students have been exposed.
  • which type of work, or form of studies, was conducted.
  • how the exposure occurred.
  • what infectious agent the member of staff or student was exposed to.

Definition of exposure to the coronavirus

For an event to be classified as an incident causing serious danger to someone's life and health, the incident must have lead to a member of staff or student being exposed to the coronavirus.

The Swedish Work Environment Authority defines exposure as infectious agents reaching a member of staff or student. This can take place for instance by

  • a person who is suspected or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 exhaling air that is then inhaled by a member of staff or student. The Department of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention at Region Västerbotten states that risk occurs when the distance between two people is less than 2 metres for longer than 15 minutes. Furthermore, a person is to be seen as a disease carrier for 48 hours prior to showing their first symptoms and for at least seven days from when symptoms first arose. If a person is ill for longer than seven days, a person is to be assessed as infection-free two days after being symptom-free at the earliest.
  • coming in contact with droplets containing the virus, so the virus can reach mouth, nose or eyes, for instance through the use of hands.
  • a member of staff or student carrying out work tasks or studies, in which physical distancing has not been possible, close to a person who is suspected confirmed to be infected with COVID-19.

Do you have questions?

If you have questions about the procedure of reporting a serious incident due to exposure to COVID-19 or of the need to document incidents, please contact the Crisis Management Team on corona@umu.se.

Anna Lawrence
5/17/2021