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The Concept of Accident

The Concept of Accident and Occupational Accidents

Generally, “accident” refers to an unexpected event, the outcomes of which are not desired, and which occurs without intention’s being in question. Although there is a prevalent consensus on this general definition of the concept of accident; the fact that there are different approaches towards the definition of the concept of “occupational accident” is understood from the discussions on the concept and the differences of opinion among experts. Occupational accidents’ causing legal problems regarding workers, employers, insurance organizations and some other organizations in working life, and at the same time,  the basic rule of protecting the worker have caused the broadening of the meaning of occupational accident and have made it harder to define.

When the discussions on which events are occupational accidents and which are not are evaluated, the opinion that it will be appropriate to examine this concept with two separate approaches gains importance:

. The concept of occupational accident from technical aspect . The concept of occupational accident from legal aspect 1.    


The Concept of Occupational Accident from Technical Aspect

Some of the researchers, who study the concept of occupational accident from technical aspect, have evaluated the concept in a broad sense. Some of the definitions of the researchers of this group regarding the concept have been listed below:

. Occupational accidents (or generally, accidents) are events which were not planned in advance and could not be taken under control, and which can cause inconvenience around itself. In terms of occupational safety technique, the event’s bringing harm to the living beings or inanimate things around itself is in question.

. Occupational accidents are events which occur due to an unexpected and faulty act or a technical breakdown within the chain of events, and which hinder the completion of a certain activity, even though an injury, death or damage may not always be seen at the end.

. Occupational accidents are undesired sudden events that cause the cessation or interruption of activities in a management since they harm people and/or materials.

. An accident is the complex of all the causes that give rise to a damage at an unexpected speed. Federal German Dr. Skiba, who defends the opinion that only the events that do damage on people can be counted as occupational accidents, defines occupational accident as follows.

. An accident is an unwanted event which comes from the outside and with a sudden effect, and harms people. It is seen that the researchers, who study the generation of accident, use the model of “standing dominos” as an interesting example of describing.

According to this model, factors of the chain of accident are listed as below:

. Natural conditions (natural structure) . Personal deficiencies . Unreliable conditions and behaviors . Accident . Harm (death, injury)


2.     The Concept of Occupational Accident from Legal Aspect

It is seen that while defining occupational accident in legal system, events that are related to the work and harm the worker are included within the scope of occupational accident, in order to protect the worker.

Occupational accident and occupational disease have been defined in the 11th article of the Law on Social Insurance. (A) sub clause of this article is as follows:

. An occupational accident is an event which occurs in one of the states and conditions below, and which damages the insurant physically or mentally, immediately or later:

a)     While the insurant is present at the workplace

b)    Due to the work carried out by the employer,

c)     In times during which the insurant cannot do his original work due to having been sent by the employer to somewhere else, with an assignment.

d)    In times which are allocated for the breastfeeding woman insurant so that she can breastfeed her child

e)     While the insurant is taken to and from the place where the work is done, collectively by a vehicle that is provided by the employer.

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