Alaska Q&A Board

Q&A Log - Alaska

Worker ' s Compensation

Turkey in an Autoclave

Question: Lab workers conducting animal research on livestock decide to cook a turkey in an autoclave while celebrating a birthday of a coworker. Several months later 2 of the employees are diagnosed with prion disease. The employees are prescribed medications. Is it compensable?   -Nate B. 2/2/21

Answers: 

1. Generally speaking, in Alaska injuries are compensable "... only for those injuries which arise out of and occur during the course and scope of your employment." (source: https://labor.alaska.gov/wc/wc-and-you.htm). Generally, celebrating a birthday party for a co-worker is not considered part of the scope of employment. It is also not generally considered to be a benefit for the employer (it fails the mutual benefit test). By not being in the scope of employment, and not benefiting the employer, it is unlikely that this injury would be compensable. -McKell S. 2/9/21


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