Workers who sustain a personal injury as a result of participating in a fight, horseplay or larking at work are generally not entitled to WSIB benefits.
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act or the Workers' Compensation Act (the Act) does not provide coverage for workers who are injured while participating in a fight that results solely over a personal matter. However, if the fight results solely over work, the claim may be accepted if the injured worker
- was not the aggressor and did not provoke the fight, or
- was an innocent bystander.
Aggressors and participants in a fight take themselves out of the course of their employment. As such, an innocent injured worker has a right of third party action. (See 15-01-05, Third Party Rights of Action.)
Horseplay and larking
Similarly, the Act does not provide coverage for workers injured while participating in horseplay and larking.
An injured worker who is an innocent victim has entitlement if the worker
- does not participate in the horseplay or larking, and
- does not retaliate.
As with fighting, those who initiate the horseplay take themselves out of the course of their employment. As such, any innocent injured worker has a right of third party action. (See 15-01-05, Third Party Rights of Action.)
This policy applies to all decisions made on or after November 1, 1989, for all accidents.
This document replaces 03-02-11 dated February 28, 1991.
Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, as amended
Sections 13(1), 30, 31
Workers' Compensation Act, R.S.O. 1990, as amended
Sections 4(1), 10, 17
#10, July 5, 2004, Page 390