Workers' Compensation

Virginia: Worker Did Not Violate Known Safety Rule Against Heavy Lifting

An employer’s known work rule—that an employee should not lift more than 40 pounds without assistance—did not bar the claim of a Virginia worker who sustained a back injury while attempting to move three boxes of computers, each weighing approximately 120 pounds, with a hand truck, held a state appellate court. In the incident, the employee and a co-worker stacked the boxes on a hand truck and the employee then attempted to pull back on the truck to get it moving on its wheels. The weight apparently shifted, and the employee tried to stead the truck with his leg. When he did so, he felt a “pop” in his back. The appellate court agreed with the Commission that the employee’s actions in attempting to guide the hand truck did not constitute “lifting” in violation of employer's safety rule and Va. Code Ann. § 65.2-306(A)(5), inasmuch as the employee never contended that he injured his back while lifting boxes.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Snelling Staffing/Chesapeake & Ace Am. Ins. Co. v. Edwards, 2019 Va. App. LEXIS 79 (Apr. 9, 2019)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 34.03.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law