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If an employee ignores safety rules, do they get compensation?

You carry workers’ compensation insurance as a business owner because you know you’re obligated to provide this compensation for those who get hurt on the job. Injuries can and do happen every day in the United States, and workers still need money to pay the bills, cover medical costs and much more.

That said, your goal has always been to avoid those injuries in the first place. You have set up some very clear safety rules that employees are expected to follow. If they ignore those rules and get injured as a result, do they still deserve compensation just because the injury happened on the job?

In many cases, workers are still covered if they do not follow the safety regulations perfectly. For instance, if a worker is instructed to wear a hardhat whenever they’re on the job, but they take it off early as they walk to the car and then get struck by something falling from above, it does not automatically disqualify them from compensation just because they took it off.

Courts don’t always agree on this, though, and the cases can get complex. If someone was doing something that was clearly dangerous and was a much larger safety violation than simply taking off a hat too soon, you may be able to argue that they never should have gotten injured if it wasn’t for their own negligence. If you are involved in a complicated case like this, where both sides do not see what happened in the same way, you absolutely need to know what legal options you have.