Work related means the accident or disease causing injury arises out of the employee’s employment, making it a workers compensation case in Wisconsin.

Even if the employee is within the course of employment, the injury itself must arise out of the employment, meaning it is incidental to the activities of employment. Van Roy v. Indus. Comm., 5 Wis. 2d 416, 92 N.W. 2d 818 (1958).

The phrase ‘arises out of his employment’ does not mean caused by the employment in the sense the employment is a moving force, which produces the accident. The words ‘arise out of the employment’ are not the same as ’caused by the employment.’

The positional risk interpretation has been phrased in various ways. The core of the idea is that an accident arises out of the employment when the connection between the employment and the accident is such that the obligation or circumstances of the employment places the employee in the particular place at the particular time when he is injured by a force, which is not solely personal to him.

Applying the positional risk doctrine it has been said accidents arise out of employment if the conditions or obligations of the employment create a zone of special danger out of which the accident causing the injury arose. Stated another way an accident arises out of employment when by reason of employment the employee is present at a place where he is injured through the agency of a third person, an outside force, or the conditions of the location constituting a zone of special danger.

Cutler-Hammer, Inc. v. Industrial Com., 5 Wis. 2d 247, 92 N.W.2d 824 (1958)

Wisconsin workers’ compensation law includes the traditional personal injury notion that the defendant takes the plaintiff as he finds him. The tortfeasor, or in our case the employer/insurer, cannot take credit for or reduce benefits based on the employee’s pre-injury physical or mental status.

Numerous decisions of this court have held that an employer takes an employee “as is” and the fact that he may be susceptible to injury by reason of a pre-existing physical condition does not relieve the last employer from being held liable for workmen’s compensation benefits if the employee becomes injured due to his employment, even though the injury may not have been such as to have caused disability in a normal individual.

M. & M. Realty Co. v. Industrial Com., 267 Wis. 52, 64 N.W.2d 413, 1954 Wisc. LEXIS 256 (Wis. 1954).

McCormick Law Office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin handles work related back injuries.