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Navigating workers’ comp for Pennsylvania’s remote workers

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

Remote work has become more common everywhere. Many people now work from home due to advancements in technology and changes in workplace culture. This shift offers benefits like flexible hours and no commute. 

However, it also brings new challenges, especially regarding workplace safety and injuries.

Understanding telecommuting injuries

Telecommuting injuries happen when an employee gets hurt while working from home. These injuries can include repetitive strain injuries, trips and falls, or accidents involving office equipment. The home may not have the same safety standards as a traditional office, which can increase the risk of injury.

Workers’ compensation coverage

In Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation laws cover telecommuting injuries. If an employee gets injured while performing work duties at home, they can file a workers’ compensation claim. The key is to prove that the injury occurred during work-related activities and not during personal time. This can be tricky because the lines between work and personal time often blur when working from home.

Filing a claim

When filing a workers’ compensation claim for a telecommuting injury, the employee must show that the injury is work-related. This involves providing evidence like time logs, emails, or witness statements. The employer and the insurance company will review the claim to determine if the injury is compensable. If the claim is approved, the employee can receive benefits like medical expenses and lost wages.

Employers’ responsibilities

Employers must ensure the safety of their remote workers. They should provide guidelines for setting up a safe home office. This includes advice on ergonomics, proper equipment use, and maintaining a clutter-free workspace. Employers should also establish clear work hours and duties to help distinguish work time from personal time.

The future of telecommuting and workplace safety

As the number of remote workers continues to grow, so will the need to address telecommuting injuries. Both employers and employees must stay informed about their rights and responsibilities. By fostering a safe remote work environment, employers can help reduce the risk of injuries and ensure that employees receive the support they need if an injury occurs.