Every employer has to ensure workplace safety. Employers know this and are also concerned with it. There is, however, uncertainty as to how far this obligation goes and, in particular, what are the consequences of the liability if the duty to prevent accidents is violated.
If an accident leads to invalidity, the damage is very fast and very large. Well, social insurance (accident insurance, occupational pensions) pay a substantial part. However, they take recourse to the employer, who is liable from the employment contract, and to the responsible persons on the basis of the general liability law.
However, the claim for recourse only exists in the case of deliberate or grossly negligent damage. Social insurance, however, does not pay all the damage. On a regular basis, a part remains uncovered (so-called “direct damage”) and the employer and the persons responsible for it have to pay for this.
As far as no deliberate or grossly negligent damage is concerned, this can usually be covered by a liability insurance. This must, however, have actually been completed.
The due diligence obligations are based on the employer’s duty to take care of the employer and on the employment law. In accordance with these provisions, the employer must take all necessary measures to protect the workers, which, according to experience, are necessary, applicable according to the state of the art and appropriate according to the circumstances of the enterprise.
This very general obligation is defined by regulations on the Labor Code, by the Ordinance on the prevention of accidents and occupational diseases, as well as by various special laws. In individual cases, however, there remains a great deal of discretion and thus also a great uncertainty for the individual companies.
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