Occupational accident: what to do?
What is an occupational accident?
An accident is a temporary, sudden event that a ects the body from the outside
and can cause damage to health or result in death. If this happens during working
hours or on the way to/from work, it is referred to as an occupational accident (or
industrial or work accident) or an accident that has occurred on the way to or
from work. Provisions governing statutory accident insurance are set forth in the
7th Social Code (SGB VII). Furthermore, the regulation on the reporting of claims
covered by statutory accident insurance must be observed.
internal occupational accident
is one that occurs on the premises of a com-
pany or at your regular workplace. If you work for a transport company and a
heavy crate slips in front of your leg during loading and injures you, this is an oc-
cupational accident. It is also an occupational accident if, for example, you work
as a cleaner and slip on damp ground, injuring yourself in the process. An injury
you su er while doing a job for your employer (e. g.delivering mail outside the
workplace) or on a business trip or an installation assignment is an
. An accident su ered while travelling directly to or from your
workplace is referred to as a
. If, for example, you are hit by
a car on your way to work or if you twist your foot, you are insured. An accident
on the way also counts as a commuting accident if you have taken a detour to
bring your children to or from care.
If you go to a supermarket on your way to work to shop, have an accident there
and injure yourself, it is not an occupational accident. If you are then on your way
home again and su er an accident, this will count as a commuting accident if the
interruption lasted less than two hours. If you take a walk in the park during your
lunch break and a branch falls on your head, it is not an occupational accident.
It is also important to note that the routes to the canteen and toilet and back are
insured. However, an accident in the canteen or the toilet is not covered.
What do I have to do if I have an accident at work?
If you su er an accident at work or an accident on your way to or from work, there
are a few things you need to bear in mind. You should report the accident / injury
to your employer and, if possible, enter the injury in the accident record.
Note: The employer must report an accident to the accident insurer. He is
obliged to do this if the employee is unable to work for at least three days
as a result of the accident. A copy of the accident report must be sent to
the local health and safety supervisory authority. In Saxony, this is De-
partment 5 of the Saxony State Department with headquarters in Chem-
nitz, Dresden and Leipzig. If you su er only a minor injury, such as a small
cut on your finger, enter this in an accident record. This will protect you
if what is actually a minor injury becomes infected later and you become
too ill to work. It is best to ask your employer beforehand where to find
the accident record.
After your accident, consult a doctor.
This doctor should be qualified
accident insurance consultant (Durchgangsarzt or D-Arzt)
! These doctors
are usually orthopaedists or accident surgeons who are specially qualified to treat
victims of occupational accidents. Their practices are also furnished and equipped
accordingly. You can also go to an emergency department or an accident depart-
ment in the hospital. This also functions as a Durchgangsarzt, since the head phy-
sician is usually admitted as D-Arzt. If you su er exclusive injuries to the eyes,
ears, throat or nose, please consult an appropriate specialist directly. As a rule,
the D-Arzt will also report the accident to the accident insurance provider.
The D-Arzt decides on further treatment and may refer you to your general prac-
titioner for treatment in the case of minor injuries.
Important: If you are asked by your employer not to report the accident
at work, then he has probably not reported you to an accident insurance
provider, even though he is obliged to do so. For your own protection, you
should nevertheless report your injury as an occupational accident! The
accident insurer will contact your employer later to clarify the situation.
What is an employers’ liability insurance associa-
tion or accident insurance fund and which one is
responsible for me?
The DGUV (German Statutory Accident Insurance Association) is a central associ-
ation representing all German accident insurance providers. Accident insurance
providers include not only the commercial employers‘ liability insurance associa-
tions but also the public accident insurance funds and the agricultural employers‘
liability insurance associations. Every employee must be registered with one of
these providers by the employer and be covered by mandatory insurance. The
costs are borne by the employer. If you are self-employed, you have the option of
taking out voluntary insurance. Since each branch of industry bears its own risks
and burdens, the employers‘ liability insurance associations are subdivided into
If you go to an accident insurance consultant after an accident at work, you may
be asked about the professional association or accident insurance institution re-
sponsible for you. You must obtain this information from your employer, who must
know where he has registered you. If you do not receive any information from
your employer, you will find below a list of commercial employers‘ liability insur-
ance associations and their responsibilities.
