Investigation of an accident at work
The employer investigates all accidents at the workplace to find out their circumstances and causes. Based on the results of the investigation, the employer must plan and implement measures to prevent the recurrence of a similar accident at work. The working environment representative with the right to vote or, in their absence, another employee representative shall participate in the investigation.
The employer must investigate the accident at work within ten working days after the accident.
The purpose of an investigation into an accident at work is to find out the circumstances and causes of the accident at work and to determine measures to prevent a recurrence of a similar incident.
- In order to find out the circumstances and causes of an accident at work, the occupational accident investigator:
- ascertains whether the accident was causally related to the employee's work or working environment;
- collects evidence from the accident site. During the collection of evidence, conducts an inspection of the scene, takes photographs or diagrams, assesses the compliance of the workplace and the work equipment used with the occupational health and safety requirements;
- takes statements from persons who have information on the relevant circumstances of the accident;
- examines relevant documents, including the working environment risk assessment documents, safety instructions approved by the employer, documents certifying the occupational health and safety instruction and training, and documents certifying the employment relationship or work organisation, and makes extracts and copies of the documents if necessary;
- identifies the persons responsible for the compliance with occupational health and safety requirements; where appropriate, involves a competent expert in the conduct of the investigative measure.
If an accident at work resulted in temporary incapacity for work
If the investigation reveals that the accident does not qualify as an occupational accident, the employer is required to prepare a report describing the circumstances of the accident and stating the reason for ending the investigation. The report must be signed by the employer’s representative and the working environment representative or, in their absence, by the employees’ representative.
The employer is required to prepare the report on the accident at work in the working environment database or submit it to the Labour Inspectorate and the victim or the representative of their interests via the working environment database or in writing within three working days of the completion of the investigation.
If the accident at work did not result in the employee’s temporary incapacity for work, the employer has the right to decide on the manner and procedures of the investigation, i.e. the manner in which the investigation is conducted and which documents are prepared.
If necessary, the Labour Inspectorate also investigates accidents at work and occupational diseases. The Labour Inspectorate, however, does not investigate an accident at work in connection with which criminal proceedings are taking place.