Imagine you’re the judge in this scenario: A worker gets drunk on the job, falls and hurts himself. Is the company responsible?
The actual judge said yes.
Here’s what happened: After the worker fell, he claimed the scaffolding he was working on didn’t have required safety railings. That meant the company was at least partially responsible for his fall.
But the company argued the worker was drunk — that was the cause of his accident, and the missing railings didn’t matter.
But the judge didn’t buy it. Drunk worker or not, the company didn’t install required safety gear. That made it at least partially responsible for his injury.
Safety regs still need to be followed
The lesson for manufacturers is clear: Just because workers are using drugs or alcohol at work doesn’t mean other safety regulations won’t come into play in front of a judge.
With the use of some drugs on the rise, it’s becoming more and more important to make sure you’re following all safety regulations should an intoxicated worker ever take you to court.
Cite: Moran v. 200 Varick St. Associates, Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division, No. 2010-02475,1/11/11.