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In a second instance, the Superior Court of Justice of Madrid recognised as an accident at work the injury suffered by a teleworker in the kitchen of his home while he was drinking water.
In agreement with his employer, the latter had designated his home as a place of telework. He had flexible working hours in the compulsory period from 8.30 am to 2.30 pm. At around 9.15 a.m. the teleworker went to his kitchen and picked up a bottle of water which slipped and fell, injuring his left hand.
The Court considered that the accident took place during working hours, in the space dedicated to telework and was the consequence of a normal activity in working life, i.e. drinking water in the place that is supposed to be the easiest to reach and normal, i.e. the kitchen. The judgement emphasised that the worker had carried out a “self-assessment” of the risks where teleworking would take place, with specific reference to the kitchen of the house and the various installations, including gas, in terms of the need to have them in good condition.
The judges emphasised that the workplace is not a space isolated from everything else around it, as we are led to believe. They therefore rejected the first instance court’s strict interpretation of what constitutes a workplace, which is essentially a table, chair and computer in a private home.