IMSS MAY QUALIFY CASES OF CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) AS WORK DISEASE
As coronavirus cases in our country increase rapidly, and companies and their workers being severely affected by this pandemic disorder, the Mexican Institute of Social Security establishes criteria to qualify cases of COVID-19 as work disease. However, what characteristics must a worker's disease scenario have to be considered as a work illness?
In order to establish criteria to follow which allows medical health personnel and its services to establish the cause-and-effect relationship, work-damage, in cases of probable work disease by CORONAVIRUS (COVID- 19) when presented, and to be qualified as work disease anytime it
proceeds, Mexican Institute of Social Security has established the classification of risk while working in times of CORONAVIRUS as follows: Very high, high, medium, and low. IMSS has also established the type of jobs that fall within each of the risk levels, as well as the guidelines to be followed to qualify COVID 19 cases as work disease.
Occupations with exposure risks to CORONAVIRUS:
1. Very high exposure risk: Health personnel participating directly in caring for patients with suspected or diagnosis of COVID-19. 2. High exposure risk: Health personnel who are not directly involved in caring for patients with suspected or diagnosed COVID-19, but still participate in public care.
3. Risk of average exposure: Personnel who are directly involved in caring for people and who are at higher risk of COVID-19 infection than the rest or at greater risk of touching materials and surfaces contaminated with COVID-19 (Occupations where frequent contact between employees or people is required, such as shops, schools, day care centers, pharmacies and public service areas, health team workers such as doctors and nurses who address health problems not related to CORONAVIRUS, medical assistants, social workers, nutrition and diet workers, pharmacists, technicians and auxiliaries, public orientation staff, receptionists, clinical archivers, economic benefits personnel, general office auxiliaries, stretchers, security and building administration, workers with contact by cohabitation without personal protective equipment and multiple interactions with people, co-workers, clients, educators, teachers and other individuals or groups, who collaborate in activities such as: Food and beverage preparation and catering services, public administration and social security services, temporary accommodation services, financial and insurance services, banks, financiers, insurance companies personnel and similar, personal home and diverse services, land, air, marine and railway transportation services).
4. Low Exposure Risk: Staff who are not directly involved in caring for , but because of their essential activity have a higher risk of COVID-19 infection than the rest or at greater risk of coming into contact with materials and surfaces contaminated with COVID-19 [Workplaces where employees are not required to have frequent contact with people or other co-workers (Conservation Staff, staff services office, general, administrative, warehouse, food, accounting, legal and other services), workers who have minimal occupational contact with the general public and other co-workers].
In order to qualify a case of CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) as work disease:
1. Employee must submit the confirmed case criterion (Person who meets the operational definition of suspicious case and who has a diagnose issued by public or private laboratories of the National Network Public Health Laboratories, recognized by the Diagnose and Epidemy Reference Institute (InDRE)).
2. Employee must be within one of the criteria shown above.
3. Visible symptoms during a 1 to 14 days period, and since the contact or exposure while working, for which it must be identified that such exposure occurred before the suspension of work, for non-essential activities.
4. It will be considered a working disease if established that the employee was exposed during working hours, and/or in this same scenario to a coworker diagnosed with CORONAVIRUS COVID-19, after the proper diagnose; some out of office exposure, as long as it is confirmed that such exposure is less risky than the one at his/her working place.
It is of the utmost importance for companies to take into consideration this new classification working disease to be prepared and be able to face such extraordinary situation caused by the outbreak of COVID-19.
Toulet & Gottfried can provide you with the right advice, as well as legal representation regarding this matter.
Tomás A. Edison 1510-201
Ciudad Juárez, Chih. 32300
P.O. Box 9398
El Paso, TX. 79995
Toulet & Gottfried