GERMANY: SARS-CoV-2 infection can also be an occupational accident

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If an infection due to SARS-CoV-2 occurs in an occupational environment, the resulting Covid-19 can be recognised as an occupational accident on the basis of current knowledge about the spread of the virus.

For this, it must be possible to prove that the infection is due to intensive professional contact with a person known to have been infected with the coronavirus. The duration and intensity of the contact are the most important factors. In the absence of being able to identify a specific contact person, a massive infection phenomenon (so-called epidemic event) in the company may suffice. This also applies if the infection occurred on the way to and from work.

The competent accident insurance should check and assess on a case-by-case basis whether the conditions for recognizing a Covid-19 disease as an accident at work are met. Since the incidence of infections in Germany has decreased significantly, it is no longer important that the risk of work-related infection clearly exceeds the extent of the risk to which the population is generally exposed.

On the other hand, recognition of Covid-19 as an occupational disease requires that the victim has worked in a health or social care service or laboratory or has been exposed to a risk with the same intensity in another activity.

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