Exclusions From Workers’ Compensation In Ohio: What Employers and Employees Should Know

Although Ohio’s workers’ compensation law covers majority of the workplace related injuries and applies to most employers, there are some exceptions. Certain type of businesses/ owners/ ministers do not require to mandatorily register with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) in Ohio. Similarly, certain types of injuries are not covered under the workers’ compensation system in Ohio.

Businesses Excluded From Mandatory Workers’ Compensation Coverage

The following types of owners and ministers have the option to carry or not carry workers’ compensation in Ohio, subject to certain requirements:

  • Sole proprietor
  • Limited liability company acting as sole proprietor
  • partnership
  • limited liability company acting as partnership
  • Family farm corporate officers
  • Individuals incorporated as corporations without any employees
  • Associate/ ordained ministers of religious organizations

The above mentioned owners/ ministers have the option to apply for “elective coverage” with the BWC.

Injuries Not Covered By Workers’ Compensation in Ohio

The following types of injuries/ situations at workplace are generally not covered under the Workers’ Compensation Law in Ohio:

  • Injury caused intentionally by the employee himself/ herself.
  • Injuries that do not keep the employee out of work for three or more days.
  • Horseplay injuries resulting from employees workers fooling or playing around with each other. This excludes injuries caused due to assault by another co-worker at the workplace.
  • Injuries occurring while the employee is indulging in an illegal activity.
  • The employee was instructed by a senior/ superior to not do the task that led to the injury/ death.
  • Injuries caused while the employee was drunk or under the influence of drugs.
  • Injuries for which the employee did not seek medical treatment for lack of proof.
  • Injuries falling under the “Coming and Going Rule” in Ohio.
  • Injuries resulting from work for which the employee did not possess proper training or authorization. For example, driving the company’s vehicle without having the applicable license.
  • Injuries resulting from accidents caused due ignorance of safety rules by the employee. For example, not wearing the protective gear provided by the employer.
  • Injuries resulting from tasks that the outside the employee’s usual work duties. For example, injuries resulting from trying to fix broken furniture at workplace.


If you suffered a workplace injury in Ohio and want to know more about your rights to claim workers’ compensation in Ohio, Contact Mark Ziccarelli Law today.