Rohsto e und chemische Industrie
(Employers’ Liability Insurance Association for the Raw Materials and
Chemical Industries / BG RCI)
The Berufsgenossenschaft Rohsto e und chemische Industrie is responsible for
approx. 32,000 companies with roughly 1.4 million employees. The BG RCI serves
companies from the mining, building materials, stone and earth, chemical, leather,
paper and equipment industries as well as the sugar industry.
Berufsgenossenschaft Holz und Metall
(Wood and Metal Employers‘ Liability Insurance Association / BGHM)
The Berufsgenossenschaft Holz und Metall serves approx. 223,000 companies
with approx. 4.9 million employees. This also includes temporary employees,
home workers and trainees. The BGHM is responsible for companies involved in
wood production as well as for companies that process wood, plastics or similar
materials. In addition, it serves companies in the iron, steel, precious metal and
metal production sectors as well as companies that process iron, steel, metal, pre-
cious metals, precious stones, semi-precious stones and similar materials.
Nahrungsmittel und Gastgewerbe
(Employer‘s Liability Insurance Association for the Food and Hospitality
Industry / BGN)
The Berufsgenossenschaft Nahrungsmittel und Gastgewerbe is responsible for
approx. 400,000 companies with approx. 3.4 million employees. The BGN serves
companies in the food and beverage industry, the hotel and restaurant industry,
the bakery and confectionery trades and the tobacco industry. It also supports
fairground, circus company and meat industry workers.
Berufsgenossenschaft der Bauwirtschaft
(Employers’ Liability Insurance Association for the Construction Industry /
The Berufsgenossenschaft der Bauwirtschaft caters for the needs of approx.
500,000 companies and some 50,000 private construction projects with around
2.8 million insured persons. The BG BAU is responsible for the construction indus-
try and construction-related services. This includes building construction
(e. g.roofing work, sca olding and painting) and civil engineering (e. g.road con-
struction, street cleaning, sewer cleaning) including the necessary preparatory
work, secondary activities and workshop work and transport activities.
Berufsgenossenschaft Handel und Warenlogistik
(Employers’ Liability Insurance Association for Trade and
Goods Logistics / BGHW)
The Berufsgenossenschaft Handel und Warenlogistik looks after approximately
378,000 companies with approx. 5.3 million employees. The BGHW is responsible
for the wholesale and retail trade, commercial agencies, forwarding companies,
purchasing and sales associations, publishing houses whose products are pre-
dominantly produced on a contract basis, and those involved in the sale, delivery
and distribution of press products.
(Administrative Employers’ Liability Insurance Association / VBG)
The Verwaltungs-Berufsgenossenschaft serves over 1.1 million companies from
more than 100 sectors with over 10 million employees. The VBG is responsible for
temporary employment agencies, banks, insurance companies, engineering and
architecture firms, law firms, churches, sports clubs, companies in the ceramic
and glass industries, as well as those which operate trams, underground trains
and railways. It also serves persons receiving in-patient treatment, rehabilitants
and trainees from vocational training institutions as well as people engaged in
(Transport, Postal Logistics & Telecommunications Employers’ Liability
Insurance Association / BG Verkehr)
Berufsgenossenschaft Verkehrswirtschaft Post-Logistik Telekommunikation looks
after around 200,000 companies with over 1.7 million employees. The BG Verkehr
is responsible for companies engaged in postal logistics, logistics, freight and
passenger transport, waste disposal, aviation, inland navigation, shipping and
fishing as well as telecommunications and financial services. In addition, it also
insures driving schools, towing services, car rentals, funeral services, equine hus-
bandry and pilotage companies.
