Is it any injury?

[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 01-24-08 AT 09:52AM (CST)[/font][br][br]Hey Everyone - hope you're having a great new year!

I have an "Incident or Injury Report" form on my desk right now where an employee states that doing a manual labor job (shoveling waste into buckets) made his arms "tender and sore." He later goes on to self-diagnose his tender elbow as a strain, but in the rest of the report, he just says he's sore. Maybe I'm just having one of those days, but to me, this doesn't seem like an injury. It seems like someone who is sore from manual labor - is the employer responsible for this?? Coincidently, this employee has made several comments to me in the last year that "he's getting too old for this stuff (the manual labor)" and he'd really like to be promoted to a position where he doesn't have to deal with it. He's also a marginal performer and promotion is not on his horizon.

I confess upfront the Workers' Comp. is my weak area as an HR Generalist. A little direction would be much appreciated...

P.S. Hmm.. I AM having one of those days.. Sorry about the typos (especially in the subject).


  • 5 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • It is not clear from your posting as to whether the employee has seen a doctor or had time loss. If he is claiming that he has a work-related injury or medical condition (as it appears he is), I would give him the workers' compensation froms and work through the process. The medical documentation will either support a work-related condition or not support it.
  • Thanks. He hasn't had any lost time or seen a doctor at this point.
  • I agree with David. If you have an employee who requests work comp coverage then the only thing you can do is process the paperwork and go from there. Your carrier will require that he see a doctor. It will be covered, or it won't. The decision will be up to the carrier. Though you probably know the final result, since you are not a doctor you must proceed. Any hold up on your end can be construed to be discrimination, retaliation, etc etc.

    One more thing. Since he is bucking for a promotion watch your P's and Q's. He might use this incident to claim retaliation when he doesn't get it.

    Good luck!

  • Whenever I have an ee who claims an on the job injury, I send it in to our carrier and let them make the determination if it is compensable or not.
  • Agree with other posters. Process the report as if it is w/c, and it would be to your benefit to offer treatment or insist on a medical evaluation. If there really is something wrong, you will have done what you should do, which is not stand in the way of medical attention. If there is nothing wrong, a medical evalation will yield that finding as well. And you will have your documentation in place as evidence for the steps you took.

    best wishes.

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