In Ohio, workers might have questions about their rights to workers’ compensation if they are injured while working from home. What used to be unusual has now become normal with many individuals from all types of industries working from home. Workers’ compensation laws vary from one state to the next, although employers in most states are required to carry these important insurance benefits for their workers.
This typically applies regardless of where the injury occurs, with the only condition being that it happened while the worker was on duty. However, it is up to the worker to show that the injury occurred during and as the result of a work-related task, not during a strictly private or personal activity.
Employers can avoid invalid workers’ compensation claims by establishing policies to cover the following aspects of work-from-home situations:
- A policy that states the duties of the employee while working at home.
- The policy must include the expectations of the employer for employees who are telecommuting.
- Guidelines related to the home office, including the establishment of designated work areas.
- The employer can provide training in the setup of a workstation, including ergonomics and required safety measures.
- The employer can periodically conduct inspections of the home offices to ensure compliance with established safety standards.
- Inspections can also serve as opportunities to identify additional safety hazards and how to eliminate them.
- Establish a fixed schedule for work hours, rest periods and meal breaks, which could be relevant in the event of an employee injury.
Under the standards mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employers in Ohio and elsewhere must protect employees from work-related injuries and illnesses. Injured workers must report injuries as soon as possible, and the employer should provide the necessary form to file a workers’ compensation benefits claim.