What happens if you are on break—in the washroom, outside smoking, on a short walk or simply taking a few minutes away from your desk—and you get injured? Will workers’ compensation cover such injuries, from falls to cuts and so on?  

This type of work injury falls under the comfort rule and personal convenience doctrine. This doctrine states that activities during the workday that are important for your health and comfort are considered “part of the ‘circumstances’ element of the course of employment.” in other words, the chances are good that such injuries would be covered by workman’s comp.

How do you determine whether or not the comfort rule applies to your work injury? Several factors can be considered, including:

  • The duration of the break period;
  • Whether or not the employee is paid during the break period;
  • Whether or not the employer provides a place for employees to take breaks, including where vending facilities are located;
  • Whether or not the employer permits off-premises breaks; and
  • The proximity of the employment site to the off-premises location where the employee was injured.

Most importantly, contact an attorney to describe your specific experience so that we can help you determine how workers’ compensation benefits will apply. Oxner + Permar is here to help. We’ve seen all varieties of workplace injury cases and we’ve won just about all of them.

Thanks to the comfort rule and the convenience doctrine, injuries that happen while on break often are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.