You may not think of a supermarket as an obviously dangerous place to work. According to a recent Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission (IWCC) ruling, however, under the right circumstances such a facility may be found to expose employees to a higher risk of injury than members of the general public. Therefore, those employees may be eligible for Illinois workers' compensation benefits.
The case the Commission recently ruled on dealt with a cashier working at a produce market. The woman was injured when an out of control delivery vehicle drove through the market's window wall. Several customers at the store also sustained injuries in the crash.
The window wall was located at the front of the store, facing the parking lot. At the time of the accident, the woman was at her cash register also located in the front of the market by the large windows.
The workers' compensation arbitrator ruled that the woman did not prove the injuries she sustained in the crash arose from her employment at the market. The Commission, however, recently reversed the arbitrator's ruling and awarded the cashier workers' compensation benefits.
The Commission found that because the woman's job necessitated her spending a great deal of time at her register in the front of the store she was at greater risk for injury, and the injuries she sustained arose out of the course of her employment. She therefore was eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits.
A case such as this demonstrates the many nuances of workers' compensation law and the importance of injured workers seeking legal guidance to determine their options and best course of action.
Source: Risk & Insurance, Comp covers injuries caused by out of control vehicle, 16 February 2012