Workers' compensation is important for injured Arizona employees and their families to help with lost wages and medical expenses during the recovery period after a worker has been injured on the job. What about grieving families whose loved ones were killed in workplace accidents, though? Thankfully, for employees who work in relatively more dangerous careers and are at risk for factory, construction or roofing accidents, or the like, workers' compensation offers benefits for surviving family members as well.
The changing laws regarding medical -- and in some states, recreational -- marijuana use may have Arizona workers and employers alike wondering how it could potentially affect workplace safety and workers' comp. Most of the time, workers' compensation laws allow for the denial of benefits when an employee's injury is attributable to alcohol or drug use. However, Arizona does have reasonable accommodation provisions and anti-discrimination laws that could impact an employer's ability to enforce such policies when it comes to medically prescribed marijuana.
Even the most safety-conscious companies will sometimes suffer accidents. While it did not happen in Arizona, an industrial accident at a coal-fired power plant in another state claimed the lives of two workers and injured four others late on a recent Tuesday night. A review of Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports on the plant's safety record apparently reveal a relatively clean history, listing only one safety violation citation in 2013.