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Triple-I Blog | Make the home a safe workplace



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Work from home required by the coronavirus pandemic is predicted to be permanent for some employees as companies such as Google consider "hybrid models" with more flexible work options.

And although teleworking is nothing new, an increase in the number of people working from home in the years following the pandemic will lead to some thorny compensation issues.

In a recent report entitled "Digital Business Accelerated", which examines trends in digital transformation conducted by SMEs, Chubb pointed out that temporary home offices that do not really address ergonomic best practices can lead to an increase in long-term damage. .

Relaxed work habits and environmental impacts in air quality and lighting can also affect the general well-being and performance of employees. And the risk of slipping and falling remains at home, just like in the office, the report says.

An injury or illness that occurs when an employee works at home will be considered work-related if it occurs while the employee is performing work for pay or compensation at home, and the injury or illness is directly related to the performance of the work rather than the general home environment. or the environment, according to OSHA.

For example, OSHA goes on to say that if an employee drops a box of work documents and injures his foot, the case is considered work-related. If an employee is injured because he or she travels on the family dog ​​while rushing to answer a telephone call at work, the case is not considered work-related. If an employee who works at home is electrically due to incorrect wiring in the home, the injury is not considered work-related.

There is a lot of ambiguity about such claims.

"It is much more difficult to prove that an injury was work-related because there is usually less evidence in these home office scenarios," said Gary L. Wickert, an insurance law attorney, in an article in the Claims Journal. “An accident at a company or a workplace can have witnesses or be caught on safety material. Working domestic workers are often alone while working, so there is often no one present to confirm a sudden injury or accident or to determine the exact conditions of the injury.

Holding a third party responsible (subrogation) for an accident also becomes more complicated in home injuries.

"When the employee is injured in their home, subrogation targets tend to shrink and blow away," Wickert says. "If an employee is injured at home or when he takes children to kindergarten before, during or after the working day … A subrogated carrier cannot sue the employee in the employee's name ̵

1; neither can the employee," he said. [19659003] Employers and workers must also be aware of mental problems that may develop. While many people appreciate the psychological benefits of working remotely, others find that teleworking leads to anxiety, depression and burnout. The Center for Workplace Mental Health has suggestions for workers that include exercise and a regular schedule, as well as for employers, which include staying in touch and acknowledging the effects of isolation.

To reduce changes in home injuries, of which poisonings and cases are the most common, check out the CDC's Home and Leisure Security page. For tips on setting up an ergonomically correct workstation, read this Mayo Clinic article.


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