LA PRADE, Justice.
This proceeding calls for a review of an award of the Industrial Commission of Arizona, refusing to grant compensation for the death of an employee whose
The deceased employee, Floyd E. Nicholson, was employed by the Christenson Construction Co., Inc., as a "grizzly man" in its operation in quarrying and crushing building material called "tuff", used in the manufacture of building blocks. This mining operation was carried on out on the open desert near Apache Junction, east of Mesa, Arizona. The tuff material, after being "sized" at the grizzly, was crushed to a certain fineness and then conveyed by a belt conveyor up to the top of a loading platform from which it was taken by trucks that were driven under the platform and loaded through doors which permitted the material to drop down into the trucks. The area under the platform into which the trucks were driven was about 11 feet wide and 29 feet long. The ceiling of the platform was about 12 feet above the ground and was supported by railroad rails set crosswise on top of which heavy planks were laid. About midmorning of the day of the accident one of the rails in the ceiling gave way on account of the weight of materials superimposed upon it.
The structural defect was temporarily shored up but was considered of such consequence that it was deemed advisable not to place any more material on the platform until adequate repairs could be made. The temporary repair was completed about 50 minutes before noontime, at which time the employees were told not to return in the afternoon for work but to return the following morning, giving time to repair the platform. Due to the location of the premises, there being no restaurants nearby, the employees were accustomed to bring their lunches with them and which, with the knowledge and consent of the employer, they customarily ate in the tunnel area underneath the loading platform, which furnished the only shade in this desert area during a period of extreme heat (date of accident July 24th). About 20 minutes after the noon hour, deceased and other workmen were eating their lunch under the platform and while so engaged the roof collapsed covering them with great quantities of material — so much, in fact, that three of them lost their lives.
The Commission, in view of the fact that the workday had unexpectedly come to an end at the noon hour, coupled with a layoff order, determined that the relationship of employer and employee had ceased at 12 o'clock sharp, and that the injury and resulting death did not arise out of and in the course of the employment and hence was not compensable. The correctness of this determination presents the occasion for this review.
That the deceased lost his life by accident no one questions, but did it arise out of his employment and in the course of his employment? The words "in course
Mr. Arthur Larson, of the Wisconsin bar, and Professor of Law at Cornell Law School, in his recent work entitled "The Law of Workmen's Compensation" (1952), Vol. 1, p. 42, says:
With these observations we must concur. The words "arising out of" and "in the course of" appear in practically all of the Workmen's Compensation Acts in the United States, and constitute the basic coverage formula. Perhaps it is not amiss to surmise that it is out of the voluminous interpretations and definitions that confusion has arisen, rather than in the simple and expressive words themselves.
All the cases and text-writers on the subject acknowledge that categorical tests or rules have not yet been invented or stated which can be applied in this ever-changing industrial world to determine whether any particular accident arises out of and in the course of employment. This court early recognized that each case must be determined on its own peculiar facts before any attempt is made to apply tests. Ocean Accident & Guarantee Corp. v. Industrial Comm., 1927, 32 Ariz. 265, 257 P. 641, 643. We feel that any attempt to determine whether a particular injury arises out of and in the course of employment should only be made by a judging body which is constantly aware of the basic concept of the nature and philosophy back of workmen's compensation. This court, from the inception of the Workmen's Compensation Act in this state, when called upon to interpret its terms, has consistently recognized the act to be remedial and that its terms "should be given a liberal construction, with a view of effectuating their evident purpose of placing the burden of injury and death upon industry". Ocean Accident & Guarantee Corp., supra; Krupp v. J.C. Penney Co., 1938, 51 Ariz. 228, 75 P.2d 692; Mountain States Tel. Co. v. Industrial Commission, 1944, 61 Ariz. 436, 150 P.2d 355; Melendez v. Johns, 1938, 51 Ariz. 331, 76 P.2d 1163. (See dissenting opinion J. Lockwood for excellent review of background of our law and the evils which it was designed to remedy.)
Having early recourse to the factual situation of each case has led some legal
A liberal construction is not synonymous with a generous interpretation. To interpret liberally envisions an approach with an open and broad mind not circumscribed by strictures or predilection, whereas a generous interpretation suggests freehandedness — largess. It is not in the power of this court to "give" but it definitely is its duty to interpret the law to insure that what the law gives is not withheld. With these observations in mind we will proceed to consider what we consider the law to be, as applicable to the instant fact situation.
Generally injuries incurred by the employee while leaving the premises collecting pay or getting his clothes or tools, within a reasonable time after termination of the employment, or within the course of employment, are normally incidents of the employment relation. There are numerous cases holding that compensation coverage is not automatically and instantly terminated by the firing or quitting of the employee. The employee is deemed to be within the course of employment for a reasonable period while he winds up his affairs and leaves the premises.
We are in accord with those cases holding that an employee has a reasonable length of time within which to collect his pay, gather up his clothes or tools. wash and clean up preparatory to leaving the premises, and while so engaged remains in the course of his employment. We see nothing in the principle to distinguish this case from the holding in those cases, and place no importance on the intervening lay-off order.
We conclude that the deceased employee lost his life by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment.
It is ordered that the award be set aside.
STANFORD, C.J., and PHELPS, UDALL, and WINDES, JJ., concurring.