Workplace injuries while working from home

| Jul 27, 2020 | Workers' Compensation

The world is ever changing. While change is considered to be a positive thing, some changes occur so quickly that it is challenging to adapt to them. Consider the sudden switch to working from home. While many individuals in New Jersey have worked remotely at some point, the reality is that employers are faced with new challenges when allowing the work environment to encompasses home offices. Consider workplace injuries. Much like in the traditional work environment workplace injuries could occur, these too could happen while working from home.

Safety risks while working from home

Safety concerns and risks exist in all work environments. This includes the home when an employee is authorized to work from his or her home. This means, injuries that could occur in an office, such as carpel tunnel or disorders related to the neck and back, could also occur while working in a home office. Thus, much like an employer must take measures to guard employees from safety risks in the workplace, these same risks should be protected against in a home office.

Therefore, specialized equipment should be available to remote workers the same way they are available to those working in the office or other on-site work environment. This could include devices ergonomics. Additionally, if injuries related to sitting and working on a computer for an extended period of time are a concern, frequent short breaks should still be built into the workday.

Problems faced

When an employer is injured in the workplace, it is often easily determined if the injury in fact occurred while at work, while the employee was on the clock and was doing a work-related activity. If such an injury occurred while working remotely, these details are not always easily obtainable. This could present issues when it comes to proving that the injury suffered occurred while the employee was working from his or her home office.

Ways to avoid such issues could look like having the home office space designated and approved by an employer, having set hours or an understanding of flexible work schedules and outlining or updating responsibilities while an employee works remotely.

Suffering a workplace injury and facing problems when applying for workers’ compensation can feel discouraging. However, it is possible to work through these matters to help prove eligibility so an injured worker can get the necessary benefits to address the injury suffered and wages lost because of it.

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