Accidents at work

 

  • Definition: an accident at work is considered to be a sudden event caused by an external reason, resulting in injury or death, which took place in connection with work
    (article 3 of the act of 30 October 2002 on social insurance for accidents at work and occupational diseases, Journal of Laws no. 199, item 1673)

  • Proceedings in the event of an accident (article 234, § 1 of the Labour Code; the Regulation of the Council of Ministers of 28 July 1998 on the definition of the circumstances and reasons for accidents at work and the method of documenting them, as well as the scope of information included in the register of accidents at work, Journal of Laws no. 115, item 744):
    • 1) take the necessary steps to eliminate or reduce the threat
      2) provide first aid to the injured parties
      3) determine the circumstances and the reasons for the accident under the specified procedure
      4) apply appropriate measures to prevent similar accidents
  • Who should be informed: the competent labour inspector and prosecutor - about a fatal, serious or collective accident at work and about every other accident that caused the cited consequences related to work, if this can be considered an accident at work (article 234, § 2 of the Labour Code)

  • Required documentation:
    • Accident protocol
      Register of accidents
      (article 234, § 3 of the Labour Code; Regulation of the Council of Ministers of 28 July 1998 on the definition of the circumstances and reasons for accidents at work and the method of documenting them, as well as the scope of information included in the register of accidents, Journal of Laws no. 115, item 744)
      Statistical accident card
      (Regulation of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy of 5 June 2000 on the definition of the specimen of the statistical accident card for accidents at work and the related method of proceeding, (Journal of Laws no. 51, item 612)
      Accident card for the work of non-permanent workers, employed on a personal service contract
      (Regulation of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy of 19 December 2002 on the method of acknowledging an incident arising during the accident insurance period to be an accident at work, the legal qualification of the incident, specimen of the accident card and the date of its completion. Journal of Laws No. 236, item 1992)

      Certificate on the state of health of the injured party - form N9
      Application to the Social Insurance Enterprise (ZUS) for compensation

 

Determination of the circumstances and reasons for accidents at work
(Regulation of the Council of Ministers of 28 July 1998 on the definition of the circumstances and reasons for accidents at work and the method of documenting them, as well as the scope of information included in the register of accidents, Journal of Laws no. 115, item 744)

  • I. Up to the time that the circumstances and reasons for the accident are established, the employer has the duty to secure the place of the accident in a manner that prevents:
    • Access to the place by unauthorised personnel;  
      The unnecessary start-up of machines and other technical equipment, which has been stopped as a result of the accident;
      Changing the location of the machines and other technical equipment, as well as changing the location of other items that caused the accident, or which allow for the reconstruction of its circumstances.
  • II. Who establishes the circumstances and causes of the accident:
    • The forensic team, who may consist of the following, in the case of enterprises where the social labour inspectorate and OSH service do not operate:
      - The employer and a specialist from outside the plant
      - The employer or a worker nominated by the employer or a specialist from outsider the plant and a representative of the workers who has been trained on OSH
  • III. Duties of the forensic team:
    • 1)  examination of the place of the accident, the technical state of the machinery, other technical equipment and protective devices, as well as analysis of the conditions under which the work was being performed and other circumstances that could have had an influence on the occurrence of the accident
      2)  preparation of a sketch or photograph of the place of the accident - if necessary
      3)  questioning of the injured party, if the state of his health permits
      4)  questioning of the witnesses to the accident  
      5)  request of a medical opinion  
      6)  collection of evidence regarding the accident
      7)  legal qualification of the accident
      8)  specification of recommendations and prophylactic measures
      9)  preparation of an accident protocol
      - after establishing the circumstances and causes of the accident
      - no later than 14 days from the receipt of notification of the accident  
      10) familiarisation of the injured party with the content of the protocol before its approval, instruction of the injured party on his rights to make comments and reservations on the conclusions presented in the protocol
  • IV. Approval and submission of the accident protocol
    • The employer approves the accident protocol no later than 5 days after it has been prepared  
      The employer returns an unapproved protocol, if reservations have been made to its content by the injured party or the family members of the worker who died, or if the protocol does not satisfy the conditions specified in the regulation
      The employer approves the protocol and immediately submits it to:
      - The injured party or the family members of the employee who died
      - The competent labour inspector – if the protocol refers to a fatal, serious or collective accident.
      The employer retains the accident protocol for 10 years, together with the remaining accident documentation.
  • The employer holds a register of accidents, which should contain:
    • The forename and surname of the injured party
      The place and date of the accident
      Information on the consequences of the accident for the injured party  
      The date of preparation of the accident protocol
      The statement on whether this was an accident at work
      A brief description of the circumstances of the accident
      The date of submission of the application to the Social Insurance Enterprise (ZUS)
      Information on benefits paid or reasons for the deprival of such benefits
      Other circumstances of the accident
  • Statistical accident card
    • The statistical accident card of an accident at work is completed (in duplicate) on the basis of the approved accident protocol, which states that the accident is an accident at work or it is an accident that is treated as being equal to an accident at work.  
      One copy of the statistical accident card regarding the accident at work, with the exception of its part II (supplementary section), is submitted by the employer to the competent statistical office for the voivodship, on the territory of which the employer’s registered office is located, by the 15th working day of the month following the month in which the accident protocol was approved.  
      The employer submits the completed part II of the statistical accident card no later than 6 months after the approval of the accident report.
      A second copy of the statistical accident card on the accident at work is retained by the employer for 10 years.
 
See also:

 

Module of the STER System supporting selection of personal protective equipment

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