As technology improves and organizations look to cut the costs of doing business, many employers are now allowing their employees to work from home. While this can make life easier for both the employer and employee, the issue remains of dealing with injury related to someone’s job. In 2000, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a directive that stated that they would not inspect employees’ homes, and employers are not held responsible for safety violations in a worker’s home.
However, workers’ compensation may still be available for these individuals, so organizations have had to figure out ways to ensure the safety of people working at home without being able to inspect their environment. Individuals have been able to obtain workers’ compensation for injuries that occur in their homes if it was determined that they took place during the course of employment. For example, an interior decorator who was injured when going to the garage to look at fabric samples was granted workers’ compensation benefits.
Many companies that offer work from home options make employees undergo safety training to help prevent avoidable accidents, such as tripping over power cords. A number of these organizations even require people to sign agreements that say that they have a dedicated work space at home and that they will abide by the company’s regulations.
Employees may be eligible for workers’ compensation if they are injured in the course of doing their job, not only if they are injured while at a work site. If someone has suffered an injury due to their job, an attorney may be able to assist them in filing for workers’ compensation as well as helping them if their claim has been denied.
Source: Safety+Health Magazine, “Working (safely) from home,” Tom Musick, Jan. 25, 2015