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Occupational Accident

Viimati uuendatud: 25.02.2017

Occupational Accident

Occupational accident is the health damage or death of an employee that occurred while executing a task given by the employer, or some other work done at their permission, during a resting break treated as working time, or some other event while acting in the employer’s interests.

Occupational accident is not health damage or death that occurred on the listed circumstances but what is not in a causal relationship with the employee’s work or working environment. The main characteristic of an occupational accident is that the health damage occurs during work. The expression “during the work” means that the accident is related to work, regardless where it takes place, or the working time interval during which work tasks are carried out.

Occupational accidents are not intentional self-injuries, accidents occurred on the way to or from work and injuries that are only related to the victim’s illness but there is no causal link to their work. When an accident is classified as an occupational accident, it is irrelevant whether it happened at the employer’s, some bystanders or the victim’s own fault.

What to Do in the Case of an Occupational Accident?

The injured must report of the occupation accident as soon as possible to the employer or their representative and the working environment representative. If the victim turns to a health care facility for health, the health care specialist must be notified that the accident happened at work. There have been cases where the employee has got a more severe health damage later or it has turned out that the injury is more severe than initially thought, but the employee has not reported the occupational accident. In this case, it is very hard for the victim to prove afterwards that the health damage was caused by a previously occurred occupational accident. If the employee does not report the occupational accident in due time, they are deprived of the legally determined benefits. In the case of occupational accidents or injuries caused by an occupational accident, the sickness benefit is paid by the Health Insurance Fund starting from the 2nd illness day and in the 100% extent.

The employer must immediately investigate all occupational accidents, determine their circumstances and reasons. At the end of the investigation, the employer must determine means to prevent similar cases. The investigation involves the working environment representative or the employees’ trustee. The employer must hold the occupational accident investigation in ten workdays starting from its occurrence. At the end of the investigation, a formal report is compiled in three copies – one for the employer, one presented to the Labour Inspectorate in three workdays after the investigation, and one for the injures or their representative. The labour inspector investigates all mortal and, if required, also other occupational accidents.

Right to Demand the Employer to Compensate for the Damage Caused by the Health Damage

The employee who has developed a health disorder while carrying out work tasks has a right to ask the employer to compensate for the damage caused. The employer must, first of all, compensate for the reasonable medical costs related to the treatment of the occupational disease; compensate the difference of the temporarily decreased income caused by the occupational disease; in the case of the employee’s death, the employer must also compensate for the reasonable funeral costs. If the employee who died due to an occupational disease had, during the time of their death, the legal maintenance obligation, the employer is obliged to pay the surviving dependant a monetary compensation that corresponds to the maintenance amount that the deceased would have probably provided the surviving dependant with during their lifetime. Injured employees have a right to demand the employer to pay for the extra cost caused by the health damage, like prosthesis, aids, and prescription drugs. If the employer does not accept claims by the employee or persons related to the employee, parties can turn to court to solve the dispute.

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