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Occupational Accidents

An occupational accident refers to an accident that occurs as a result of or during work activities and leads to death or damage to health; physical or mental.

The AOSH Register of Occupational Accidents and Incidents

The employer is obliged to ensure that any occupational accident is reported to the AOSH when an accident occurs as a result of or during work activities at the employer’s workplace and the employee becomes unfit for work for one or more days, in excess of the day when the accident occurred.

The AOSH maintains a register of occupational accidents for the purpose of gathering data about the frequency and causes of accidents, so that preventive efforts in the workplace can be strengthened. That is why it is very important for employers to fulfill this obligation and if employers fail to do so, it may lead to fines.

Occupational accidents are serious when an employee dies or suffers long-term or permanent damage to health. Examples of long-term or permanent damage to health are as follows:

  • Loss of limb or part of limb
  • Fractures or dislocations
  • Unconsciousness
  • Damage to nerve tissue
  • Injuries to abdominal organs requiring surgery or other internal injuries
  • Burns or similar injuries to the skin that require skin grafts, as well as frostbite
  • Damage to eyes
  • Poisoning
  • Incidents that lead to serious mental health issues, such as anxiety, abnormal fatigue, lack of concentration, difficulty sleeping or severe mood swings.

The Importance of Reporting Workplace Accidents

When the full consequences of an accident are unclear, it is important that the occupational accident is nevertheless reported to the AOSH, as the nature of the damage to health is often not revealed until later.

Employees who suffer an occupational accident must notify the employer or manager, as applicable, as soon as possible.

The Employer Register of Occupational Accidents and Incidents

The Employer must keep a record of all occupational accidents that occur in the workplace and lead to an employee’s death or unfitness for work for one or more days in excess of the day on which the accident occurred. They must also keep a record of incidents that are likely to cause accidents.

The purpose is to give the employer a better overview of the occupational accidents and incidents that occur in the workplace and thus be able to respond better to prevent them from recurring. The employer needs to review the risk assessment for the workplace when accidents or incidents occur or the risk of damage to health is greater than previously thought.

The AOSH, safety representatives, security guards and, as the case may be, safety committees, as well as approved service providers who work for the employer must have access to the accident and incident register of the workplace.

The employer, and the parties listed above, must treat personal information from the accident and incident register as confidential information and in accordance with the Act on Personal Data Protection and Processing of Personal Data.

Investigation of Occupational Accidents

The AOSH investigates the causes of accidents, incidents and pollution that are reported on the basis of the act concerning safety, hygiene and health at work.

The purpose of the AOSH’s investigations is to help prevent the event from recurring in the workplace. This applies both to the workplace in question and to other workplaces with similar conditions.

The AOSH only investigates serious occupational accidents. The Agency assesses on a case-by-case basis whether it considers it necessary to conduct a special on-site inspection, but such an investigation is not always necessary when, for example, the causes of the accident are well known.

It is not permitted to change conditions at the scene of the accident, beyond what is necessary for facilitate rescue operations, before the on-site inspection of the AOSH has taken place.


Accident Register of the Administration of Occupational Safety and Health (AOSH)

On the website for occupational accident statistics, one can access workplace accident statistics directly from the accident database.

Please note that the website was last updated on January 1, 2020 and more recent data is therefore not included in the statistics contained therein.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Vinnueftirlitinu er ekki heimilt að afhenda slysatilkynningar til annara en þeirra einstaklinga sem þær fjalla um, þar sem þær innihalda viðkvæmar persónuupplýsingar. Á það við þó að atvinnurekandi sem tilkynnti slysið sé sjálfur að óska eftir henni.

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