What is an accident at work?
Pursuant to the Act on social insurance against accidents at work and occupational diseases, an accident at work is defined as a sudden work-related event, caused by an external cause, causing injury or death. The event may be considered an accident at work if it occurred during the performance of routine employee activities or on the order of the superior, when the employee performed activities for the employer without instructions, when the event took place while the employee was at the employer’s disposal on the way between the employer’s seat and the place of performance employee duties and when it took place during the employee’s business trip on behalf of the employer.
A fatal accident at work is recognized when the employee’s death occurs within 6 months from the date of the accident. A serious accident at work is qualified if, as a result of the accident, the employee suffered a serious injury, e.g. loss of pattern or hearing, bodily injury, incurable disease, health disorder, permanent mental illness, permanent or partial incapacity for work, permanent deformation or disfigurement of the body. When an accident at work was experienced by two or more people, such an event is referred to as a collective accident. The injured employee and witnesses should immediately inform the employer about the incident. Witnesses to the incident should do so in writing. The employer is obliged to provide the victim with first aid and to secure the place of the accident.
If the accident was fatal, serious or collective, the district labor inspector and the public prosecutor, competent for the place of the event, should be notified. Work should be stopped, and the social labor inspectorate will decide on the resumption of work and restarting the machines. After receiving the notification of an accident at work, the employer is obliged to create an accident team. It should include, among others enter a person who has completed OHS training or an employee entrusted with the performance of tasks of the OHS service and a branch labor inspector. However, depending on the level of employment and the system of health and safety implementation adopted by the employer, such exceptions are also possible from the above rule. The goal of the accident team is to investigate the circumstances and causes of an accident at work. The place is inspected, relevant information is collected, sketches and photos are prepared, interviews are conducted with the injured party, witnesses and other employees. As a result, the members of the accident team draw conclusions about the occupational risk at the workplace where the accident took place.