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:
- that a violation of a safety rule or statute occurred,
- that the employer had actual or constructive notice of the unsafe condition, and
- 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 worker’s 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.