A lot of employees joke around at work and engage in horseplay, but when someone gets hurt as a result, it can become a whole other matter. Unfortunately, it's not always clear whether or not workers compensation will cover injuries sustained during horse play, particularly where the injured employee instigated or encouraged the activity. While many courts realize that the hazards and risks from joking around on the job are a normal part of the workplace, and will cover horseplay injuries. Other courts will take the opposite position and deny benefits on the basis that the injuries resulted from the employee's own willful misconduct. The nature of the horseplay at issue, the severity of the injuries, and the history or culture of the workplace will certainly all be factors to consider in these kinds of cases. Since workers compensation is normally the exclusive remedy for the injuries that occur within the course of employment, a denial of benefits can be devastating. If workers compensation benefits are denied, the injured party should seek legal counsel regarding whether the denial was appropriate or whether a traditional personal injury lawsuit may be pursued against the other employees involved in the horseplay.