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With the pandemic, the home office has become a common reality for many companies, as an initiative that emerged to try to control the transmission of the covid-19 virus. Many people, however, are in doubt whether it is possible to characterize accidents at work as accidents that may occur at home, during remote work.

The answer is yes. Even being at home, it is possible to characterize as an accident at work possible accidental situations that occur while performing the service at home. However, it is possible to pay attention to the clarifications regarding the subject and how the law guarantees the worker in these cases.

What is an accident at work?

It is any accident that occurs when performing work in the service of the company, performing the mandatory functions of the worker, causing bodily injury (broken limbs, spinal injuries and the like) or functional change (diseases such as repetitive strain injury, etc.) death or loss/reduction of ability to work, whether permanent or temporary. It can be characterized regardless of whether the worker is performing his function at the headquarters of the company where he works or in another place, such as at home.

Occupational diseases are also equivalent to an accident at work – that is, the worker who fell ill without necessarily having suffered some kind of accident, can also fit the requirements. Occupational diseases are caused, or at the very least aggravated, by work or the conditions of the environment in which that work is performed. Diseases such as depression, anxiety disorder, burnout syndrome, among others, can be characterized as occupational diseases. Legally speaking, there is no specific list of diseases that fall into this category. Any pathology originated or aggravated by the employment contract is considered an occupational disease.

Work accident at home office

Many workers may have doubts in the sense of how to prove that the accident occurred during work and not in another different factor. It is worth remembering that the fact that the work is being carried out from home does not relieve the employer from taking care of the health of its employees. Although the employee is at home, he is performing tasks for the benefit of the company. Therefore, he remains under his responsibility.

In addition, it is the employer’s duty to instruct employees on the precautions to be taken in order to avoid occupational diseases and accidents at work, such as necessary breaks, depending on the tasks, adequate furniture, work gymnastics, among other guidelines that can help to prevent illness or accident at work.

Main factors that cause accidents at work at home office

When we talk about the home office scenario, we refer to a different scenario from what the worker is used to working, where there can usually be more possibilities of accidents. However, other factors can contribute to an accident at work when the employee is working at home, as the company does not always provide the necessary guidelines for this stay to be as healthy as possible. Unfortunately, not every company provides the necessary devices, causing the employee to often improvise a home office.

Below are some of the main factors that cause work-at-home accident:

– Use of anti-ergonomic furniture: Many people do not have the appropriate chairs at home for a work routine. Ergonomic chairs – the most suitable – allow for a better posture and are therefore indispensable. Unergonomic furniture can result in employee pain and injury.

– Static, inappropriate and prolonged postures: During the home office, the employee can often stay in the same position for long periods. Without proper guidelines for breaks or labor gymnastics, this person may have their physical health compromised;

– Lack of support for notebook/computer at eye level: When this happens, the worker needs to make “maneuvers” to be able to use the equipment in a way to be productive, making the activity tiring and generating consequences over time.

– Long working hours: Many workers, because they are at home, end up exceeding their working hours due to the demands of their employers, who mistakenly consider the journey at home to be lighter and, consequently, liable to be extended as a form of “compensation”. This overload can lead to psychological diseases, such as stress, burnout, among others.

– Multiple tasks and high productivity: Still as a consequence of a misguided view that work done at home is lighter, some employers develop the habit of charging more productivity and accumulating tasks for the employee. This type of charge also results in damage to the employee’s health.

In addition, other situations can arise during remote work, such as the excess of videoconferences, abusive collection of goals, among others, which result in the psychological impact of the worker, significantly favoring his illness.

Employer’s Duties

– Provide an adequate work environment, such as furniture, equipment, among others, that allows the employee to perform his work in a healthy way;

– Provide guidance on precautions to be taken in order to prevent work accidents or occupational diseases;

– Inform the employee and collect a signature in the term of responsibility regarding the guidelines and guidelines for safe behavior at work – given by the employer;

– Periodically inspect compliance with the rules, and may apply penalties.

While the employer has fulfilled all the duties required with the employee at home office, it is also important to highlight that he has responsibilities to be fulfilled, because, when it is proven that the worker has not effectively complied with the company’s guidelines and guidelines, the company will not have more responsibilities attached to you, as you fulfilled your role correctly.

I had an accident at home. And now?

If the accident at work or illness at work is characterized, the law guarantees the worker who was at home the same rights that it guarantees to those who had an accident or became ill while working in the physical space of the company. Are they:

– Issuance of the CAT by the company (Communication of Accident at Work);

– Accident sickness allowance (when staying more than 15 days away);

– Stability of 12 months from the social security discharge or replacement indemnity;

– Payment of the FGTS during the period of leave, regardless of the amount of time;

– For having compromised the health, compensation for moral and material damage (expenses with treatment, health plan and pension – amount that the company pays in case of incapacity).

Follow other news about your rights in our Labor and Social Security Law Channel.

Carolina Centeno de Souza is a lawyer specializing in social security, labor and union law. Speaker and partner at Arraes e Centeno Advocacia. Visit our websiteclicking here


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