In Ohio, when employees are injured while they are working, their employers are often responsible for providing workers’ compensation if they are unable to work. The amount they can receive depends on a variety of factors, including how severely they were injured and the details surrounding their accidents.
However, in some situations, employers may try to use situational things against an employee to reduce the amount of compensation he or she is able to receive. One man is currently facing a loss of 25 percent of his compensation because there is speculation that he did not properly follow his employer’s safety instructions.
The man worked as a security guard supervisor at a mall. One day, when he was riding a three-wheeled electric device at work, he fell. The man suffered a traumatic brain injury and does not remember anything about the accident.
Although witnesses and video surveillance both show the man was wearing his helmet, the employer thinks otherwise. At some point, the straps on his helmet were pulled into the back, and the employer believes that is evidence that he was not wearing his helmet properly.
Because of that information, the employer petitioned to have the man’s benefits reduced by 25 percent. Then, when the employer suggested there was a connection between the man’s injuries and his improper use of the helmet, an expert was called in to testify.
The neurosurgeon stated that if the helmet had been worn properly that it could have reduced the likelihood of the skull fracturing, which could have resulted in less severe injuries to the brain.
The neurosurgeon did not say that if the man had been wearing his helmet properly, then he would not have suffered the same degree of injuries. Rather, the surgeon said it was only a possibility. Regardless, both the employer and the judge jumped at the information, and the man’s benefits were reduced.
Source: Risk & Insurance, “Security guard’s failure to wear helmet properly justifies benefit reduction,” 9 June 2011