Tried And True Attorneys Standing Up For The Injured Since 1965

Photo of Craig R. Fishman
Photo of Craig R. Fishman

Tried And True Attorneys Standing Up For The Injured Since 1965

Are injuries from workplace horseplay compensable?

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2023 | Workers' Compensation |

Construction sites are some of the most dangerous workplaces there are. Multiple heavy equipment and tools in project sites can cause injuries – or death – if improperly handled. There’s also the matter of fall risks and falling debris in these construction sites.

But construction workplaces can become even more dangerous if horseplay is involved.

Workplace horseplay might be all fun and games, but it can distract workers and expose them to risks. As an unsafe act, workplace horseplay could lead to injuries or even casualties.

And while it’s true that workers’ compensation can cover injuries resulting from work, can the insurance cover injuries caused by horseplay?

Injuries are covered – with a caveat

According to New Jersey statutes, any accident to an employee that caused injury or death resulting from horseplay at work is compensable, as the accident occurred during the course of their employment. However, the employee must prove that they didn’t instigate nor take part in the horseplay and were instead a victim of the recklessness of other employees.

What counts as workplace horseplay?

Workplace horseplay can take many forms, but the following are the most common types that can lead to the injury of even those uninvolved in the stunt:

  • Climbing up structures or equipment that’s not meant to be climbed
  • Distracting people working with delicate or dangerous machinery
  • Playing around with the safety equipment of others, such as dust masks and hard hats
  • Running and chasing after another
  • Stunt driving with construction vehicles
  • Throwing and catching tools

To file a claim for a work-related injury caused by horseplay, a worker must prove that they weren’t involved in reckless behavior. This might be easier said than done since their employer might argue that they took part in the tomfoolery and deny them the claim. If this happens, workers could consider legal counsel to contest the denial.