More employees are working remotely today than ever before. What happens if one of your remote employees gets injured while working? It’s important to make sure your company has procedures in place for workplace accidents that happen at remote locations.
A variety of situations may cause injuries at remote locations, such as:
- Walking down the steps to go to the printer
- Doing a load of laundry during a work break
- Going on a restroom break and tripping on a piece of uneven tile
- Walking to the mailbox, to pick up the daily mail, and falling
- Leaving the house to grab lunch or pick up work supplies
Only a few of these scenarios may be covered under a workers’ compensation claim. If you have questions as to whether the injury occurred as part of the employee’s job, you may need to consult legal counsel.
Preventing a Remote Injury
To prevent an injury, try to ensure a safe work environment by conducting random, on-site audits of the employee’s remote workspace. Be sure to have a checklist ready of requirements that can be verified during the on-site audit, and use photographs to document the audit. Make sure you are granted access for on-site audits by including this in your telecommuting agreement. This agreement can also include guidelines for a safe work environment.
Reporting a Remote Injury
Be sure to have the same reporting requirements for remote employees as those that work on-site. Make sure your employees know who to report the accident to, as well as the time frame it must be reported within. If possible, post your injury reporting policies and instructions, also known as an injury reporting kit, on your intranet so it’s available to your employees and their supervisors.
The injury reporting kit can include:
- Steps to follow if an injury occurs
- Where to seek initial treatment
- Accident investigation form
- Documentation indicating if your company can accommodate modified duty and a list of those tasks available
In regards to your remote employee’s injury claims and health information, it is important that their sensitive data is protected, and isn’t accessible to those that visit or share the residence. They may need to verify they have the correct firewall protection for their confidential data, as well as the companies.
Know your partner
An MCO partner like Sheakley UniComp can guide you and your workers through the confusing world of workers’ compensation. Your MCO serves both the best interests of your company and your employees. They keep your workers’ compensation costs down and return your injured employees to work quickly.