More and more people are working from home. But what if someone is injured? Work-related injuries are typically covered by workers’ compensation and this can also be applicable when a person is not physically in the office. For example, the compensation covers injuries that happen when visiting a client’s place of work or on a business trip. But if a home injury will be covered depends on many details.
If you are working from your Ohio home and have sustained an injury, talk to a Columbus employment attorney. If you were performing a work-related activity, there may be a path to compensation.
Staying Safe In a Home Office
When there are claims of a work-related injury in a home office, one of the main issues is the employer does not have control over the building. In an office building, for instance, an employer can have policies in place. They may invest in ergonomic chairs for their staff, which could decrease the possibility of staff developing carpal tunnel or other repetitive task injuries. But when an individual is working remotely, it becomes more difficult for an employer to ensure precautionary measures are in place.
An employer who has many remote workers may have guidelines put in place. While this can be time consuming for the business, it goes a long way to promoting a healthy workforce. Home office checks can pinpoint problems and eliminate safety risks. Suggestions can be made on avoiding long term health problems with ergonomically correct workstations.
Ways employers can help to protect remote workers:
- Set up health and safety guidelines for remote workspaces.
- Have employees designate an area solely for work.
- Inspect remote office spaces, identifying and correcting any hazards.
- Be sure insurance policies are current.
- Use information technology expertise to be sure there are no cybersecurity issues.
- Distribute a telecommuting policy to all remote workers.
Avoiding Misunderstandings with a Telecommuting Policy
It can be helpful to have clear guidelines when there are remote workers who are using their homes as office space. These policies can also be helpful if a workers’ compensation issue arises. Some of the things that can be outlined in the policy include safety procedures, location of workspace, and set work hours.
The policy can also be a good place for employers to outline if working at home is an employment perk. If the situation is one where employees have the flexibility to work from home as a perk, the employer will likely take extra steps to be sure they are not liable.
In the event of a workers’ compensation claim, the injury will have to be proven as being in connection with doing work for the employer. This is typically easier to prove at a workplace. In those situations there are usually witnesses. There may even be security camera documentation. But if the injury happens offsite, legal representation may be necessary. Talk to a Columbus employment attorney.
Were you injured while working from home? The lawyers at Coffman Legal LLC are strong and committed advocates for all Ohio workers. We can help to guide you through the process of protecting your rights and securing compensation that you deserve, when appropriate. Call 614-949-1181 for a free and confidential consultation.