Workers’ compensation provides financial assistance and medical benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. Traditionally, this has applied to on-site accidents.
However, the rise of remote work has led to a reevaluation of how insurance companies handle these incidents.
Challenges of assessing remote work injuries
In 2021, 2.8 million employees experienced nonfatal injuries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and many of these individuals needed at least part-time disability. However, remote work presents unique challenges for gaining compensation.
Determining the cause of an injury for a remote worker can be challenging. Employees’ home environments vary significantly, and accidents may occur due to home-related issues. Therefore, employees need to show a clear link between the injury and their work duties. Employers need to identify if an injury took place during work hours and while the employee completed job-related activities.
The importance of clear policies
Remote work presents unique challenges. Companies need to establish clear and comprehensive policies. These policies should outline expectations for remote employees. They need guidelines for maintaining a safe work environment at home. Establishing these expectations helps prevent accidents and aids in determining the eligibility of a workers’ compensation claim. Companies should review and update their policies to address the unique challenges posed by remote work.
Prevention as a key component
Preventing injuries in a remote work setting is as important as addressing them after they occur. Employers can promote safety by providing guidelines for ergonomically sound workstations. They should encourage regular breaks and encourage a healthy work-life balance.
As the nature of work continues to evolve, the workers’ compensation framework must adapt to contribute to a healthier, more resilient workforce.