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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –

Source: DGB – Federal Board

12/18/2020 COVID-19 infection as a work accident among civil servants? Employers must fulfill their duty of care Can civil servants have a SARS-CoV-2 infection recognized as a work accident? This question arises at the latest when an officer falls ill with COVID-19 and assumes that they have been infected while on duty. There are currently more and more reports in which employers refer to a so-called general risk in these cases and deny recognition as an occupational accident. The DGB appeals to them not to leave the officers alone now.

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The situation Unlike those with statutory accident insurance, for whom the German Statutory Accident Insurance has developed recommendations for the recognition of an infection with SARS-Cov-2 as an insured event, civil servants are covered by their employer’s professional accident insurance. Each authority is responsible for structuring the accident investigation procedure. There is no (uniform) recommendation for action and there are also differences between the 17 employers due to the federal civil service law. There is therefore no general answer to whether a COVID-19 infection can be recognized as an accident at work. It was known that applications by officials to recognize the infection as an accident at work were rejected on the grounds that there was a pandemic. This causes a general danger, since in a certain area all people are more or less equally threatened. With an infection, there is no risk inherent in the specific activity. The DGB sharply criticizes this attitude and refers to the German statutory accident insurance, which has long since moved away from the assumption of a general risk. Civil servants who, despite the coronavirus situation, cannot reduce contact with other people due to their function and cannot keep a sufficient distance from them, must not be left alone by their employers with the risk of infection and the resulting consequences. After all, a COVID-19 infection can lead to (serious) long-term consequences and even death. If an officer suspects that an infection may have occurred while on duty, an accident report should be made to the superior in any case. Comprehensive records of professional and private contacts should also be made in order to be able to reconstruct when and where and by whom the infection occurred.

What should I do after an accident at work?

Civil servants must see a (transit) doctor after an accident at work. They report the accident at work to the superior. The supervisor has to investigate every accident that he or she becomes aware of ex officio or through a report and notify the responsible accident insurance office of the result.

Why is recognition as a work accident important?

Recognition as an occupational accident can have considerable effects on the protection of those affected and their relatives. Because only in the event of an accident at work, the accident insurance benefits come into effect. In addition to the healing process (including necessary medical treatment, the necessary supply of medicines and other remedies, equipment with body replacement parts, orthopedic and other aids), this includes U. for example, an accident compensation in addition to the earnings, a one-time accident compensation or an accident pension. In the event of death, relatives can be entitled to accident survivor benefits.

What do I do if recognition as a work accident is rejected?

Recognition as an occupational accident as well as its rejection takes place as a notification to the person concerned. Against such, i. d. An objection can usually be filed within one month. If the objection is rejected, civil servants can sue the administrative court for recognition as an occupational accident.

Case of “occupational disease” A COVID-19 infection can be considered an “occupational disease” for civil servants who work in the health service, welfare work and laboratories, as the civil servant supply laws refer to Appendix I of the Occupational Diseases Ordinance, which applies to comparable employees Further linksDGB legal protection: Coronavirus: accident or occupational disease?

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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