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Is a back injury from shoveling snow covered by worker’s comp?

| Mar 8, 2019 | Workplace Injuries

There is one thing that almost everyone in Wisconsin has in common: snow. You may work as a retail cashier, a barista, a construction site lead or an architect. Regardless of your walk of life, there is a good chance that you will shovel snow at some point in your life — even if it is simply to dig your car out of a drift.

This somewhat onerous pastime may even cascade over into your professional duties. This is especially common in small-business environments, in which your employer may expect you to pitch in with some maintenance or physical activity regardless of your primary work function. If you had an injury performing this surprisingly dangerous duty, you would probably still be covered under worker’s compensation.

The main objection your employer might voice to this rule involves your location while shoveling. Some business owners may ask you or appreciate your snow-clearing activities, only to turn around and claim you were not at work when your injury occurred. According to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, your coverage would probably still be valid if: 

  •       The shoveling was in the best interest of your employer 
  •       You were clearing a customary path through the property 
  •       You were injured in a designated parking lot 

Your rights would depend on the law. They are not contingent on the opinion of any independent party. 

Even your company’s insurance company may have some objections to certain elements of your claim. It would therefore likely be important to explain the validity of your request in a way that everyone clearly understands. Please do not regard this as legal advice for your material situation or for any other; it is only general information.