But what if you fall down the stairs while working from home? Or slip off your office chair when you want to take a document? Does that qualify as a work incident?
Four elements must be proven in order to be considered an accident at work, namely:
- There is an employment relationship that falls under the application of the industrial accidents law
- An accident has occurred
- There is an injury
- The accident occurred during and due to the fact of the performance of the employment contract
These conditions also apply if you work from home. Especially the 4th condition is important to be able to prove that it is an accident at work: the accident happens at the same time that you are performing your contract of employment. Moreover, the accident must be related to the professional risks of the work or the work environment.
As a remote worker, you have an accident at work when:
- You go to the bathroom while working on another floor and fall down the stairs;
- You sit down at your desk to work and slide off your chair;
- You burn yourself with hot water to make coffee or tea during the (lunch) break;
On the other hand, there is no accident at work when you are a remote worker if:
- You slip on your way to the mailbox to get your private mail;
- You hurt yourself taking care of pets or cleaning;