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When Horseplay Is the Alleged Cause of A Workplace Injury

John Lesaganich Aug. 9, 2018

Even for the most dedicated worker, it is challenging to stay completely focused and on-task 100 percent of the time when at work. Illinois workers bond with their supervisors and co-workers when they get to know them on a more personal level. However, when workers allow their on-the-job interactions to digress and injuries occur, they may have challenges seeking workers’ compensation.

This is because not all worksite and on-the-job injuries are compensable through workers’ compensation. “Horseplay” is considered rough or boisterous play and may not be part of the job duties. For example, if two construction site workers are joking around and one pushes the other into a piece of machinery, causing the pushed party to sustain a serious cut, that party may face challenges when they seek workers’ compensation.

An employer may allege that the injury in the above-mentioned example was not sustained while the worker was doing actual work. If the injury was not the result of work-related duties, it may not be considered a work accident and, therefore, may not be eligible for workers’ compensation. If a worker is unable to demonstrate that their injury was not caused by horseplay, they may not be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits.

Facts are important in workers’ compensation cases. If a worker has their claim denied because their employer alleges that the employee was injured because of horseplay, the worker should not give up. They may be able to appeal the denied workers’ compensation claim and continue to fight for the support they need to get back to work.