The present procedure describes how to report incidents, occupational injuries and serious accidents or incidents at the Faculty of Medicine, Lund University. These three types of events in the workplace represent an increasing degree of gravity and require different management procedures.
Incidents are undesired events or situations that could potentially have caused health problems, illness or accidents. Incidents are always to be reported to the employer, as this is an effective way of identifying shortcomings in the work environment. Incidents are not only linked to physical factors but also to organisational and social factors such as stress, conflicts and bullying. The Faculty of Medicine is to have a workplace culture that encourages the reporting of incidents.
Examples of incidents:
- Staff have had to work particularly hard or with a heavy workload because a substitute for an absent employee is lacking
- A work situation which the employer has assessed as not dangerous suddenly becomes threatening
- A hazardous chemical is spilled but nobody is injured
The employee reports an incident.
The report is to comply with the instructions on the University’s Staff Pages under Employment sub-heading Work environment and health (with a link to the University´s HR Pages (in Swedish).
The line manager responsible for human resources investigates the need for measures and provides feedback to the employees.
An occupational injury is an injury or illness that has occurred as a result of an accident or other event caused by work, or an injury that has occurred on the way to or from the workplace. When an employee can be presumed to have suffered an occupational injury, the employer has an obligation, pursuant to workplace injury insurance legislation, immediately to report the occupational injury to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan). This rule applies regardless of whether or not the occupational injury has resulted in absence from work.
Examples of occupational injuries:
- Allergies to substances with which an employee works
- Traffic accident or cycling accident on the way to or from work
- Mental illness caused by stress or conflict in the workplace
The line manager responsible for human resources is to report occupational injuries to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan)
The report is to comply with the instructions on University´s HR Pages.
The manager is responsible for investigating the causes of the occupational injury together with the employee concerned and the health and safety representative, with the aim of preventing a recurrence.
The employer should also inform the employee generally on the possibility of receiving compensation via the government agreement on compensation for personal injury (PSA), assist the injured employee in completing applications for compensation to the PSA board/AFA Insurance, and attach the report to Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) along with any necessary supporting documents to the application.
Serious accidents or incidents
Pursuant to the Work Environment Act, the employer has an obligation to report accidents or incidents to the Swedish Work Environment Authority. A report enables the Work Environment Authority promptly to visit the workplace concerned to investigate the event and conduct an inspection. It also enables the Work Environment Authority to assess whether or not the event is to be reported as a work environment offence. Failure to report can result in the employer being fined.
The report is to be filed promptly (within 24 hours).
Events that are to be reported:
- serious personal injury
- injury at work that has affected several employees at once
- Serious incidents, i.e. events that entailed serious danger to life and health
Examples of serious accidents:
- Bone fracture
- Injury to a sensory organ such as eyesight or hearing
- Major damage to nerves, muscles or tendons
- Second and third degree burns
- Events that have affected someone mentally, such as shock after a traffic accident or threat of violence
Examples of serious incidents:
- Serious cases of bullying, victimisation and harassment
- If someone has been subjected to damaging stress for a long time, and had a strong reaction to it
- Threat of violence against a person, also e.g. in writing from an anonymous sender
- Fall from a height of several metres not resulting in injury
- Puncture wound or cut from a cannula or similar device, when it is known or strongly suspected that the patient’s or the victim’s blood is contaminated
- A release of smoke, gas or chemicals not resulting in injury to any employee.
In the case of serious accident or incident, the procedure at the Faculty of Medicine is the following:
1) The line manager responsible for human resources is immediately to inform the head of department/equivalent. If the head of department/equivalent is not available, the deputy head of department/equivalent is to be informed.
2) The head of department/equivalent or the deputy head of department/equivalent reports the accident or incident to the Swedish Work Environment Authority.
The report is to comply with the instructions on the University’s Staff Pages under Employment sub-heading Work enviromnet and health with a link to the University´s HR Pages (in Swedish).
3) The head of department/equivalent or the deputy head of department/equivalent informs the immediate work environment coordinator/HR support function, the dean, the HR manager and the health and safety organisation.
4) The head of department/equivalent is responsible for investigating the serious accident or incident.
Who is to assess whether or not the accident or incident is serious?
The employer is to assess whether the accident or incident is so serious that it needs to be reported to the Work Environment Authority. In case of doubt, the recommendation is to report. Serious accidents and incidents which do not happen at work are not to be reported, for example accidents that happen on the way to and from work (however, they must be reported to the Social Insurance Agency). Serious accidents and incidents are to be reported if they have, or can be presumed to have, a connection to work. In the case of repeated events of the same or a comparable sort, each new event is to be reported.
Investigation of serious accidents or incidents
Regardless of whether or not the reported accident or incident resulted in measures taken by the Work Environment Authority, the employer is obliged to investigate what happened and subsequently to implement the measures necessary to prevent a recurrence. The investigation is to be documented in writing. In the case of investigation, the Work Environment Authority’s form “Investigation of accidents and incidents” can be used.
Reporting to other public authorities
Depending on the nature of the case, other public authorities may need to receive a report on the event, for example in the case of flammable goods, ionising radiation, the outdoor environment and electrical current. See the University’s Staff Pages under Employment sub-heading Work environment and health with a link to the University´s HR Pages (in Swedish) for more information.
If you have questions, your primary contact is the immediate work environment coordinator/HR support function. The division for HR support at the Faculty Office and the work environment engineers at Human Resources can also assist you. The Swedish Work Environment Authority also offers a service that responds to questions.