As more and more businesses convert to full-time “Work From Home” during the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect an increase in claims from workers injured while on the job at home. In this blog we provide a basic look at Workers’ Compensation insurance as applied to work from home. Are workers still eligible? And what can businesses do to help vet their claims? This is a difficult time, and money is tight for everyone. So, understanding the important aspects of the law when it comes to workers’ compensation and working from home is more important now than ever. Arthur Blake Insurance will continue to be there for you in this tough time, doing anything that we can to help you.

Do at home claims count?

This question has been on every employer’s mind since work from home became the norm for most employees. Since employees are working from home, employers are increasingly worried about the possibility of workers’ compensation claims in workplaces that are out of their control.

This is such a gray area, because normal workplaces are crafted specifically to be as risk-free as possible. However, when employees are working from home this is not the case. There are no laws that prevent an employee’s home office from having cords running across the floor or other safety hazards that would not be present in a normal workplace. However, in the eyes of the courts, employers are responsible for providing a safe work environment for telecommuters just as they are for in-office employees.

One large reason behind this ruling is the personal comfort doctrine. This doctrine essentially protects employees in the workplace if they are doing something in the workplace for their own comfort. One example of this is if an employee slips in the office kitchen while making lunch. This doctrine also extends to the home of an employee that is working from home. So, if an employee is taking a coffee break, trips over a cord, and breaks their arm on the way out of his home office, they would be covered. However, there are some ways that employers can keep these claims to a minimum, and vet those claims.

How can I keep claims to a minimum?

The best way is to make sure that the risk of injury is as low as possible. In order to do that, setting home office guidelines is important. The most important guideline is setting hours for your employees to work. These hours should include laid out times when employees are going to be eating and resting off the clock. This will help make sure an injury actually occurred during work. Other options are making sure employees have the correct chairs or adjustable desks so that employees will be able to be work in similar, safe conditions. While these accommodations may seem expensive, they will still be cheaper than any possible claim or lawsuit. Developing a policy that details at-home safety for your employees to sign is also an important step in mitigating claims.

Claims are difficult to disprove

At-home claims are notoriously difficult to disprove. That is why making sure risk is at a minimum is so important. These guidelines for managing telecommuting employees as best as possible will go a long way in making sure your risk is as low as possible. Make sure you understand your state’s laws when it comes to workers’ compensation. Every state is different, so making sure that you have a good understanding of this is vital.

Luckily, Arthur blank insurance is here to help. We are here to answer any questions about what is and is not covered. We can also go into detail about the way Texas workers’ compensation laws work. Arthur Blake Insurance has been servicing insurance clients since 2001. So, while we are in an unprecedented situation, you can be confident that we are here to help you through it.

If you still do not have workers’ compensation insurance, Arthur Blake Insurance can provide you with a coverage program that is specifically tailored to meet your needs. We can also provide you with a free workers’ compensation insurance quote. You’ll be surprised at how much your business can save by choosing to place your policy with Arthur Blake Insurance, contact us today!

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