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Employer Checklist


Employers and their risk managers are concerned with preventing absenteeism and the ability of their employees to work effectively. Not all injuries at the workplace are work related, however. The following should be considered when determining if the employee’s heart attack, heart failure, angina pectoris, chest pain, shortness of breath, or similar cardiac problem is “work related” and occurred “in the course of the employment,” and therefore is compensable.


[] Whether the employee’s cardiac problem could be work related (For example: the employee’s chest pains may have resulted from high stress at the workplace or from an underlying cardiac problem not related to the job)


[] Whether the employee’s cardiac problem occurred as the result of actions within the scope of the employment (For example: the radiologic technologist was diagnosed with cancer, possibly due to radiation exposure resulting from her job duties involving taking patient angiograms)


[] Whether the cardiac problem flowed directly from an accident incurred during the employment (For example: the employee suffered a chest wall injury during a fork lift accident at work)


[] Expert testimony that the employee’s cardiac problem was, or was not, work related


[] Expert review of the employee’s medical records indicating other causes for the cardiac problem, such as prior trauma (For example: the employee was in an auto accident and had to be removed from the crushed car, which resulted in damage to the employee’s heart)


[] Expert testimony that even if the employee’s cardiac problem was work related, the employee is not permanently disabled and can return to work, possibly with accommodation


See: Workers' Compensation—Compensable Coronary Episode (Heart Attack), 10 Am. Jur. Proof of Facts 3d 669; Cause of Action for Workers' Compensation for Heart Attack, 51 Causes of Action 2d 291; Modern Workers Compensation §§ 109:17, 307:10.

 

 

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