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R. Trent Mcauliffe

When Is An Injury Or Disease Work-related?

“Work-related” is sometimes called “on-the-job” and that is what it generally means, but not always. Most injuries covered by workers’ comp occur during an ordinary workday. All work-related injuries are covered. For example, if you slip and fall at work, while you are “on the clock” that is most likely covered. If you slip and fall in the company parking lot, that might be covered. If you are working at a construction site, it is work-related no matter where the construction site is located. If you are working out of town and staying in a motel, and you get hurt in the motel, it may be work-related, depending upon your position with the company.

A disease is considered an on-the-job injury if the disease is the direct result of your work. Catching a cold from a fellow co-worker is not the result of your work. If you get anthrax while handling poisoned mail for your company, the anthrax would probably be considered a work-related disease.

Many work-related injuries and diseases do not happen suddenly. An injury can occur over time through repetitive motion movements that some workers are required to perform, such as tightening bolts on an assembly line, using a jack-hammer, or typing on a computer keyboard. In the same way, many work-related diseases come from more than a single exposure incident. The lung diseases of asbestos workers and old time cotton mill workers were diseases that came on slowly over a period of extended exposure.

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