An act relating to workers' compensation. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky

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AN ACT relating to workers' compensation.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

Section 1. KRS 342.0011 is amended to read as follows:

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Injury" means any work-related traumatic event or series of traumatic events, including cumulative trauma, arising out of and in the course of employment which is the proximate cause producing a harmful change in the human organism evidenced by objective medical findings. "Injury" does not include the effects of the natural aging process, and does not include any communicable disease unless the risk of contracting the disease is increased by the nature of the employment. "Injury" when used generally, unless the context indicates otherwise, shall include an occupational disease and damage to a prosthetic appliance, but shall not include a psychological, psychiatric, or stress-related change in the human organism, unless it is a direct result of a physical injury.

(2) "Occupational disease" means a disease arising out of and in the course of the employment.

(3) An occupational disease as defined in this chapter shall be deemed to arise out of the employment if there is apparent to the rational mind, upon consideration of all the circumstances, a causal connection between the conditions under which the work is performed and the occupational disease, and which can be seen to have followed as a natural incident to the work as a result of the exposure occasioned by the nature of the employment and which can be fairly traced to the employment as the proximate cause. The occupational disease shall be incidental to the character of the business and not independent of the relationship of employer and employee. An occupational disease need not have been foreseen or expected but, after its contraction, it must appear to be related to a risk connected with the employment and to have flowed from that source as a rational consequence.

(4) "Injurious exposure" shall mean that exposure to occupational hazard which would, independently of any other cause whatsoever, produce or cause the disease for which the claim is made.

(5) "Death" means death resulting from an injury or occupational disease.

(6) "Carrier" means any insurer, or legal representative thereof, authorized to insure the liability of employers under this chapter and includes a self-insurer.

(7) "Self-insurer" is an employer who has been authorized under the provisions of this chapter to carry his own liability on his employees covered by this chapter.

(8) "Department" means the Department of Workers' Claims in the Labor Cabinet.

(9) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the Department of Workers' Claims.

(10) "Board" means the Workers' Compensation Board.

(11) (a) "Temporary total disability" means the condition of an employee who has not reached maximum medical improvement from an injury and has not reached a level of improvement that would permit a return to employment;

(b) "Permanent partial disability" means the condition of an employee who, due to an injury, has a permanent disability rating but retains the ability to work; and

(c) "Permanent total disability" means the condition of an employee who, due to an injury, has a permanent disability rating and has a complete and permanent inability to perform any type of work as a result of an injury, except that total disability shall be irrebuttably presumed to exist for an injury that results in:

1. Total and permanent loss of sight in both eyes;

2. Loss of both feet at or above the ankle;

3. Loss of both hands at or above the wrist;

4. Loss of one (1) foot at or above the ankle and the loss of one (1) hand at or above the wrist;

5. Permanent and complete paralysis of both arms, both legs, or one (1) arm and one (1) leg;

6. Incurable insanity or imbecility; or

7. Total loss of hearing.

(12) "Income benefits" means payments made under the provisions of this chapter to the disabled worker or his dependents in case of death, excluding medical and related benefits.

(13) "Medical and related benefits" means payments made for medical, hospital, burial, and other services as provided in this chapter, other than income benefits.

(14) "Compensation" means all payments made under the provisions of this chapter representing the sum of income benefits and medical and related benefits.

(15) "Medical services" means medical, surgical, dental, hospital, nursing, and medical rehabilitation services, medicines, and fittings for artificial or prosthetic devices.

(16) "Person" means any individual, partnership, including a registered limited liability partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, firm, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, limited liability company, or legal representative thereof.

(17) "Wages" means, in addition to money payments for services rendered, the reasonable value of board, rent, housing, lodging, fuel, or similar advantages received from the employer, and gratuities received in the course of employment from persons other than the employer as evidenced by the employee's federal and state tax returns.

(18) "Agriculture" means the operation of farm premises, including the planting, cultivation, producing, growing, harvesting, and preparation for market of agricultural or horticultural commodities thereon, the raising of livestock for food products and for racing purposes, and poultry thereon, and any work performed as an incident to or in conjunction with the farm operations. It shall not include the commercial processing, packing, drying, storing, or canning of such commodities for market, or making cheese or butter or other dairy products for market.

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