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Virginia: Unusual Height of Platform Means “Step-Down” Injury Is Compensable

November 21, 2014 (2 min read)

In a decision that has not been designated for publication, the Court of Appeals of Virginia affirmed an award of workers’ compensation benefits to a worker who injured his right knee, back, and right hip when he allegedly slipped while stepping down from a platform about fifteen and one-half inches from the floor. The worker testified that he stepped up and down on the platform some 40 to 70 times per day. He contended that the surface was slick and that the maneuver was awkward because one foot was on the floor and the other on the platform. The employer contended the evidence tended to show that the area had been cleaned just before the alleged injury, that the injury did not arise out of and in the course of the employment. The appellate court held it was not error to find the employee’s injury arose out of his employment, and was compensable, under Va. Code Ann. § 65.2–101, because the unusual height of a platform from which he stepped was a risk peculiar to his employment and contributed to his injury, as the step’s unusual height caused him to step down off the platform in an awkward manner and injure his knee.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation.

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to

See GP Big Island, LLC v. Creasey, 2014 Va. App. LEXIS 382 (Nov. 18, 2014) [2014 Va. App. LEXIS 382 (Nov. 18, 2014)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 3.04, 4.03 [3.04, 4.03]

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

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