There are several reasons to why it is important, that all sorts of accidents and industrial injuries are reported immediately after they have occurred. First of all, to give the injured the possibility of being awarded a compensation, and second of all to use the injury, which should never have happened in the first place, to learn from in the future.
Students are covered by the health and safety at work act but not by industrial injury insurance. This means, that as a student you have to follow the same rules as the employees in a laboratory, but you are not entitled to compensation if injured. Therefore, students should take out an accident insurance. Be aware that some insurance companies make certain reservations for injuries which have occurred in a laboratory. The students’ council’s service office will help you take out insurance. Students, who are connected to the Department of Biology, are also connected to a VIP. VIP is responsible for the student being properly informed about safety in the laboratories.
The responsibility of reporting an accident lies with the employer (Head of Department). There are very specific rules on how to report i.e. a serious poisoning. The health and Safety at Work Group are familiar with these rules, and all types of accident, however small they may seem, must be reported to them. VIP’s are responsible for contacting the Health and Safety at Work Group. Everybody is obligated to notify the Health and Safety at Work Group about any accidents and industrial injuries.
On behalf of the Head of Department, the Health and Safety at Work Group will make a notification of accident according to existing rules. At the same time, the group’s representatives will make sure the Head of Department is informed. This is especially important, if the extent of the accident could attract media attention.
When the accident has occurred and a report of the accident has been made, there will be an analysis of the accident to prevent something similar from happening again. After smaller accidents, it will be the Health and Safety at Work Group who will be analyzing the sequence of events. After larger accidents the Working Environment Committee will be involved.
‘Industrial injuries’ is the term used by the Danish Working Environment Service about injuries which are wholly or partially due to impacts from the injured person’s work environment. This can be musculoskeletal disorders, allergies or hearing damages
The Health and Safety at Work Group can report an industrial injury but since they rarely posses the qualifications to evaluate the injury, it is usually the injured person’s own doctor who will do so.
The doctor is obligated to report when he/her discovers an industrial injury.
Learn more on the National Board of Industrial Injuries’ homepage.