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Court Of Appeals Holds a Defective Extension Cord Sold Separately From the Vacuum Cleaner For Which It Is Used Is A Powered Tool For Purposes Of A VSSR

In State ex rel. Johnson v. Indus. Comm., 10th Dist. No. 13AP-558, 2014-Ohio-2281, a maintenance employee attached a defective extension cord to a vacuum cleaner and received an electrical shock when trying to plug it into the wall.  A workers’ compensation claim was allowed and the employee filed a VSSR alleging the company violated Ohio Admin. Code 4123:1-5-07(c), which requires employers to keep handheld portable powered tools in safe condition.  The Code section applies only to a workshop or factory.  Administratively, the Commission determined the extension cord was not a powered tool because it was not sold with the vacuum cleaner.  The appellate court disagreed, finding the extension cord was an integral part of the vacuum cleaner, and thus, the cord fit the definition of “powered tool” under the rule.  Because the Commission order did not address whether working at a school constituted working in a workshop or factory under the rule, the Court granted a limited writ of mandamus and remanded the matter back to the Commission for further consideration.  Click here to read the full case.

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