The Voice of Business, Industry & the Professions Since 1942
North Carolina's largest business group proudly serves as the state chamber of commerce

Workers Compensation

Position: NCCBI believes the definition of injury by "accident" should not be changed to eliminate the requirement that a worker be injured in the workplace as a result of and unexpected or untoward event. The continuation of our equitable workers compensation system that compensates employees for on-the-job injuries while performing assigned responsibilities is in the best interest of employers and employees. In order to maintain the balance of the traditional workers compensation we oppose the inclusion of stress claims, or any further erosion of the standards of injury by accident, or of exclusive remedy.

Explanation: The occurrence of any unexpected injury to the employee during the performance of his job would be compensable whether or not such injury results from an "accident." (1) Eliminating the "accident- requirement would open the system to any claim whether work related or not. (2) Injuries which did not occur on the job would become the subject of claims filed by employees. (3) In states which do not have the accident requirement, employers are subject to claims for arthritis, headaches, heart attacks or psychiatric disorders caused by stress and traced to the job.

Liberalization of the existing law to exclude the "accident" requirement would be quite costly to business and industry because of the increased number of claims and lawsuits. Higher absenteeism would be an inevitable result.  Employer insurance premium rates would be driven up proportionately.   Industrial development would be hampered appreciably as the state would become less attractive to new industry. There would in turn be fewer jobs for

those who need them. A past chairman of the Industrial Commission has summed up the consequences of some proposed changes by stating that "more people would be hurt than helped." Appointments to the Industrial Commission which reflect a fair and balanced membership will ensure that continued effectiveness of the workers compensation system.

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