Investigation of occupational diseases
The occupational health doctor shall notify the employer, the Labour Inspectorate and the doctor who referred the employee to the occupational health doctor of the occupational disease in writing or in a format which can be reproduced in writing no later than five days after diagnosing the disease (hereinafter notice of occupational disease).
If the occupational health doctor finds that the employee's occupational disease may have been caused by working for previous employers, they shall also enter the names and addresses of these employers in the notice of the occupational disease and inform them of the employee's occupational disease.
The circumstances and causes of an occupational disease are explained by an investigation carried out by the employer, in which the working environment representative or, in the absence thereof, the employees' representative, must participate with the right to vote. If the employer does not have the necessary knowledge, they must involve a competent expert in the investigation.
In order to find out the circumstances and causes of an occupational disease, the occupational disease investigator:
- monitors the proper implementation of work organisation and medical measures taken to prevent work-related illnesses, including examination of documents reflecting employee health examinations, working environment risk assessment documents, safety instructions approved by the employer, documents certifying occupational health and safety guidance and training, documents certifying the employment relationship or work organisation, and prepares extracts and copies of the documents if necessary;
- takes statements from persons who have information on circumstances relevant to the occupational disease;
- identifies the persons responsible for compliance with occupational health and safety requirements.
The employer must carry out the investigation of the occupational disease no later than within 20 working days after receiving the notice of the occupational disease. The employer shall prepare a report on the results of the investigation and present it to the injured party or a person representing their interests and the Labour Inspectorate.
The report also outlines the measures taken by the employer to prevent a similar occupational disease. The employer registers cases of occupational diseases and communicates the relevant information to the working environment specialist, the working environment representative, the employees' representative and the working environment council.
Attention must be drawn to the fact that the data on the health status of an employee obtained in the course of an investigation of an occupational disease are sensitive personal data which are processed pursuant to the procedure provided for in the Personal Data Protection Act. Data on the investigation of accidents at work and occupational diseases shall be preserved for 55 years.