TITLE 56: LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT
CHAPTER I: DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
SUBCHAPTER b: REGULATION OF WORKING CONDITIONS
PART 350 HEALTH AND SAFETY
SECTION 350.270 DETERMINATION OF WORK-RELATEDNESS
An injury or illness is work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing injury or illness. Work-relatedness is presumed for injuries and illnesses resulting from events or exposures occurring in the work environment, unless an exception in subsection (b)(2) specifically applies.
The work environment is defined as the establishment and other locations where one or more employees are working or are present as a condition of their employment. The work environment includes not only physical locations, but also the equipment or materials used by the employee during the course of his or her work.
A) At the time of the injury or illness, the employee was present in the work environment as a member of the general public rather than as an employee.
B) The injury or illness involves signs or symptoms that surface at work but result solely from a non-work-related event or exposure that occurs outside the work environment.
C) The injury or illness results solely from voluntary participation in a wellness program or in a medical, fitness or recreational activity such as blood donation, physical examination, flu shot, exercise class, racquetball or baseball.
D) The injury or illness is solely the result of an employee eating, drinking or preparing food or drink for personal consumption (whether bought on the employer's premises or brought in). EXAMPLE: if the employee is injured by choking on a sandwich while in the employer's establishment, the case would not be considered work-related. However, if the employee is made ill by ingesting food contaminated by workplace contaminants (such as lead), or gets food poisoning from food supplied by the employer, the case would be considered work-related.
E) The injury or illness is solely the result of an employee doing personal tasks (unrelated to the employment) at the establishment outside of the employee's assigned working hours.
F) The injury or illness is solely the result of personal grooming, self medication for a non-work-related condition, or intentionally self-inflicted.
G) The injury or illness is caused by a motor vehicle accident and occurs on a company parking lot or company access road while the employee is commuting to or from work.
H) The illness is the common cold or flu. Contagious diseases such as tuberculosis, brucellosis, hepatitis A, or plague are considered work-related if the employee is infected at work.
I) The illness is a mental illness. Mental illness will not be considered work-related unless the employee voluntarily provides the employer with an opinion from a physician or other licensed health care professional with appropriate training and experience (psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, etc.) stating that the employee has a mental illness that is work-related.
3) Determining whether the Precipitating Event Occurred in the Work Environment
If it is not obvious whether the precipitating event or exposure occurred in the work environment, the employer must evaluate the employee's work duties and environment to decide whether one or more events or exposures in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing condition.
A pre-existing injury or illness has been significantly aggravated, for purposes of injury and illness recordkeeping, when an event or exposure in the work environment results in any of the following:
D) Medical treatment in a case in which no medical treatment was needed for the injury or illness before the workplace event or exposure, or a change in medical treatment was necessitated by the workplace event or exposure.
Injuries and illnesses that occur while an employee is on travel status are work-related if, at the time of the injury or illness, the employee was engaged in work activities in the interest of the employer. Examples of these activities include travel to and from customer contacts, conducting job tasks, and entertaining or being entertained to transact, discuss or promote business (work-related entertainment includes only entertainment activities being engaged in at the direction of the employer). Injuries or illnesses that occur when the employee is on travel status do not have to be recorded if they meet one of the following exceptions:
A) When a traveling employee checks into a hotel or motel, or other temporary residence, he or she establishes a home away from home. The employee's activities after he or she checks into the temporary residence must be evaluated by the employer for work-relatedness in the same manner as the employer evaluates the activities of a non-traveling employee. When the employee checks into the temporary residence, he or she is considered to have left the work environment. When the employee begins work each day, he or she re-enters the work environment. If the employee has established a home away from home and is reporting to a fixed worksite each day, injuries or illnesses are not work-related if they occur while the employee is commuting between the temporary residence and the job location.
B) Injuries or illnesses are not considered work-related if they occur while the employee is on a personal detour from a reasonably direct route of travel (e.g., has taken a side trip for personal reasons).
Injuries and illnesses that occur while an employee is working at home, including work in a home office, will be considered work-related if the injury or illness occurs while the employee is performing work for pay or compensation in the home, and the injury or illness is directly related to the performance of work rather than to the general home environment or setting. EXAMPLE: If an employee drops a box of work documents and injures his or her foot, the case is considered work-related. If an employee's fingernail is punctured by a needle from a sewing machine used to perform garment work at home, becomes infected and requires medical treatment, the injury is considered work-related. If an employee is injured because he or she trips on the family dog while rushing to answer a work phone call, the case is not considered work-related. If an employee working at home is electrocuted because of faulty home wiring, the injury is not considered work-related.