In the event of a fatal, serious or mass accident at work or any other accident that had such consequences and may be regarded as an accident at work, the employer must notify a district labour inspector. Find out how to do this.
How to proceed
This procedure can be completed:
- at an office
- by post
What you should know and who can use this service
What an accident at work is
An accident at work is understood as a sudden event caused by an external factor, resulting in an injury or death, which occurred in connection to work:
- during or in connection with the performance of ordinary activities or superiors’ instructions by a worker;
- during or in connection with the performance of activities for the employer by a worker, even without being instructed to do so;
- while a worker remains at the employer’s disposal on the way between the employer’s registered office and the place where an obligation arising from the employment relationship is fulfilled.
An accident suffered by a worker in the following circumstances is treated as an accident at work in terms of the right to statutory benefits:
- during a business travel in circumstances other than those listed above, unless the accident was caused by the worker’s actions unrelated to the performance of the tasks assigned to that worker;
- during training on common self-defence;
- during the performance of tasks assigned by unions organisations operating at the employer’s establishment.
In order for a specific event to be classified as an accident at work, it must be established whether all the conditions for an accident have been fulfilled: the event was sudden, caused by an external factor, resulted in an injury or death and was related to work.
A worker who has suffered an accident should immediately notify his or her superior accordingly, if that person is able to do so.
What accidents the employer must report
The employer must notify the district labour inspector having jurisdiction over the place where the event occurred of:
- a fatal accident at work;
- a serious accident at work;
- a mass accident at work;
- any other work-related accident that had one of the above consequences (fatal, serious, mass) if it may be regarded as an accident at work.
A fatal accident at work is an accident which leads to death within a period of up to 6 months from the date of the accident.
A serious accident at work is an accident which leads to serious bodily injury, such as:
- loss of sight, hearing, speech or reproductive capacity, or another bodily injury,
- impairment of basic bodily functions,
- an incurable or life-threatening disease,
- a chronic mental illness,
- permanent, complete or partial incapacity for work in a profession,
- permanent, significant disfigurement or deformation of the body.
A mass accident at work is an accident suffered by at least two persons.
Please note! Besides a labour inspector, the employer must also notify a public prosecutor of the accident. Failure by the employer to notify a labour inspector or a public prosecutor of the accident at work constitutes an offence, subject to a penalty from PLN 1 000 to PLN 30 000.
When you should complete this procedure
Where you can complete this procedure
You can complete this procedure at:
- District Labour Inspectorates
The employer must notify of an accident the district labour inspector having jurisdiction over the place where the event occurred.
What to do step by step
Submission of a notification of an accident
A notification of a fatal, serious or mass accident at work or any other work-related accident that had such consequences, if it may be regarded as an accident, must be submitted by the employer in writing. The notification should include the following information:
- the identification details of the employer (name of the employer, full name, position, phone number);
- the date and time of the event;
- the number of injured persons;
- the details of the injured persons (including their full names, the basis on which work is performed and the consequences of the accident for the injured persons);
- the accident site;
- details of the accident.
To speed up the process, a notification may also be submitted by phone. The phone numbers for reporting accidents at work can be found using the contact search engine on the National Labour Inspectorate’s (Państwowa Inspekcja Pracy) website – you must select the relevant province.
You can submit a document as:
Receipt of the notification of an accident
The competent district labour inspector receives the notification of a fatal, serious or mass accident at work or any other work-related accident that had such consequences, if it may be regarded as an accident at work, from the employer.
How much you will have to pay
The service is free of charge
How long you will have to wait
Good to know
What the employer should do in the event of an accident
The employer must ensure that first aid is provided to the injured persons and take necessary measures to eliminate or reduce the risk (for example, machines and devices should be shut down and the supply of power or materials to machines should be cut off).
The employer must also ensure that the accident site cannot be accessed by unauthorised persons and the machines and other technical devices shut down as a result of that event cannot be started where not necessary. The machines, devices and other objects which caused the accident should not be moved if the circumstances, details and causes of the accident may be determined on the basis of their position and condition.
The employer must systematically analyse accidents and introduce preventive measures so that such accidents can be avoided in the future.
What a post-accident procedure involves
The employer must also conduct a post-accident procedure. As part of this procedure, an accident investigation team, i.e. an OHS professional and a social labour inspector, should determine the circumstances and causes of the accident at work. If the employer does not have OHS services, the team will include the employer or a worker to whom the employer assigns OHS tasks, or an external specialist. If the company does not have a social labour inspector, the team will include a workers’ representative, who must hold a valid certificate of completion of OHS training.
Please note! If you are a small employer and you do not employ enough workers to put together a two-person team, the team will consist of you and an external specialist.
The team will examine the circumstances and causes of the accident, which will include investigating the accident site, interviewing the injured person or witnesses and consulting a doctor.
No later than 14 days from the notification of the accident, the team will draw up an accident report, in which it will indicate whether the event qualifies as an accident at work and, if so, in what circumstances it happened and what caused it. The injured person may submit reservations and observations about the content of the report. The report will then be approved by the employer, who should do this within 5 days from the date on which the report is drawn up.
The employer will submit the approved accident report to:
- the injured person;
- the family (in the case of a fatal accident);
- a labour inspector (in the case of a fatal, mass or serious accident);
The employer must retain the report on the circumstances and causes of the accident at work, together with other documentation on the accident, for 10 years.
An injured person who does not agree with the content of a report may apply to a court for correction of the accident report. As part of these proceedings, the parties (the injured person and the employer) usually argue about whether the event concerned may be regarded as an accident at work.
Important! The employer must keep a register of accidents at work. The costs associated with determining the circumstances and causes of accidents at work are borne by the employer.