Medical Service

Accidents at work and on the way

Occupational accidents are accidents that insured persons suffer as a result of the insured activity. For the purposes of statutory accident insurance, accidents are defined as a sudden event caused by an external factor that results in damage to health (or death).

Commuting accidents are accidents suffered by employees on their way to or from work. Detours are only insured if they are necessary (e.g. in order to have children looked after during working hours, in the case of car pooling, detours or because the workplace can be reached more quickly via a longer route).

Injured persons for whom medical treatment is or could be necessary should be presented to a D-doctor without delay. D-doctors (usually specialists in surgery or orthopaedics and trauma surgery) are particularly qualified to treat accident victims. The D-doctor decides whether general treatment is to be carried out by the family doctor or whether special treatment is required due to the type or severity of the injury, which he then regularly carries out himself. In cases of general (family doctor) treatment, he monitors the healing process.

Accident victims with eye or ear, nose and throat injuries alone can also present themselves directly to a corresponding specialist or be referred there.

Accident report

Employees and students are covered by statutory accident insurance in the event of accidents at work or on the way to work. However, the insurance cover can only take effect if the accidents are reported. Accident reports serve to inform the accident insurance institution that an insured event has occurred.

If an occupational or commuting accident has occurred for which medical assistance has been sought or which results in three or more days of incapacity for work, this must be reported. The report must be made using the accident insurance form "Unfallanzeige" (accident report). The accident report must be signed by the supervisor. The accident report must be sent immediately to the personnel team responsible for the employee who has suffered the accident.

All other assistance (so-called minor accidents) must be documented in the report pad, which should be available in the first-aid boxes. The entries in the report pad must be kept for five years. The documentation usually ensures insurance coverage in the event of possible late consequences of an accident or injuries that may initially appear to be a "minor accident".

Further information on occupational accidents can be found on the pages of the department for Occupational Health and Safety Services and Environmental Protection (SDU).

Accident insurance

The Unfallkasse Berlin (Berlin Accident Insurance Fund) is the body responsible for statutory accident insurance for the state of Berlin. It has the statutory task of preventing accidents at work, at school (including university) and on the associated routes, and of preventing them by all appropriate means. It also aims to prevent occupational diseases and work-related health hazards.

If an occupational accident has occurred or an occupational disease has been recognised, the Unfallkasse Berlin ensures medical, occupational and social rehabilitation by all appropriate means. This includes medical care by specialists in surgery or orthopaedics and trauma surgery with special knowledge of accident medicine, care in special practices, hospitals or rehabilitation facilities.

Occupational diseases

Certain diseases suffered by insured persons as a result of their insured activity and which are included in the list of occupational diseases are recognised as occupational diseases. Only those diseases are included in the list of occupational diseases which, on the basis of established scientific knowledge, are caused by special effects, whereby certain groups of persons are exposed to these effects to a considerably higher degree than the rest of the population due to their insured activity. In contrast to an occupational accident, which is a sudden event, the recognition of an illness as an occupational disease usually depends on a prolonged or recurring exposure. In the case of these exposures, the entire working life of the employee, including activities in the distant past with previous employers, must be taken into account.

Both employers and doctors are obliged to report any reasonable suspicion of an occupational disease to the Unfallkasse Berlin.