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How a Lack of Safety Training Affects Your Workers' Compensation Claim

by James M. Hoffmann on May. 31, 2015

Employment Workers' Compensation Accident & Injury Employment 

Summary: As premiums for workers' compensation insurance rise, some Missouri businesses have taken the step to offer job safety training to their employees.

As premiums for workers' compensation insurance rise, some Missouri businesses have taken the step to offer job safety training to their employees.

Job safety training not only reduces insurance premiums, but it significantly reduces the number of work place accidents. Laws surrounding workers' compensation state that if you knowingly violate a safety practice that is considered to be standard and are injured as a result, your benefits may be halved. If this is occurring with your workers' compensation claim, then you need an experienced Missouri workers' compensation attorney to help you access your full benefits.

Case Study - Injured on a Ladder

A Missouri case that was heard by the labor board involved an employee who was injured while carrying items up a ladder. The request by the employer to reduce the value of the claim was denied when evidence was produced showing that while this was a company rule, few supervisors followed up on it. The attorney for the claimant was able to bring employee witnesses to the hearing who testified that although it was a rule, the standard practice was to carry items up the ladder in order to complete the job more quickly. None of these employees reported being fired or disciplined for not following this rule.

According to the Missouri labor board, it is not always enough to have a safety rule in place. There has to be evidence that the rule was either never broken or that it was never enforced. As a result, the workers' compensation claimant was able to receive the entire benefit.

Reducing Workers' Compensation Benefits

There are four rules an employer must follow in order to justify reducing an injured employees benefits. These include:

  • The rule must be an established rule that all employees were informed of and given the opportunity to ask questions about.
  • That the injury resulted from the employee disobeying the rule.
  • That the injured employee was informed of the rule.
  • The rule was enforced regularly using disciplinary tactics.

Since this criteria must be met in order to move forward with an appeal on a benefit reduction, you will need a Missouri workers' compensation attorney. They have the knowledge and resources that can help you in winning your appeal.

Appealing a Reduction of Workers' Compensation

Large corporations have gotten very adept at adopting safety practices and having employees sign paperwork proving that the information was provided to them. If you are in this type of situation, your options may be limited, and the attorney will need to dig deeper in order to help you recover the full benefit allowed by law.

Anytime a workers' compensation claim is rejected or adjusted by an employer, the employee has the right to appeal. Contact The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300. We will help you with the appeal and see to it that you are compensated the full amount allowed by law.

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