2014 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 85A. Administrative Workers' Compensation System
§85A-65. Occupational disease.
A. If an employee suffers from an occupational disease as defined in this section and is disabled or dies as a result of the disease, the employee, or, in case of death, his or her dependents, shall be entitled to compensation as if the disability or death were caused by injury arising out of work activities within the scope of employment, except as otherwise provided in this section.
B. No compensation shall be payable for an occupational disease if the employee, at the time of entering into the employment of the employer by whom the compensation would otherwise be payable, falsely represented himself or herself in writing as not having previously been disabled, laid off, or compensated in damages or otherwise, because of the disease.
C. 1. If an occupational disease is aggravated by any other disease or infirmity, not itself compensable, or if disability or death from any other cause, not itself compensable, is aggravated, prolonged, accelerated, or in any way contributed to by an occupational disease, the compensation payable shall be reduced and limited to the proportion only of the compensation that would be payable if the occupational disease were the major cause of the disability or death as the occupational disease, as a causative factor, bears to all the causes of the disability or death.
2. The reduction in compensation is to be effected by reducing the number of weekly or monthly payments or the amounts of the payments, as under the circumstances of the particular case may be for the best interest of the claimant.
D. 1. "Occupational disease", as used in this act, unless the context otherwise requires, means any disease that results in disability or death and arises out of and in the course of the occupation or employment of the employee or naturally follows or unavoidably results from an injury as that term is defined in this act. A causal connection between the occupation or employment and the occupational disease shall be established by a preponderance of the evidence.
2. No compensation shall be payable for any contagious or infectious disease unless contracted in the course and scope of employment in or immediately connected with a hospital or sanatorium in which persons suffering from that disease are cared for or treated.
3. No compensation shall be payable for any ordinary disease of life to which the general public is exposed.
E. 1. When compensation is payable for an occupational disease, the employer in whose employment the employee was last injuriously exposed to the hazards of the disease and the carrier, if any, on the risk when the employee was last injuriously exposed under the employer shall be liable.
2. The amount of the compensation shall be based on the average weekly wage of the employee when last injuriously exposed under the employer, and the notice of injury and claim for compensation shall be given and made to that employer.
F. 1. An employer shall not be liable for any compensation for an occupational disease unless:
a.the disease is due to the nature of an employment in which the hazards of the disease actually exist and are characteristic thereof and peculiar to the trade, occupation, process, or employment and is actually incurred in the course and scope of his or her employment. This includes any disease due to or attributable to exposure to or contact with any radioactive material by an employee in the course and scope of his or her employment,
b.disablement or death results within three (3) years in case of silicosis or asbestosis, or one (1) year in case of any other occupational disease, except a diseased condition caused by exposure to X-rays, radioactive substances, or ionizing radiation, after the last injurious exposure to the disease in the employment, or
c.in case of death, death follows continuous disability from the disease, commencing within the period, for which compensation has been paid or awarded or timely claim made as provided in subparagraph b of this paragraph and results within seven (7) years after the last exposure.
2. However, in case of a diseased condition caused by exposure to X-rays, radioactive substances, or ionizing radiation only, the limitations expressed do not apply.
Added by Laws 2013, c. 208, § 65, eff. Feb. 1, 2014.
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