It is the company’s responsibility to provide a safe and comfortable environment for all employees, regardless of their position. For instance, most companies implement safety measures within the workplace to ensure the well-being of their employees. These measures may include fire extinguishers, non-slip flooring, furniture with rounded edges, and proper electrical wiring, among others.
Furthermore, the company is accountable for the security of its employees whether they are working within the office or traveling for work-related activities. Even when employees work from home, their safety remains the responsibility of the company. This commitment to employee safety should extend to all aspects of their work, regardless of the location.
Companies cannot control how employees work from home or the safety of their home environments. This lack of control increases the organization’s liability if an employee is injured while working from home. To mitigate this liability, organizations can take several measures to enhance employee safety and mitigate the organization’s risk.
To mitigate the organization’s liability related to employee injury, there are several steps the company can take. Here are the key actions they can consider:
- Working from home should be governed by a written policy: Establish a work-from-home policy outlining clear employee expectations. This policy should specify the requirement to adhere to security procedures and promptly report any potential hazards to the management.
- Provide equipment that is necessary: To enhance the security of employees working from home, companies can provide necessary software, equipment and items as needed. For instance, companies can supply first-aid kits, ergonomic chairs, fire extinguishers, safety glasses, safety shoes, hearing protection, and rounded-edge tables. By offering these essential items, companies not only bolster employee safety but also improve their overall working environment, consequently minimizing the risk of employee injuries and reducing associated liabilities.
- Assist in medical treatment: If an employee sustains an injury, the company should assist them in obtaining medical treatment if they are unable to do so themselves. It’s important to ensure that the employee receives appropriate medical care for the injury they have suffered. Additionally, the company should maintain a record of the expenses incurred for the employee’s medical treatment.
- Document the injury: If any employee sustains an injury while working from home, it is essential to promptly document the incident. Record details such as the cause of the injury, the time it occurred, the employee’s name, the task they were performing at the time, and any other necessary details. This information will assist the company in preventing future injuries and managing associated liabilities effectively.
- Investigate the injury: Upon completing the documentation process, it becomes crucial to initiate an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the injury. This investigation’s primary objective is to ascertain whether the employee was following security protocols at the time of the injury and to identify any potential hazards within the employee’s home working environment that require remediation. Such an investigation serves to address the issue and pinpoint its root causes, ultimately aiding the company in mitigating the risks associated with employee injuries while working from home.
- Offer them temporary duty: If employees are unable to perform their regular duties due to injury, the company should reduce their regular tasks until they have fully recovered and are fit to resume their original responsibilities. The company can temporarily delegate the injured employee’s tasks to others, or offer them leaves until fully recovered. This approach benefits both the company and the employee. It allows the company to retain the injured employee, fosters a positive image of the company’s concern for its staff, eliminates the need for hiring a replacement, and enables the employee to earn an income while recovering from the injury.
- Worker’s compensation claim: If the injury is a result of a workplace hazard, it’s crucial to initiate a workers’ compensation claim. This ensures that the employee can access benefits to cover their medical expenses and receive compensation for lost wages, especially if they are unable to perform any type of work.
Every company has a fundamental responsibility for the safety of its employees, and both employers and employees have specific responsibilities to ensure a safe working environment. However, when these responsibilities are not met, they can swiftly turn into liabilities, resulting in associated costs and negative consequences. To shield themselves from such liabilities stemming from employee injuries, organizations must prioritize injury prevention and take specific measures to minimize associated costs. Ensure thorough record-keeping, as it will prove invaluable for maintaining accurate payroll records in your business. By diligently following the things mentioned in the blog, your organization can protect itself from potential liability in the event of an employee getting injured while working from home.