PHILIPSBURG–The Inspectorate of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA said on Tuesday that employers have an obligation to report all occupational accidents to the Labour Inspectorate.
This duty applies to all employees, permanent and temporary.
In the event of an accident at work, one can file a report by calling 1-721-524-7247 or by sending an e-mail to
email@example.com. This can be done any time of the day, seven days a week.
The report should include the victim’s name and condition, the name of the company or employer, contact information of the managing director or other similar person, when and where the accident occurred, and a short description of the accident. A completed accident report form is expected within two working days.
Persons are requested to leave the accident site unchanged as much as possible. The Inspectorate will initiate an investigation as soon as possible after the report. The Inspector must be able to properly assess the situation on the spot.
A work-related accident is any accident that occurs to an employee during the execution of his work whereby the employee receives an injury that requires medical attention.
Traffic accidents on the way to and from work are not considered to be occupational accidents, except if the employee is executing work for an employer; for example, picking up or dropping off a package for the company. Similarly, if one is, for example, a tour guide on a coach or a garbage collector on a truck, then the reporting obligation exists.
Various terminologies are used in the reporting process. “Permanent injury” means, among other things, amputation, blindness, or chronic psychological/traumatic complaints. “Hospital admission” means that a victim is admitted to a hospital. A one-day admission is also considered a hospital admission. Outpatient treatment is not considered to be hospitalisation.
The Inspectorate investigates all mandatory reports of occupational accidents. Sometimes there is reason for the Inspectorate to also investigate non-mandatory labour accidents; for example, when there is suspicion that the accident is the result of a violation of statutory regulations.
If the Inspectorate decides not to investigate an accident, the employer will be contacted by telephone. The motivation of this decision will be confirmed later in writing. The victim will also receive a copy of this document.
The goals of an investigation are to determine the circumstances and cause(s) of the accident, to check whether the accident was caused by one or more violations of statutory provisions, and to give effective recommendations to prevent similar incidents from happening again.
“The Inspectorate strives to complete investigations within six weeks and will draft an accident report, which will be provided to the employer. The inspector can issue written instructions, if one or more violations of the working conditions legislation are recorded that are demonstrably related to the accident.
“Other investigations, besides the investigation by the Labour Inspectorate, can take place at the same time; for example, in the case of a fatal accident, where the Prosecutor [Prosecutor’s Office – Ed.] first checks to see whether a crime has been committed,” said the Inspectorate.
For additional information, one can contact the VSA Ministry Inspectorate at tel. 1-721-524-7247.