Industrial accidents are defined as an external, sudden, unexpected, unintended, and violent event, during the execution of work or arising out of it, which causes damage to the health of or loss of the life of the employee. In worst cases, it causes occupational fatality.
For qualification as an accident at work to apply, there must be a causal relationship (direct or indirect relationship of cause and effect) between the violent event and the work. Only if the accident is due to "wilful misrepresentation" on the part of the employer or the employer's appointed representative is the employer under an obligation to compensate the victim. Under U.S. law, injured workers are often compensated according to the type of injury, rather than permitting them to sue the employer for the actual damages.
Where the accidents involve multiple fatalities they are often refered to as industrial disasters