Monday, December 3, 2012

Post Safety lists are a Daily Dose of Death

An unintended consequence is something unforeseen that happens because of something you did, but which is outside of your strict effort-to-goal plan-line. I started presenting monthy safety meetings for my section at work. Then a few other sections noticed that they hadn't had a safety meeting in a long time, and they asked if they could join ours.  Soon I was presenting to more than half the floor. 

Then my name got on some safety marketing lists. Now I get emailed newsletters that have hook questions like this:

"Employee injury or death while traveling to or from work is usually not covered under workers' compensation insurance, due to the coming and going rule. But what if the employee was killed while on the way to pick up a co-worker to go to an employer-required conference?"

For awhile, I would dutifully read these little newsletters.  They were quick little warm-ups to start the day and once or twice I actually found something that my section should know about, and I'd include it in the next meeting.

But soon they started to affect my mood.  I came to think of them as my daily dose of death, because there were usually one to three little articles about someone dying on the job and the safety violation that caused it. I had expected that taking on the safety meetings would be an odd amount of work that didn't exactly fit in with the other things I was doing.  The unintended consequence was a darkening of my outlook. 

I decided it really wasn't worth it to read the newsletters.  Now I very rarely open them.

If you're curious, the answer to the quoted question is that the widow got workers' comp survivor's benefits, but only after she appealed and then appealed again to the Texas Supreme Court.

The final decision was predicated not on his driving of a company truck and not on his having been assigned to go to the conference and not because he was on his way to pick up another employee (who had also been required to go). Nope, it was because the conference was a multi-day conference, so that what the employee was doing was considered to be "overnight travel".

"Overnight travel" is not covered by the coming and going rule.

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