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European Definitions

EU Directive 2004/49/EC

(For the Railway (Transport) Sector) An unwanted or unintended sudden event or a specific chain of such events which have harmful consequences; accidents are divided into the following categories: collisions, derailments, level-crossing accidents, accidents to persons caused by rolling stock in motion, fires and other. [1]


(For the Railway (Transport) Sector) An unintended event or series of events that results in death, injury, loss of a system or service, or environmental damage [2].

Other International Definitions

Accident is an unintended event or series of events that results in harm. [3]


Accident is any unintended event, including operating errors, equipment failures and other mishaps, the consequences or potential consequences of which are not negligible from the point of view of protection or safety. [4]

National Definitions


Accidente: evento adverso, no premeditado y no previsible, que se presenta en forma súbita, altera el curso regular de los acontecimientos, causa daños humanos y/o materiales. [5]


A sudden event in which harm is caused to people, property or the built or natural environment. [6]


Acidente: Evento definido ou seqüência de eventos fortuitos e não planejados, que dão origem a uma conseqüência específica e indesejada, em termos de danos humanos, materiais ou ambientais. [7]


"Accident" shall denote a large-scale incident, affecting roads, highways and air traffic, destruction of hydro-technical installations, incidents, caused by activities at sea, nuclear incidents and other environmental and industrial accidents, caused by human activity or acts. [8]

Авария: е инцидент от голям мащаб, включващ пътища, магистрали и въздушен трафик, пожар, разрушаване на хидротехнически съоръжения, инциденти, причинени от дейности в морето, ядрени инциденти и други екологични и промишлени аварии, причинени от дейности или действия на човека. [9]


An unintended, unplanned and unexpected event that interrupts an activity and sometimes causes injury or damage.

Événement involontaire, non planifié et imprévu qui interrompt une activité et qui entraîne parfois des blessures ou des dommages. [10]

Accident: out événement imprévu et soudain qui cause, ou est susceptible de causer, des lésions à des personnes ou des dommages à des bâtiments, à des installations, à des matériaux ou à l’environnement. (OCDE, 1992)[10]


Hændelser er ulykker (såsom brand, sammenstyrtning og udslip), der kan ske i relation til risikoobjekter og som kan føre til skader på personer, ejendom eller miljø. [11]


Onnettomuus: äkillinen, odottamaton ja tahaton tapahtuma, jolla on vahingolliset seuraukset.

Accident is a sudden, unexpected and unintentional event with harmful consequences. -unofficial translation- [12]


Accidente: Suceso fortuito e incontrolado, capaz de producir daños. [13]


Accident: Eveniment subit, întâmplare neprevăzută, de regulă violent(ă), venit(ă) pe neaşteptate, curmând o situaţie normală, având drept cauză activitatea umană, dar produs(ă) independent de voinţa victimei; se caracterizează prin aceea că, de regulă, constituie cauza unei/unor vătămări corporale. [14]


Accident: A man-made transport type of disaster comprising of air, marine, road, and rail crash which suddenly destroys life, property and quite often the environment. [15]

Standard Definition


An accident is an unplanned and undesired loss event. [16]

See also