TALLINN - The Occupational Health and Safety Act has been amended as of January 1 and several new regulations have entered into force in Estonia as a result, including an updated procedure for submitting an occupational accident report as well as the content thereof.
Until now, employers had an obligation to submit to the Estonian Labor Inspectorate a report on all occupational accidents. Starting from January 1, however, a report is only required if a severe or fatal occupational accident has taken place, or in case of a minor accident as a result of which the employee obtained a certificate of incapacity for work, spokespeople for the inspectorate told BNS on Wednesday.
An occupational accident report thus does not need to be submitted if a minor accident has occurred, as a result of which no employees were issued an incapacity certificate.
The employer is required to initiate an investigation into the occupational accident regardless of the severity of the injury and whether or not the employee has been declared incapacitated for work. An investigation has to be launched without delay if the accident results in temporary incapacity for work, serious bodily injury or death. If the employee was not declared temporarily incapacitated for work following a minor accident, the employer has the right to decide the manner and procedure of the investigation.
The Labor Inspectorate recalls that all minor accidents must be investigated as well, as the purpose of each investigation is to prevent the possibility of such incidents occurring in the future. The employer must register all occupational accidents and occupational diseases and notify to the injured party, working environment specialist, working environment council, working environment representative and other representatives of workers of all relevant information as well as the results of the investigation.
The employer shall submit a report on the investigation results to the victim or a person representing his or her interests and the local office of the Labor Inspectorate. The new form for the report is available in Estonian in the State Gazette at the internet address https://www.riigiteataja.ee/aktilisa/1051/2201/8016/VV_75m_lisa2.pdf# .
The Labor Inspectorate must investigate if necessary, cases of occupational disease and other occupational accidents. The inspectorate does not investigate occupational accidents regarding which criminal proceedings are taking place. When the proceedings have been concluded, the inspectorate will investigate fatal accidents and occupational accidents resulting in severe bodily injury regarding which criminal proceedings were initiated due to non-compliance with health and safety requirements. The inspectorate will also investigate, if necessary those occupational accidents which prompted criminal proceedings due to non-compliance with health and safety requirements through negligence.