Wisconsin Safety Penalty Claims Under Workers' Compensation Law
What are safety penalty claims under Wisconsin’s workers’ compensation law?
An employee’s workers’ compensation benefits may be increased by 15% if he or she is injured because an employer fails to comply with state or federal safety regulations or statutes. Examples of safety penalty claims include an employee injured because the employer removed a guard from a machine in order to increase productivity or because the employer failed to provide safety goggles or other mandated safety equipment.
The law also provides, however, that if an employee is injured because of failure to use safety equipment provided by the employer or to obey reasonable safety rules, the employee’s benefits may be reduced by 15%. An employee’s benefits may also be reduced by 15% if the injuries result from the use of drugs or alcohol. The total reduction in benefits cannot exceed $15,000.