für Gesundheitsdienst und Wohlfahrtspflege
(Employers’ Liability Insurance Association for Health and Welfare
Services / BGW)
The Berufsgenossenschaft für Gesundheitsdienst und Wohlfahrtspflege serves
roughly 640,000 companies with over 8.4 million insured persons. The BGW is
responsible for non-governmental health service and welfare institutions. These
include companies, administrations, facilities and activities in the fields of wel-
fare, health care, veterinary medicine, hairdressing and body and beauty care. It
is also responsible for administrative and educational institutions in the above
Energie Textil Elektro Medienerzeugnisse
(Employers’ Liability Insurance Association Energy Textile Electrical
Media Products / BG ETEM)
The BG ETEM supports approx. 220,000 companies with roughly 3.8 million em-
ployees. The BG ETEM is responsible for companies in the electrical industry and
electrical trades, precision mechanics, energy and water management, textiles
and footwear, as well as printing and paper processing. These include, among oth-
ers, electrical installation companies, paper-processing companies, gas, dis-
trict-heating and water-supply companies as well as waste-water disposal and
Why is it important for me to report an
occupational accident as such?
It can make a considerable di erence to you whether the health insurance fund
or the statutory accident insurance is responsible in the event of your incapacity
to work. After a recognised occupational accident, for example, you are entitled
to an injury allowance for the duration of your incapacity to work. The injury
allowance currently amounts to 80 % of your regular gross salary, but it may not
be higher than your regular net salary. Your injury allowance is paid by the health
insurance fund, but do not confuse it with sickness allowance, which amounts to
70 % of your regular gross salary.
In addition, accident insurance providers pay for medications and aids, rehabilita-
tion measures (e. g. in clinics specially designed to care for victims of occupational
accidents) and, if necessary, domestic help. If necessary, your workplace will be
redesigned and made handicapped-accessible. Should you no longer be able to
work in your current occupation due to the occupational accident, you will be
eligible for retraining in another occupation. If you su er permanent damage to
your health, you will also be entitled to receive an accident pension.
Accident insurance providers, unlike health insurance funds, have unlimited budg-
ets and are expected to use all appropriate means to restore the health and earn-
ing capacity of accident victims. As a patient, you usually do not have to worry
about formalities, as accident insurance consultants and accident insurance pro-
viders work closely together.
As a foreign employee, am I insured against
accidents in Germany?
Yes, you are. You are covered regardless of your age, sex, marital status, national-
ity or income.
Am I also insured as a mini-jobber?
Yes, you are also insured as a mini-jobber. In contrast to pension insurance, for
example, statutory accident insurance is not voluntary. All employees are covered
by mandatory insurance paid for by their employer.
Does accident insurance cover mini-jobbers in
Yes, even part-time employees in private households are covered by statutory
accident insurance. Accident insurance providers in the municipal sector are
responsible for implementing insurance coverage. To simplify the reporting and
contribution procedure, this is handled within the framework of the employee‘s
general registration with the Minijobzentrale der Deutschen Rentenversicherung
Knappschaft / Bahn / See for accident insurance as well. The standard accident
insurance contribution is 1.6 percent of the employee’s salary, which is also
collected by the Minijobzentrale and paid by the employer.
What other groups of people are insured?
Although employees are the largest group of insured persons, they are not the
The following groups are also insured:
Volunteers (e. g.members of a volunteer fire brigade)
Unemployed persons who are asked by the Employment Agency to go to
Rescue personnel who provide first aid, blood donors and witnesses
This list is not exhaustive; the insured persons are listed in §§ 2, 3 and 6 SGB VII.
This is how you can reach us:
Counselling center in Dresden
Schützenplatz 14 (1st floor), 01067 Dresden
Phone: +49 351 85092728
German, Slovak, Polish,
Phone: +49 351 85092729
Counselling center in Leipzig
Listhaus Leipzig – Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 27
(ground floor), 04103 Leipzig
German, Polish, English
Phone: +49 341 68413085
Phone: +49 341 68413086
O ce Management Dresden and Leipzig
Phone: +49 351 85092730
This publication contains general information in-
tended for your guidance. No guarantee can be given for the accuracy
of any information provided herein, nor can any legal claims be derived
on the basis of the contents of this publication.
The counselling center for foreign employees in Saxony (BABS) is
an initiative of the Saxon State Ministry of Economic A airs, Labor
and Transport and is financed from tax funds on the basis of a
resolution passed by the members of the Saxon State Parliament.
BABS – Counselling Center for Foreign Employees in Saxony
Schützenplatz 14, 01067 Dresden, Germany
Phone +49 351 8509 2730
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