Comp doesn't cover accident while driving company truck to work site
Case name: Little v. Kappen Tree Service, 26 MIWCLR 131 (Mich. C.A.C. 2012).
Ruling: The Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission held that an operator's motor vehicle accident that occurred on his way to work was not in the course of his employment.
What it means: In Michigan, the fact that the injured worker is an integral part of the employer's business does not render his travel to and from work within the course of employment.
A crane operator for a tree service was injured in a motor vehicle accident while driving to an out-of-town work site in the employer's truck. The commission reversed the magistrate's ruling that the accident occurred in the course of his employment. Evidence indicated that the service had a special crane at the work site. The service only had one such crane and one crane operator. The magistrate found it significant that the operator was the only crane operator in the service's employment and the operation of the crane would increase the service's revenue. However, the commission stated that these two factors existed regardless of whether the operator traveled to work in his own vehicle or by some other means.
There was no indication that the operator's driving of the service's truck to the workplace was anything more than an occasional activity. There was also no testimony that the service provided the transportation to guarantee the operator's presence at the work site. The commission concluded that this case remained a noncompensable "going to work situation." The fact that the operator was an integral part of the business did not render his travel to and from work within the course of employment.
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May 6, 2013
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