Safety Penalties Punish Workers Under Work Comp Laws

Safety Penalties Punish Workers Under Work Comp Laws

Video Transcript —

Hi, I am Mark Cantor. Thank you for visiting my website on workers' compensation in Missouri and Illinois. Today I am going to talk to you about penalties under Missouri workers' compensation law. The statute is written very unfairly.

So let's take an example of a person who is told by an employer to climb scaffolding for whatever purpose. Now assume for a moment that the employer is required to provide you with a safety harness but does not, and you fall and terribly injure your back and your shoulder, God forbid whatever it is. So that employer didn't provide you with the safety harness. They can have a 15 percent penalty. That means that if you are entitled to $100, you can get $115 because they were negligent and failed to provide a safety required tool. That penalty of 15 percent can be applied to the amount you are paid while you are off of work, to your medical benefits and to your lump sum payment at the end.

Now, let's take that same scenario and say that the employer tells you to wear a safety harness and gives you the harness to wear, but you forget to wear it and you cause a safety violation. So you are not wearing the safety harness, you climb the scaffolding and you fall and have the same injuries. The employer under the statute, under section 287.120 subsection 5, is entitled to a penalty of up to 50 percent - so up to half. You get 15 percent, they are entitled to a credit or a discount of 50 percent, and that penalty must be at least 25 percent of your benefits. So the law in Missouri is really unfair for injured workers, particularly workers who break a safety rule, but it does not punish employers nearly as much.

If you have a problem, if you are injured at work, if my partner or I can help you in either a civil lawsuit or a workers' compensation claim, please call us at (314) 542-9999. I am Mark Cantor. Thanks for watching.

POSTED IN: Mark's Post Workers' Compensation
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