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Accidents in Activities Incidental to Employment: An Issue in Work Accident Law / תאונות בעת פעולות נלוות לעבודה: סוגיה בדיני תאונות בעבודה

שאול קובובי and Saul Koubovi
Social Security (Hebrew edition) / ביטחון סוציאלי
חוברת‎ 31 (שבט תשמ"ח, פברואר 1988), pp. 88-109
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23271322
Page Count: 22
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Accidents in Activities Incidental to Employment: An Issue in Work Accident Law / תאונות בעת פעולות נלוות לעבודה: סוגיה בדיני תאונות בעבודה
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Abstract

This article surveys the development of jurisprudence and legislation on one of the well-known subjects in work accident law, that of activities incidental to employment. Judgements on the issue were given by two different instances: first in the National Insurance Court (April 1, 1954—August 31, 1969) and thereafter in the Court of Labor (from September 1, 1969). Legislative activity consisted of amendments to the Law which came in the wake of judgements, sometimes in order to assure permanence to their rationale and at other times in order to limit them or contradict them. The main issue of the subject under discussion is the interpretation of the two components of the definition of "work accident": the connection of time — the accident occurred "in the course of employment", and the connection of causation — the accident arose "out of employment". Ever since the beginning of legislation concerning compensation of injured workmen, approximately one hundred years ago, courts all over the world have encountered the same questions, such as how to define the limits of "in the course of" — should they be expanded or contracted? — and how far one is permitted to stretch the causal connection ("out of"), etc. The initial approach was to regard only accidents which occurred at the time that the employee was actually engaged in employment, when he really worked and fulfilled his obligation towards his employer, as a work accident. It soon became clear that a limiting interpretation was inconsistent with the intention to compensate the worker (and those dependent on him for their living) suitably and justly for the loss of his earning capacity and for the loss of his health or his life due to an accident in the course of employment. The courts were required to revise the rules and answer such questions as how the law regards a worker who was injured when entering his place of employment, when changing his clothes, when taking a shower, a meal or a drink, when smoking, when taking advantage of the welfare services that his employer provided, when undertaking sport and recreational activities connected to the place of employment, and the like. The changing times and the social developments in the era of social security — which replaced the individual employer's liability to compensate the injured person by the liability of the public as a whole — led to a continuous expansion of the meaning of "in the course of" far beyond its precise literal meaning. In Israel, the National Insurance Court, from its beginnings, sought and found inspiration and solutions to its problems in English jurisprudence of both before and after the introduction of social insurance in the U.K. (in 1946). In the course of time, and especially since the establishment of the Court of Labor, Israeli jurisprudence freed itself from this connection, as it became conscious and open to the developments occurring in other countries, human nature being much the same the world over. In certain matters, where the court was of the opinion that a certain type of problem should not be dealt with in the context of work accident law, the legislator intervened and dictated the solution.

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