Indus. Comm. v. Baker

Decision Date20 December 1933
Docket Number24135
Citation188 N.E. 560,127 Ohio St. 345
PartiesIndustrial Commission Of Ohio v. Baker.
CourtOhio Supreme Court

Workmen's Compensation - Death of employe at railroad crossing, en route to employment in automobile, not compensable - Award dependent upon causal connection of injury and employment - Injury, in zone of employment but outside work inclosure compensable - Hazards of zone are hazards of employment, when - Risks and hazards encountered by public generally, not contemplated.

1. The right to an award from the workmen's compensation fund is dependent upon a causal connection of the injury sustained and the employment of the applicant, either through the activities, the conditions or the environments of such employment.

2. An injury sustained by an employe, after reaching the zone of his employment under the control of his employer, even though outside the enclosure constituting his place of work, is compensable.

3. The hazards of such zone, growing out of the conditions and environments of his employment, are hazards of his employment, and an injury sustained by an employe due to such hazards is compensable out of the workmen's compensation fund. (Industrial Commission v. Barber, 117 Ohio St. 373 approved and followed.)

4. The constitution and the statute, providing for compensation from a fund created by assessments upon the industry itself contemplate only those hazards to be encountered by the employe in the discharge of the duties of his employment, and do not embrace risks and hazards, such as those of travel to and from his place of actual employment over streets and highways, which are similarly encountered by the public generally. (Industrial Commission v Henry, 124 Ohio St. 616, distinguished.)

This case involves the right to participate in the state insurance fund. The Industrial Commission rejected the claim, and, upon trial, on appeal in the court of common pleas of Butler county, the issue was submitted to a jury over the objection of counsel representing the Industrial Commission, following action of the court overruling the motion for a directed verdict. The jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff's right to participate In the state insurance fund, and the judgment rendered upon such verdict was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

Upon motion the record was ordered certified to this court for review. The facts are stated in the opinion.

Mr. John W. Bricker, attorney general, and Mr. R. R. Zurmehly, for plaintiff in error.

Mr. Walter S. Harlan, for defendant in error.


The facts in this case are not in dispute, and they present the question whether, when Baker sustained the injury resulting in his death, he was in the course of his employment. Baker was an employe of the Hamilton Coke & Iron Company. His home was in Hamilton, and he was driving his automobile over a county road, used generally by the public, to his place of employment, and was killed at the intersection of the tracks of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company at a point fully a quarter of a mile from the entrance to the plant in which he was employed. The employer had no control over the traffic or the means of travel adopted by the employe. The record discloses that, in order to reach his place of employment, it was necessary to cross a number of separate railroad tracks, if he traveled by the shortest route, and that traveling that route he necessarily crossed five interurban and railroad tracks, in addition to street car tracks within the city of Hamilton. It was further disclosed that there was another railroad track between the point of the accident and the plant in which Baker was employed. Baker had no duties whatever to perform for his employer before reaching the plant, and his travel over the public highway, which was a much-traveled road, was not different from that of the general public using such highway. Baker was therefore in the discharge of no duty connected with his employment at the time of his injury. He was at the time not within the zone of his employment, and the hazard which he encountered was not one growing out of the conditions or environments of his employment or in any wise under the control of his employer.

The benefits of the workmen's compensation fund under the Constitution and the provisions of the statute enacted pursuant thereto are only for injuries occasioned in the course of the workman's employment, and compensation is not authorized for any injury which has its cause outside of and disconnected with the work in which the injured workman was employed.

Some difficulty has arisen in various cases in determining whether under the facts presented the employe was in the course of his employment at the time of his injury. This court had occasion to consider the meaning of the term "in the course of employment" in the early case of Fassig v. State, ex rel. Turner, Atty. Genl., 95 Ohio St. 232, 116 N.E. , 104, where it was held that the constitutional provision (Article II, Section 35) and the statute enacted pursuant thereto (103 Ohio Laws, 82, Section 27), with reference to an injury in the course of employment, contemplated only an injury which is the result of or arises out of the employment.

It was there specifically held that "Such provisions do not cover any injury which has its cause outside of and...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT