Are injuries compensable when occurring during recreational and other non-work activities paid for or supported by the employer?
Usually, yes. But, benefit coverage may be "waived" by the employee if he/she signs a waiver of the their right to workers comp or benefits prior to engaging in the activity/recreation or fitness event. These waivers must be signed for each recreational activity/event and are valid for two years.
Are injuries caused by coworkers compensable?
Injuries caused by coworkers are compensable, unless the "horseplay" defense applies. Coworkers are immune from lawsuits from the injured worker if the injury is compensable.
Defenses to worker comp claims based on employee conduct:
Self-inflicted (self-harm) injury - An employee who purposefully self-inflicts an injury/harm upon himself/herself is not entitled to Ohio workers compensation.
Willful misconduct, “horseplay,” - Horseplay is a defense to a claim for Ohio workers comp benefits if the employee was the instigator of the horseplay. The innocent victim of horseplay does have a viable claim.
Drugs and/or alcohol and Ohio work injuries
When an injury occurs to an employee that was the result of intoxication from alcohol or drugs is is not compensable if the drugs and/or alcohol is the "proximate cause" of the injury (the injury/accident would not have happened "but for" the drugs and/or alcohol being present). In certain cases, an employer can administer a drug test to determine whether the employee was intoxicated/impaired at the time of the injury/accident.
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