Despite the efforts of companies and administrations in the field of occupational risk prevention, accidents at work continue to claim many victims every year. What types of accidents are the most common? What are the rights of workers who are victims of an industrial accident?
All workers are exposed to an accident at work. Although there is a general perception that the most common accidents at work are commuting accidents, manual workers are the most exposed to accidents at work and of greater severity.
The current situation derived from the pandemic has made that the consequences derived from said accidents have been aggravated due to the lack of treatment of injuries that occurred during the state of alarm. Many minor injuries such as whiplash or whiplash which are usually cured by physiotherapy and manual rehabilitation treatment have resulted in chronic sequelae due to the lack of such treatment at the right time.
Despite the efforts made by the various administrations in the field of occupational risk prevention and in particular the entry into force of Law 31/1995 on the prevention of occupational risks (LPRL), more than 20 years ago, accidents at work continue to be blamed for many lives each year. To give an example of accidents at work in Spain, during the last year and according to data from the National Institute of Statistics, only in Andalusia, between January and August 2017, there were 57,254 accidents at work of day and 8897 on the road, among all, 74 were fatal accidents. In Seville, 27% of them occurred, with 20 cases of fatalities in accidents at work, 18 during their working hours and 2 while traveling.
In this regard, Jesús Pascual, lawyer and head of the Department of Work and Disabilities in Accident Compensation SL comments: “Although the penalties for failure to take safety measures can amount to 100,000 euros, many companies do not ‘Have not simply assumed that prevention Occupational risk must be a priority in any professional activity. “He adds:” Neither are workers aware of the coverage they can claim in the event of an accident at work, especially if it is serious. The ignorance of their rights and the fear of many workers of ‘being made redundant means that when the worker decides to claim his rights and obtain information, it is sometimes too late. For example, when a request for intervention from the labor inspectorate through a complaint to the company, which is always recommended in all accidents at work, it does not have the same effect if the said investigation is carried out a few days or weeks after the accident. at work or two years after the accident. “
The labor inspector has the power to sanction the company and, what is more important for the interests of the injured worker, to determine the surcharge on benefits, which can mean an increase of 30% to 50% for the injured worker. all benefits (salary during sick leave and, above all, invalidity pension).
In addition, when the Inspector draws up an act of infringement, the possibilities of obtaining compensation for omission of safety measures (civil liability) in the event of a work accident multiply.
Accident at work: workers’ rights
When a worker suffers an accident at work, he may be entitled to a series of allowances or pensions aimed at re-establishing his situation before the accident. There is obviously no money that can restore health, but a series of scales are used in an attempt to economically improve or at least compensate for the economic situation before the accident. Loss of earnings is the money that a worker stops receiving after suffering an accident at work. This loss of profit is intended to be compensated by pensions and / or indemnities. The main concepts are:
Compensation for omission of safety measures: if the company has not complied with all the required safety measures or if an industrial accident has occurred due to the omission of these, the victim or his relatives, in the event of a fatal accident, may require the company to pay compensation. Some of the safety measures that are most often overlooked are the lack of safety nets, adequate protective equipment, adequate signage, etc.) Compensation for conventional insurance: This is one of the benefits for which the Most workers are not aware of it, and that is to say many collective agreements, especially in sectors such as construction, oblige companies to take out these insurances, which may include compensation in the event that the worker would be recognized as having a permanent total disability preventing him from continuing to develop his usual profession. Work incapacity pension: In the event that the worker is recognized as having a permanent, absolute or severe incapacity for work, he will be entitled to receive from Social Security the corresponding pensions established according to the legislation in force for each type. incapacity and depending on their personal and family situation.