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Workers' comp and the off-duty cop

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By Merilee Dannemann

The workers’ compensation safety specialist visited a restaurant. While there, he discussed with employees the importance of shoveling snow from the parking lot for the safety of restaurant guests.
He reported this to a vice president of his company, a friend of mine. My friend asked if I noticed what the safety specialist did wrong.
“Of course,” I said. “He represents the work comp insurer. He should not promote risking employees’ safety to protect customers. The customers are somebody else’s problem.”
“You got it,” my friend said.
This does not imply that workers’ compensation specialists should encourage employees to let customers slip in the snow, but that their business is the employees.
Which is one reason why workers’ compensation is so topsy-turvy for emergency first responders.
The Kevin Schultz case has finally been decided by the Court of Appeals, in favor of the late Officer Schultz and his family.
Schultz was a Pojoaque Pueblo police officer who, on a church picnic, jumped into the Rio Grande to save a boy struggling in the water. He saved the child, but died himself.


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