Tuesday, 4 January 2022

As People Are Today Retunng To Work,

and in some cases still working from home, here is an interesting case,

not from the claimant but this MRI scan shows a fracture-dislocation in the thoracic spine, note the disruption of the spinal cord, X-ray from OrthoInfo, the case in question arose when a German Federal Court recently ruled that a man who broke his back by falling down the stairs from his bedroom on his way to his home office should be covered by his employer’s workplace accident insurance, according to court documents published recently, Germany’s Federal Social Court ruled in favor of an unnamed area sales manager who broke his back in an accident that occurred in his home in 2018, the man was allegedly walking down the stairs from his bedroom on his way to his home office when he slipped on his spiral staircase and broke a thoracic vertebra. The plaintiff’s lawyer argued that his client, who typically starts his workday without eating breakfast, was headed for his home work station, which makes his accident work-related and should be covered by insurance, interestingly, online documents show that a lower court had previously ruled that the man’s walk from his bedroom to his home office qualified as “an uninsured preparatory act that only precedes the actual insured activity,” and thus was not covered by work accident insurance. However, the employee appealed the decision to a higher court, which overturned the decision, 

apparently, the Covid-19 pandemic had a part to play in the recent ruling, as the employee pointed out that many people are currently required to work from home in Germany and should be covered by work accident insurance, it is worth noting that German legislation is different from US legislation and that in the European country even the commute from home to the workplace is covered by accident insurance. In this case, the court merely decided that the man’s walk down the stairs counted as a commute to work, the recent ruling sparked a heated online debate, both in Germany and abroad. While some consider the decision just, seeing as not all work is conducted on company premises, a few examples for instance would be postmen, delivery drivers, dustbin men, etc. so workers should be covered by insurance wherever they conduct their work. Others, on the other hand, wondered if this ruling would open the gates to home office inspection by employers, to check for potential hazards, in the UK having an accident going to work or retuning is down to you, work insurance starts when you start work, so I guess in Germany if you work from home, a Health and Safety inspector from the company you work for will soon be calling on you!

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