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176.231 Report of death or injury to commissioner of Department of Labor and Industry

Subdivision 1. Time limitation. Where death or serious injury occurs to an employee during the course of employment, the employer shall report the injury or death to the commissioner and insurer within 48 hours after its occurrence. Where any other injury occurs which wholly or partly incapacitates the employee from performing labor or service for more than three calendar days, the employer shall report the injury to the insurer on a form prescribed by the commissioner within ten days from its occurrence. An insurer and self-insured employer shall report the injury to the commissioner no later than 14 days from its occurrence. Where an injury has once been reported but subsequently death ensues, the employer shall report the death to the commissioner and insurer within 48 hours after the employer receives notice of this fact. An employer who provides notice to the Occupational Safety and Health Division of the Department of Labor and Industry of a fatality, or of inpatient hospitalization of three or more employees, within the eight-hour time frame required by law has satisfied the employer's obligation under this section.

Subd. 2. Initial report, written report. Where subdivision 1 requires an injury to be reported within 48 hours, the employer may make an initial report by telephone, telegraph, or personal notice, and file a written report of the injury within seven days from its occurrence or within such time as the commissioner of labor and industry designates. All written reports of injuries required by subdivision 1 shall include the date of injury. The reports shall be on a form designed by the commissioner, with a clear copy suitable for imaging to the commissioner, one copy to the insurer, and one copy to the employee.

The employer must give the employee the "Minnesota Workers' Compensation System Employee Information Sheet" at the time the employee is given a copy of the first report of injury.

If an insurer or self-insurer repeatedly fails to pay benefits within three days of the due date, pursuant to section 176.221, the insurer or self-insurer shall be ordered by the commissioner to explain, in person, the failure to pay benefits due in a reasonable time. If prompt payments are not thereafter made, the commissioner shall refer the insurer or self-insurer to the commissioner of commerce for action pursuant to section 176.225, subdivision 4.

Subd. 3. Physicians, chiropractors, or other health care providers to report injuries. A physician, chiropractor, or other health care provider who has examined, treated, or has special knowledge of an injury to an employee which may be compensable under this chapter, shall report to the commissioner all facts relating to the nature and extent of the injury and disability, and the treatment provided for the injury or disability, within ten days after the health care provider has received a written request for the information from the commissioner or an authorized representative of the commissioner.

Subd. 4. Supplementary reports. The commissioner or an authorized representative may require the filing of supplementary reports of accidents as is deemed necessary to provide information required by law.

Supplementary reports related to the current nature and extent of the employee's injury, disability, or treatment may be requested from a physician, surgeon, chiropractor, or other health care provider by the commissioner or a representative, an employer or insurer, or the employee.

Subd. 5. Forms for reports. The commissioner shall prescribe forms for use in making the reports required by this section. Forms for reports required by this section shall be as prescribed by the commissioner and shall be the only forms used by an employer, insurer, self-insurer, group self-insurer, and all health care providers.

Subd. 6. Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry; duty to keep informed. The commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry shall keep fully informed of the nature and extent of all injuries compensable under this chapter, their resultant disabilities, and of the rights of employees to compensation. The insurer or self-insured employer must keep the department advised of all payments of compensation, the amounts of payments made, and the date of the first payment. Where a physician or surgeon has examined, treated, or has special knowledge relating to an injury which may be compensable under this chapter, the commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry or any member or employee thereof shall request in writing a report from such person of the attendant facts.

Subd. 7. Medical reports. If requested by the division, a compensation judge, the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals, or any member or employee thereof an employer, insurer, or employee shall file with the commissioner a verified copy suitable for imaging of any medical report in possession which bears upon the case and shall also file a verified copy of the same report with the agency or individual who made the request.

Subd. 8. No public inspection of reports. Subject to subdivision 9, a report or its copy which has been filed with the commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry under this section is not available to public inspection. Any person who has access to such a report shall not disclose its contents to anyone in any manner.

A person who unauthorizedly discloses a report or its contents to another is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Subd. 9. Uses which may be made of reports. Reports filed with the commissioner under this section may be used in hearings held under this chapter, and for the purpose of state investigations and for statistics. These reports are available to the Department of Revenue for use in enforcing Minnesota income tax and property tax refund laws, and the information shall be protected as provided in chapter 270B.

The division or Office of Administrative Hearings or Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals may permit the examination of its file by the employer, insurer, employee, or dependent of a deceased employee or any person who furnishes written authorization to do so from the employer, insurer, employee, or dependent of a deceased employee. Reports filed under this section and other information the commissioner has regarding injuries or deaths shall be made available to the Workers' Compensation Reinsurance Association for use by the association in carrying out its responsibilities under chapter 79.

Subd. 10. Failure to file required report, penalty. If an employer, qualified rehabilitation consultant or rehabilitation vendor, insurer, physician, chiropractor, or other health provider fails to file with the commissioner any report required by this chapter in the manner and within the time limitations prescribed, or otherwise fails to provide a report required by this chapter in the manner provided by this chapter, the commissioner may impose a penalty of up to $500 for each failure.

The imposition of a penalty may be appealed to a compensation judge within 30 days of notice of the penalty.

Penalties collected by the state under this subdivision shall be payable to the commissioner for deposit into the assigned risk safety account.

Subd. 11. Failure to file required report; substitute filing. Where this section requires the employer to file a report of injury with the commissioner, and the employer is unable or refuses to file the report, the insurer shall file the report within ten days of a request from the division. The report shall be filed in the manner prescribed by this section. If both the employer and the insurer fail to file the report within 30 days of notice of the injury, the commissioner shall file the report.

The filing of a report of injury by the commissioner does not subject an employee or the dependents of an employee to the three-year time limitations under section 176.151, paragraphs (a) and (b).

A substitute filing under this subdivision shall not be a defense to a penalty assessed under subdivision 10.

Subd. 12. Reports; electronic monitoring. Beginning July 1, 1995, the commissioner shall monitor electronically all reports of injury, all payments for reported injuries, and compliance with all reporting and payment timelines.

History:  1953 c 755 s 32; 1969 c 583 s 1; 1971 c 422 s 4-9; 1973 c 388 s 65-74; 1975 c 271 s 6; 1975 c 359 s 23; 1976 c 134 s 78; Ex1979 c 3 s 54,55; 1981 c 346 s 98,99; 1983 c 15 s 2; 1983 c 289 s 114 subd 1; 1983 c 290 s 133-137; 1984 c 432 art 2 s 31,32; 1984 c 655 art 1 s 92; 1986 c 444; 1986 c 461 s 25,26; 1987 c 332 s 62-64; 1989 c 184 art 2 s 9; 1992 c 510 art 3 s 27; 1995 c 224 s 70; 1995 c 231 art 2 s 89; 1998 c 294 s 2,3; 2000 c 447 s 21; 2001 c 123 s 19-21; 2005 c 90 s 17; 2008 c 250 s 12; 2009 c 75 s 14

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