• Medical Implants in Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act

    Many employees have medical implants which may be affected by work-related activities.  The Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act provides:  

    “If an accident arising out of and in the course of employment after June 30, 1997, results in the loss of or damage to an artificial member, a brace, an implant, eyeglasses, prosthodontics, or other medically prescribed device, the employer shall repair the artificial member, brace, implant, eyeglasses, prosthodontics, or other medically prescribed device or furnish an identical or a reasonably equivalent replacement.”  

    Medical Implants Workers Compensation ActSome implants may be predictably harmed by passive exposure to magnets or electrical currents in the workplace.  But, if the employee is unaware of such exposure and the employer is unaware of such implant, then the risk of harm may not be avoided.  Thus, it makes sense for the employer to investigate and disclose employment exposures damaging to implants and for employees to request appropriate accommodations for their implants.  In that way, a certain risk of harm may be avoided.  If an employee is placed in a job with an accommodation designed to prevent damage to the implant and the implant is inadvertently damaged despite such accommodation, then the damage would likely be the equivalent of an injury by accident/unexpected injury and the statutory requirement for repair or replacement would apply.

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