2016 Arkansas Code
Title 11 - Labor and Industrial Relations
Chapter 9 - Workers' Compensation
Subchapter 6 - -- Occupational Disease
§ 11-9-602. Compensation for silicosis or asbestosis

AR Code § 11-9-602 (2016) What's This?

(a) As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Asbestosis" means the characteristic fibrotic condition of the lungs caused by the inhalation of asbestos dust; and

(2) "Silicosis" means the characteristic fibrotic condition of the lungs caused by the inhalation of silica dust.

(b) In the absence of conclusive evidence in favor of the claim, disability or death from silicosis or asbestosis shall be presumed not to be due to the nature of any occupation within the provision of this subchapter unless during the ten (10) years immediately preceding the date of disablement the employee has been exposed to the inhalation of silica dust or asbestos dust over a period of not less than five (5) years, two (2) years of which shall have been in this state, under a contract of employment existing in this state. However, if the employee has been employed by the same employer during the whole of the five-year period, his or her right to compensation against the employer shall not be affected by the fact that he or she had been employed during any part of the period outside of this state.

(c) Except as in this subchapter otherwise provided, compensation for disability from uncomplicated silicosis or asbestosis shall be payable in accordance with the provisions of §§ 11-9-519 -- 11-9-526. However, no compensation shall be payable for disability from silicosis or asbestosis of less than thirty-three and one-third percent (331/3%) of the total disability.

(d) (1) In case of disability or death from silicosis or asbestosis complicated with tuberculosis of the lungs, compensation shall be payable as for uncomplicated silicosis or asbestosis, provided that the silicosis or asbestosis was an essential factor in the causing of disability or death.

(2) In case of disability or death from silicosis or asbestosis complicated with any other disease, or from any other disease complicated with silicosis or asbestosis, the compensation shall be reduced as provided in § 11-9-601(c).

(e) (1) (A) (i) Where an employee, though not actually disabled, is found by the Workers' Compensation Commission to be affected by silicosis or asbestosis to such a degree as to make it unduly hazardous for him or her to continue in an employment involving exposure to the hazards of the disease, the commission may order that he or she be removed from his or her employment. In such a case, or in case he or she has already been discharged from the employment and is unemployed, he or she shall be entitled to compensation until he or she can obtain steady employment in some other suitable occupation in which there are no hazards of the disease.

(ii) However, the compensation shall in no case be payable for longer than twenty-six (26) weeks immediately following the date of removal or discharge and unless application for compensation is made within the period.

(B) In case the employee obtains other suitable employment at reduced wages, the payments of compensation during such part of the twenty-six-week-period as he or she is so employed shall be at the rate prescribed in § 11-9-520.

(2) (A) When in any case the forced change of employment shall, in the opinion of the commission, require that the employee be given special training in order to fit him or her for another occupation, the employer liable for compensation shall pay for the training and incidental traveling expenses an additional sum, in no case, however, to exceed four hundred dollars ($400).

(B) The payment shall be made for the benefit of the employee to such person as the commission shall direct.

(C) No payment, however, shall be made unless the employee accepts the special training directed by the commission, nor shall payment be made for a longer period than the employee submits to the training.

(3) If an employee has been compensated, whether specially trained or not, and thereafter engages in any occupation which exposes him or her to hazards of silicosis or asbestosis without first having obtained the written approval of the commission, neither he or she, his or her dependents, personal representative, nor any other person shall be entitled to compensation or damages for his or her disablement or death from either of the diseases.

(4) However, neither a claim for nor receipt of compensation or benefits under this subsection shall bar the employee from any right to compensation for actual disability from silicosis or asbestosis if the disability results not later and within the time limited in § 11-9-601(g).

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