Climbing through the attic window can be part of the way to work

Climbing through the attic window can be part of the way to work

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Exceptionally, BSG provides statutory accident insurance protection
If employees climb through an attic window instead of using the front door on the way to work, the statutory accident insurance can still step in in the event of an accident. Because if the outside door of a house cannot be reached, climbing through a window can also be part of the "immediate way to work", so that accident protection exists, judged on Thursday, August 31, 2017, the Federal Social Court (BSG) in Kassel (ref .: B 2 U 2/16 R).

An independent automotive painter from North Rhine-Westphalia was thus right. The man had made an important customer appointment on Saturday afternoon, March 17, 2012. Before that, he lay down for a quick nap at home.

When he wanted to start, he couldn't get out of his apartment. He had previously locked the front door, but when he unlocked the front door key broke. He quickly climbed through the attic window of the two-and-a-half-story apartment building with full work gear in order to be able to keep the customer appointment. He then wanted to get onto the street through a canopy, 2.60 meters below the window.

But he slipped and fell on the canopy. After about an hour and a half, the neighbor heard the man's calls and informed the emergency doctor. A fracture of the right lower leg was found in the hospital.

The self-employed car painter, who was compulsorily insured at the BG, wanted the lintel to be recognized as a commuting accident and thus an accident at work. According to the established case law, there is accident protection when you step through the outside door of a house. If this is not possible, accident protection must also exist when leaving the house through a window, he said.

The State Social Court LSG) North Rhine-Westphalia basically agreed. Here, the plaintiff fell on the canopy belonging to the house. He had not yet reached the public area under accident protection.

However, the BSG had an insight with the automotive painter. For accident protection, an employee must be on the direct way to work. This is usually the case when you step through the outer door of a house. There is no accident protection in the stairwell, but there is in the still private front yard. Since the plaintiff could not leave the house through the outer door, climbing through the window also leads to recognition as a commuting accident, judged the top social judges.

It does not matter to what extent the canopy belongs to the private sphere or to the public area. The window should rather be seen as the boundary between the home and the outside. Here the plaintiff was outside after climbing through, so that there was accident protection.

But this is "not a license for climbers", emphasized the BSG. The way through the window can only be insured if the normal way through the apartment and front door is blocked. In addition, the climbing path must also be “suitable”. Climbing out, for example, on the twelfth floor is not one of them. It would also speak against accident protection if the employee wanted to prove himself to be a "good gymnast" or to express his high spirits and imposing manner. But there was no evidence here. fle / mwo

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