Coronavirus Work Accident or Occupational Disease?

coronavirus work accident or occupational disease
coronavirus work accident or occupational disease

Because of the corona virus, many people switched from home to work model. However, there are still occupational groups working in the field and in contact with people for their jobs. There are questions about whether these people should be counted as an occupational accident when they are infected or whether they should be covered by occupational disease. In both cases, there are details to be considered in insurance policies. Erol Esentürk, CEO of MonoPoli Insurance, explains in which cases insurance companies pay.

The rapidly spreading Corona virus has changed our lives in many ways. While universities, even pre-school education institutions switched to online education, many companies also switched to distance study model. While many services started to be provided over the internet, even doctor interviews were carried online. However, there are still people on the field who do their job outside. Distribution teams, market employees, those who provide services in the health sector… Corona virus poses a greater risk especially for those working in these areas. They are afraid to contact people, spend time at home and have to talk to many people during the day and work at risk.

Occupational disease for the health worker

While working, the situation that occurs in case of getting this disease comes to mind whether it is a work accident or an occupational disease. Occupational disease is a temporary or permanent illness, physical or mental disability that the insured suffers from a recurring reason due to the nature of the job he / she works or performs, due to the execution conditions of the job. It is called the event that makes it disabled. It can be stated as the events that occur due to the job when the insured is in the workplace or when he is sent to another place as an officer.

Employer's obligations

Considered in this way, a market employee or distribution worker can be described as a work accident if they get the Corona virus while doing their job. However, if it is determined that the employee has gotten the virus in a situation that is not related to the workplace or during the commute, it is not related to work, this does not enter the status of work accident. The situation is a little different in healthcare professionals. Since doctors, nurses and their jobs are related to this disease, Corona virus is accepted as an occupational disease in case of health workers. According to the statement of the Medical Association on March 30, security, servant, driver, secretary, etc. working in the health sector. interpreted as a work accident for employees. In any case, the employer needs to take every precaution. It is expected that the area of ​​the employee will be regularly disinfected, health checks and necessary equipment provided.

In which case do insurance companies pay?

Reminding that the policy that provides the legal responsibility of the employer to its employees is the Employer's Financial Liability Policy, MonoPoli Insurance CEO Erol Esentürk states that in order for the employee deaths to be paid from the Employer's Financial Liability Insurance policies, the employee is required to be exposed to the virus in the court: If he did not take measures, for example; provision of disinfectants, positioning, monitoring whether hygiene rules are followed, mask and gloves supply and usage obligation, informing employees about this disease, increasing the periodic examinations of workers, postponing travels abroad for work or complying with quarantine period or working from home. The employer can be held responsible if the worker has not taken measures such as changing the working order accordingly and if the issues can be proved.

If the court qualifies as an occupational accident and imposes flaws and legal responsibilities to the employer, damage assessment may be in question within the scope of the general terms and policy special conditions to which the current policies are subject. It is necessary to touch on an important detail about physicians. For this occupational group, we mentioned that the Corona virus is considered an occupational disease. For this reason, Occupational Disease coverage must be added as an additional guarantee to the Employer Financial Liability Insurance policies, which include physicians in hospital policies. ”


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