Definition - What does Contributory Negligence mean?
Contributory negligence refers to an accident which occurred because both parties, in some way, were not adhering to the laws and/or principles that make any given situation safe. In a legal setting, when both parties are found to be contributing to the situation, neither will be awarded any reparation. However, one person may be awarded damages if it is proved that one party was more negligent than the other.
Safeopedia explains Contributory Negligence
In a workplace where machinery is used, if staff do not adhere to the safety protocol, accidents are likely to occur. If a worker does not wear his hard hat and is struck on the head by something, he would not be eligible for any compensation, as it was his own fault for not following the workplace rules. If though, he did not wear his helmet because he was never informed by his employer that it must be worn at all times, the worker would now have a claim to complain that his employer is guilty of contributory negligence.