On Thursday, 24 Jan 2002 at 17:17:21, Alex Baskous, M.D.,
Is it true, as I have heard, that if medical personnel refuse
required Hep B series (with no proof of immunity and no
contraindication) and then contract Hep B, that workmans comp
justified in declining their claim?
If true, with somewhat similar logic, is a worker who is
be at risk and choses to work anyway also declined for
the documented contraindicating condition?
Since work comp laws vary state-to-state, this question has no
answer. In the states from which I handle claims, I
would not feel
completely comfortable denying either of these claims.
would be responsible for, at least, the exacerbation of the
condition. Some states provide for a reduction of
benefits if the
employee fails to follow a safety regulation.
In the case of the Hep B infection, I would rely on the
physician to tell me if he/she could say with a reasonable
medical certainty that the employee contracted Hep B at work.
employee was working with a patient who was documented as
having Hep B
and there was a possible source or cause for the transmission,
would bet that it would be compensible.
In the case of the employee who is "...documented to be
at risk and
chooses to work anyway...," I feel that the exacerbation
compensible. The employer would not be responsible for
condition, just that portion caused by the work injury.
Of course, this
can be a muddy mess to try to separate what is pre-existing
and what is
caused by the work injury. If an employer has a baseline
(pre-employment back screen for example), then it may be
Amy L. Petersen, AIC
Claims Examiner III
Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc.
PO Box 540040
Omaha NE 68154
(800)486-2152, ext. 337
In Ontario (Canada)WCB is "no fault" insurance, and
as such if the individual declined Hep. B. vaccination and
subsequently became infected on the
job, then (s)he would still be entitled to WCB benefits.
The only recourse for the employer would
be the ability to prove that the condition was
pre-existing...and the easiest way for this would be to
establish the baseline serology at the
pre-placement health review/exam. The only other
"defence" would be to make vaccination mandatory,
in a manner similar to hard hats and safety boots on a
construction site, but most employers I know have been
reluctant to do this...However, where there is
a strong push, and an organizational climate conducive to
prevention, in my exprience the vast
majority of employees at risk opt for vaccination. (I am the occ doc to numerous "at risk"
facilities in Toronto).
Dr. Gabor Lantos P.Eng, MBA, MD
Occupational Health Management Services inc.
8 King St. E. #1500
Toronto, Ontario M5C 1B5
Tel: (416) 410-5018 Fax: