Is employer liable for employee accident?

Is employer liable for employee accident?

What should the company do in the event of an accident at work?

As far as occupational hazards are concerned, current labor legislation, and specifically the Law on Prevention of Occupational Hazards, imposes on employer and employee (BOTH), the fulfillment of a series of duties aimed at ensuring the safety and health of the worker.

We would like to draw your attention to this, that is to say, that you should be clear that the obligations in terms of occupational risk prevention are not only of the employer, but that the worker himself is also obliged to ensure his own health and safety.

This is important, as we will see in more detail below, when determining whether or not the company is responsible, and to what degree, for the occupational accident or occupational disease suffered by a worker and the amounts and compensation that may be recognized to the worker.

It must inform and train its workers correctly so that they know how to use these means of prevention and ensure that its instructions aimed at guaranteeing the safety and health of workers are complied with.

What rights does a worker who suffers an accident at work have in Peru?

Raquel Poquet Catalá, professor of the Master’s Degree in Occupational Risk Prevention at the International University of La Rioja (UNIR), has recently published an interesting work analyzing a judgment of the Social Chamber of the Supreme Court on “Liability in the case of accidents at work”.

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This case deals with an accident suffered by a worker rendering services in an electrical installation maintenance company whose task consisted of dismantling a power line. To do so, the worker, together with his superior, was dismantling the braiding from the façade to the pole and from the pole to the concrete support. When they had finished disconnecting the braid, they placed a ladder on the pole. The worker climbed up the ladder and the senior worker held the ladder at the base. Once the line on the concrete support side was cut, the pole swung, causing it to break and with it the tragic fall of the worker from a height of ten meters. As a result of this accident, the worker was declared permanently totally disabled.

Workplace accident due to negligence of the worker

The present study aims to shed some light on the issue, and to structure the different liabilities arising from an accident at work (or occupational disease), so that lawyers defending both companies and workers can be aware of the different penalties, indemnities and liabilities that the company may incur, and the worker may claim.

The first liability that the company may incur is that derived from the failure to comply with its obligations regarding affiliation, registration, cancellation and contribution to the Social Security system (Art. 167.2 LGSS).

The fact that at the time the accident occurred or the occupational disease was declared the company had not registered the worker with the Social Security, or had not paid contributions for him/her, may result in the company (and not the Mutual Insurance Company or the INSS) having to pay the worker the amount of the Social Security benefit that has been declared (temporary disability, permanent disability, widowhood and orphanhood, etc.).

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How an accident at work affects a company

The objective of Occupational Risk Prevention is to guarantee the safety and health of workers. Therefore, when an occupational accident occurs, it is a symptom that prevention has failed.

In accordance with the provisions of Article 156 of the Revised Text of the General Social Security Law, “an accident at work is any bodily injury that the worker suffers on the occasion of or as a consequence of the work he/she performs as an employee”.

Article 156.2.a-. This precept refers to traffic accidents “in itineres”. This concept is based on the fact that the worker, if he had not needed to travel to work, would not have suffered these injuries or sequelae.

Those occurring in acts of rescue and others of a similar nature, when both are connected with the work -article 156.2.d-. These accidents do not usually occur in the daily practice of companies, but it is important to be aware of them since, as you know, ignorance of the law does not exempt from compliance with it.

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