The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) is an independent scientific advisory body that looks at industrial injuries benefit and how it is administered. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the IIAC has been reviewing and assessing the increasing scientific evidence on the occupational risks of Covid-19. This report builds on an IIAC interim Position Paper published in February 2021 and considers more recent data on the occupational impacts of Covid-19, particularly around the longer term health problems and disability caused by the virus.
IIAC found the most convincing and consistent evidence was for health and social care workers in certain occupational settings, who present with five serious pathological complications following Covid-19 that have been shown to cause persistent impairment and loss of function in some workers.
The IIAC recommends the following prescription should be added to the list of prescribed diseases for which benefit is payable. This applies to workers in hospitals and other healthcare settings and care home/home care workers working in proximity to patients in the two weeks prior to infection:
- Persisting pneumonitis or lung fibrosis following acute Covid-19 pneumonitis.
- Persisting pulmonary hypertension caused by a pulmonary embolism developing between 3 days before and 90 days after a diagnosis of Covid-19.
- Ischaemic stroke developing within 28 days of a Covid-19 diagnosis.
- Myocardial infarction developing within 28 days of a Covid-19 diagnosis.
- Symptoms of Post Intensive Care Syndrome following ventilatory support treatment for Covid-19.