Occupational accidents

Without prejudice to the provisions concerning the declaration of occupational accidents within the framework of an occupational accident insurance with a view to compensating the victims of the accident at work, the employer shall ensure that, after each occupational accident, his prevention service conducts an investigation into the causes of the accident, with the aim of defining the necessary preventive measures to prevent such an accident from happening again. The employer must take preventive measures to prevent a similar accident.

For an occupational accident that has resulted in at least 4 days of incapacity for work, the prevention advisor must draw up an occupational accident index card.

More information on Occupational accidents under the theme The well-being of workers.

In the case of a serious occupational accident (SOA), the victim's employer is subject to additional obligations.

A serious occupational accident is an accident which occurs in the workplace itself and which, because of its seriousness, requires a specific in-depth investigation in order to take preventive measures to avoid its recurrence.

The procedure in case of a SOA to be applied consists in practice of three or four steps:

  1. The SOA is immediately examined by the competent prevention service.
  2. In order to avoid an immediate recurrence of a SOA, precautionary measures are taken.
  3. A detailed report on the accident shall be provided to the inspectorate within ten days of the accident. In principle, the competent regional directorate of Supervision of Well-being at Work is the regional directorate where the activities take place. If it concerns a SOA within the meaning of the Well-being Act, the detailed report must be sent to the directorate where the accident occurred.

    This report shall include the investigation report of the prevention advisor and the employer's decisions on the measures to be taken, together with an action plan. The inspectorate follows up the investigation of the SOA in the first instance on the basis of the detailed report and, if necessary, carries out a further investigation and inspection visits. If it is not possible to transmit the detailed report for material facts, the inspectorate may accept a provisional report. In other cases, if no report is available, the inspectorate may appoint an expert paid by the insurance companies, which may claim them from their policyholders.

    In some cases, the inspectorate may appoint an expert before the 10-day deadline.

In the event of a SOA on a temporary or mobile construction site where several companies are involved or in a company where work is carried out by external companies, the procedures involve all parties concerned by the accident.

An occupational accident of a "very" serious nature, i.e.: a fatal accident or an accident resulting in a (presumed) permanent incapacity to work, is also immediately notified to the well-being inspection.

List of the different regional directorates:

More information

More information on this website under the theme The well-being of workers: