COVID-19 has drastically increased the number of employees working remotely. Individuals who can complete their jobs from home have rarely been in the office since the global pandemic began. While this has several benefits for both employees and employers alike, it has caused a few challenges. One of the challenges associated with remote workers is the management of Workers’ Comp. While several businesses have different policies, each has struggled to decide on and communicate clear guidelines for Workers’ Comp and remote workers. However, there are a few questions that we can answer that will help you understand your eligibility (or responsibility) for Workers’ Comp.
Here’s what you need to know.
Are Remote Workers Eligible For Workers’ Comp?
The short answer here is yes. Generally, remote workers are eligible for workers’ compensation under their employer’s policies. This typically only applies if the injury occurred during work hours or while completing a work-related task.
However, since the employee works remotely, the burden of proof falls on them to show that the injury they received occurred while acting on behalf of their employer. Arbitrators will consider the condition of the employee’s home during court procedures as the employer is not responsible for the upkeep of its employees’ homes.
What Are Common Work-From-Home Injuries?
There are several different types of injuries an employee may sustain while working from home. Since a home environment doesn’t have the same safety standards as a physical workplace, there are more ways a remote worker can be injured. There are two primary ways that a remote worker may suffer an injury at home.
Cumulative injuries occur from repetitive movements or repeated use of a specific part of the body. Over time, this repeated use can wear down the body and cause damage or injury. Common causes of cumulative injuries are poor posture or an ergonomically incorrect workstation.
These injuries can be avoided by making some changes to your workstation that allows the body to move and rest in a way that feels more natural and places less strain on muscles.
Trips and Falls
You can trip and fall anywhere. However, it’s more likely to stumble in the home than it is at the workplace. You’re more comfortable in your home and less likely to pay attention and be careful. This negligence can cause you to trip over unexpected hazards such as pets, toys, water spills, etc. Take safety measures to help ensure that any potential tripping hazards are removed so that you don’t experience an accident.
How Does A Remote Worker Report A Work-From-Home Injury?
Should you experience an accident or injury while working remotely, it’s essential to understand how to move forward. Workers’ Comp may cover damages provided they were sustained while accomplishing a work-related task.
Since your home operates as a secondary work location, Workers’ Comp may cover tripping down the stairs during work hours, or falling and hitting your head while grabbing a paper from the printer.
If you are injured while working remotely, your employer will contact you to fill out an at-home injury report claim. This report will be a detailed report of the accident and the injuries sustained. This report will then be sent to the workers’’ comp carrier to determine whether the damage was, in fact, work-related.
How Can We Help?
Work Health Solutions offers comprehensive healthcare solutions for your medical needs. Our qualified team treats patients and employers alike and always provides top-quality service. We back our quality service with years of experience working with academic and research institutions, corporate healthcare, Fortune 25 companies, small government, and local businesses. Reach out today with any questions you may have about how we can assist you!