Injury From Natural Disasters
Injury from natural
disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes generally
affects a community rather than the locale of a particular employer.
Thus, the fact that an employee is injured by such an occurrence alone
is insufficient to establish a claim for benefits since it does not
establish that the risk of harm increased because of his employment.
Injury by natural disaster affecting an entire community is within the
gambit of workers’ compensation where the risk of injury increases by
virtue of employment. For example, this element of extra risk has been
found where a schoolhouse was unusually exposed on a high plateau.
Increased risk might also exist where employees work in unnecessarily
tall, old, or unstable buildings particularly susceptible to strong
winds and earthquakes.