Every accident at work or incident which might have led to an accident (near accident) requires that action be taken.
Serious or fatal accidents at work have to be reported to the responsible Labour Inspectorate immediately, unless the police have been notified. In the latter case the Labour Inspectorate is informed by the police. Regardless of this, the relevant work accident insurance institution (e.g. the Austrian Workers´ Compensation Board) has to be notified. This applies to fatal accidents and those in which the employee has been wholly or partly unable to work for more than three days. This notification must take place within five days of the accident.
In the case of less serious accidents or near miss, there is no obligation to notify the authorities. However, employees do have to inform their superiors or other responsible persons so that the necessary internal safeguards can be put in place. On the one hand, a new risk assessment has to be carried out and corresponding measures taken (such as the adaptation of work processes, the redesigning of workrooms or work places, the repair or reconstruction of machines, the replacement of dangerous agents, the reorganisation of works traffic etc.).On the other hand, employees have to receive relevant instruction or training if this is necessary to avoid accidents in the future. All measures which involve changes mean that new instructions to workers also need to be imparted or issued.
Employers have to keep records on all of the following:
- Fatal accidents
- Accidents which result in the injury of an employee and their absence from work for more than three calendar days
- Events which almost led to a fatal or serious accident at work and of which the authorities have been notified.
These records have to be kept for at least five years. If the relevant Labour Inspectorate requires it, employers have to draw up and submit reports on specific accidents at work.
All records and reports have to be made available to preventive services and safety representatives.