Getting Hurt While Engaged in Horseplay or Playing Around on the Job
It is a fact that horseplay and fooling around in the workplace happens from time to time. An excellent question is what happens when someone accidentally gets hurt when engaged in horseplay while at work. Here at Harris Guidi Rosner, P.A., our workers’ compensation department has experience with this type of situation and work injuries and we can guide you through the process.
If you get hurt at work while playing around and engaged in horseplay, but you had not truly abandoned your job duties or your work when you were hurt, your employer can be responsible for providing workers compensation coverage for your injuries. The standard that the Florida Courts look at is whether when you got injured if you had such a break in your job and job duties that you had a “wholesale abandonment” of your work. See Boyd v. Florida Mattress Factory, Inc., 128 So2d 881 (Fla. 1961).
While you were playing around, or horsing around, if it was a brief break on your job, and you were injured, your accident will likely be covered under workers’ compensation in Florida. Situations where employers were held accountable and had to provide workers’ compensation benefits include:
- A foot race for newspaper carriers and someone was hurt
- Swimming in between jobs on a hot day and someone was hurt
- Tossing a nail at a co-employee and someone was hurt
- Firefighters playfully wrestling and someone was hurt
In Florida, when it comes to horseplay on the job, the Courts will tend to award benefits to the injured worker if the horseplay was a momentary break or deviation without obvious danger. This tends to be especially true when the employee’s activity occurs when work is slow with no abandonment of work duties. Getting hurt while “fooling around or playing around” at work can be covered in Florida and an injured worker may be entitled to both money and medical benefits. Accidents that happen from a moment of poor decision making or even a mistake can be covered by workers’ compensation when they happen in the workplace.
If you were injured while playing around at work, or on your work break, call us at Harris Guidi Rosner, P.A. to discuss if you have a case and if you should be receiving workers’ compensation benefits. The consultation is free and 100% confidential. You can reach our workers’ compensation department at (904) 777-7777 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation about your case.
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