If a safety violation is found to be a substantial factor in causing a compensable work injury, the employer must pay a penalty amount to the employee in the form of 15% increased benefits. The maximum value of the increase is $15,000.

To receive increased compensation for the safety violation a claimant must show:

  1. that a violation of a safety rule or statute occurred,
  2. that the employer had actual or constructive notice of the unsafe condition, and
  3. that the violation was a substantial factor in causing the injury.

On the other hand, an employee’s compensation may be decreased by 15% if the workers’ compensation insurance carrier proves that the injury was caused by the employee’s:

  • Failure to use a safety device (which was adequately maintained and use was enforced by the employer)
  • Failure to obey a safety rule adopted and enforced by the employer, or if
  • The employee’s injury was caused by the employee’s intoxication

The maximum increase is $15,000.