Managing accidents at work


More than 200,000 workers are involved in an accident at work every year. On average, fatalities even occur sixty times a year (Inspectorate SZW, 2018). Under the Occupational Health & Safety Act, employers have a duty to ensure the safety and health of their employees. They should see accident prevention as a priority, and learn how they arise.  Bureau Veritas supports employers in this.


Under the Occupational Health & Safety Act (Article 9), employers are obliged, among other things, to report accidents at work leading to death, permanent injury or hospitalisation directly to the Inspectorate SZW. They must also keep a list of accidents at work which have led to absences of more than three working days. The nature of the accident and the date on which it occurred must be indicated.


Reporting an accident is important to ensure that it is investigated. This allows for actions to be taken to prevent a recurrence. This also applies to near-accidents. Even though nothing has gone wrong (yet), a near-accident can be an important lesson. By taking action based on this (near-accidents), it makes sense that there are fewer real accidents.


Employers benefit from a policy on dealing with accidents at work. These are often dismissed as a result of inattention, and it is often said: 'It can happen'. Still, there's usually more to it than that. Not only personal factors can play a role, but organisational and technical aspects too.

To establish what the direct cause of the accident is, accident investigations can be carried out. This is not intended to identify culprits, but to learn from the situation, and to minimise the likelihood that this situation will arise again.  During an accident investigation, the investigator creates a systematic reconstruction of the event and the run-up to it. The why question is then asked to establish underlying causes. Often, these are structural causes that contributed to the occurrence of the accident collectively.


Bureau Veritas helps you to set up a vision and policy on how to deal with (near) accidents, and how to learn from them. We guide you in the design and implementation of an accident registration system.  Bureau Veritas conducts research in all sectors, and acts as the neutral and specialist party.


Feel free to take a look at our products related to compliance management. For additional information about our services and the possibilities, please call us on +31 88 450 55 00.