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Reporting and record-keeping in the area of work accidents

Czech Republic: As of 1 January 2015, employers have new duties when it comes to logging and reporting work accidents

A recent amendment to the decree setting out the procedure for logging and reporting work accidents and transmitting accident reports has introduced new duties for employers in this respect, effective as of 1 January 2015. The way in which these duties are being discharged in practice continues to be marred by various shortcomings and deficiencies, which is why we decided to give a brief updated summary of the issue of work accidents below.

Among other things, the amendment has introduced new templates – forms published by the Czech ministry of labor and social affairs on the web, and which can thus be submitted in hardcopy but also electronically. These forms are the "Incident Report" and the "Incident Report - Notice of Changes".

Pursuant to the Labor Code, employers must always bring light into the causes and circumstances of each work accident; until the matter has been thoroughly investigated, they must not tamper with the site of the accident unless they have a pressing reason to do so.

Employers must keep an accident log book about all accidents (irrespective of whether they resulted in the injured person's incapacity for work or not). The above-mentioned Government Decree lays down the mandatory contents of this log book. Newly, each entry must be accompanied by a verbal description of the course of events. Further, accidents must be categorized by the type of injury and the affected body part, as specified in Annex 3 to the Decree.

Further, the employer must draw up an incident report within five working days form the day on which they learned of the accident.

Finally, the employer must also promptly report the work accident to the following authorities and institutions, followed by the written incident report no later than by the 5th day of the following month:

• the Czech Police, if the accident had lethal consequences, or if a criminal offense was committed in connection with the work accident;
• the local trade union grouping and the OSH representative;
• the competent District Labor Inspectorate (if the affected employee won't be hospitalized for more than four days, the accident need not be reported immediately; it is in such a case sufficient to submit the written incident report);
• the Mining Office, if the operations, the workplace, or the technical equipment fall within the scope of its supervisory competencies (whereas it is enough to send the written incident report, unless the accident was of a serious nature, in which case the Mining Office must be notified immediately);
• the employer (if any) who posted or temporarily assigned the injured employee at/to the receiving employer;
• the relevant organizational unit of the insurer who oversees the employer's statutory professional liability insurance (i.e., usually, Kooperativa pojišťovna, a.s.).

As long as the accident did not result in death, it need not be reported to the employee's health insurance provider; in such a case, it is sufficient to submit the written incident report.

If the employer has already submitted the incident report and only later learns of circumstances which necessitate that a change be made in the data entered in that report, they must submit a notice of change, again following the rules set out in the Government Decree.

In closing, we should point out that a violation of the above duties qualifies as a misdemeanor or administrative offense under the Act on the Labor Inspectorate. For failure to report a work accident and submit the written incident report, employers (legal entities) face a fine of up to CZK 400,000; failure to record the accident in a proper incident report in the first place is punishable by a fine of up to CZK 1M.

Source: Act No. 262/2006 Coll. (Labor Code), Government Decree No. 201/2010 Coll., Act No. 251/2005 Coll., on the Labor Inspectorate