Workers Comp Safety Violation: WEHR CONSTRUCTORS, INC. V. GIBSON (COA 10/12/2007)

WEHR CONSTRUCTORS, INC. V. GIBSON
WORKERS COMP: SAFETY VIOLATION

2007-CA-000789
PUBLISHED: REVERSING AND REMANDING
PANEL: VANMETER PRESIDING; DIXON, GRAVES CONCUR
DATE RENDERED: 10/12/2007

The Court of Appeals reversed the Board holding that, where the claimant is allegeing an intentional violation of the general ‘safe workplace’ requirement of OSHA, an egregious violation must be proven. Here, the claimant did not prove that a specific regulation was intentionally violated when a ladder leaned up against a building, without a tie-off, fell, but alleged that the employer failed to supply a safe workplace. The Court reversed the ALJ and the Workers’ Compensation Board, holding that the violation of the general regulation must be ‘egregious’ before being found to be intentional. Finding an intentional safety violation on the part of the employer results in a 30% increase in income benefits for the claimant.

Digested by Peter Naake
Priddy, Cutler, Miller & Meade

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