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Virginia: Employee’s Actions Were Not a Violation of Known Safety Rule

August 30, 2021 (1 min read)

Acknowledging that pursuant to Va. Code § 65.2306(A), an injured worker can be disqualified from receiving workers’ compensation benefits if he or she intentionally engages in activity contrary to a known safety rule imposed by the employer, a state appellate court nevertheless affirmed an award of benefits to an employee who sustained a severe hand injury in a forklift accident. The employer had a safety rule requiring the employee to keep a “clear path” in the area in which she labored. It argued that she violated the rule when she attempted to steer the forklift in tight quarters. The appellate court disagreed, finding the evidence supported the Commission’s finding that at the time of the accident, the employee believed she had a clear path—she had successfully maneuvered through the area on two prior attempts. The Commission was free to interpret the employee’s testimony as asserting that she believed she had a clear path. There was, therefore, no violation of the rule.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the co-Editor-in-Chief and Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law(LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Klockner Pentaplast of Am. v. Miller, 2021 Va. App. LEXIS 135 (July 27, 2021)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 34.03.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law

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