The type of activities conducted on the employment premises is often determinative of the course of employment issue. Injuries sustained during recreational and social activities on the employer’s premises have generally been held to be compensable. However, to be compensable, the injury must have been sustained while engaging in activities that were customary, either in the industry or in the particular place, in order for the activities to qualify as a regular incident of employment.
In addition, since compensable injuries may also occur away from the workplace while workers are performing employment duties, injuries suffered during off-the-premises recreational and social activities can occur in the course of employment if the activity is regarded as having been incidental to the employment. Any recognition that employee participation in the event improves employment relationships and thereby promotes business-related benefits often creates the requisite “substantial connection” between the social or recreational activity and the employment.