The nature of work is changing, and many people in Texas now show up to work every day at their home computers rather than at the office. So what does this mean for workplace injuries? If an employer instructs an employee to work from home and that employee is then injured during his or her workday, it would likely count as a workplace injury. Here are a few things to keep in mind about work from home injuries.
Was it actually work-related?
Like with any workplace injuries, it is important to determine whether a work from home injury was related to work. Workers bear the burden of providing proof that their injuries were caused by work-related tasks. However, employers should still be mindful of possible defenses.
Limiting safety risks when working from home
Employers should take proactive steps to limit safety risks for work-from-home employees while also limiting their own liability. This is often best accomplished through policy changes. Examples of policy changes that can protect all parties include requiring employees to:
- Sign attestation forms that they have a safe, designated area in which to work from home.
- Affirm in writing that they are not caring for children or elderly relatives during work hours.
- Refrain from engaging in home-based businesses during work hours.
Just because an injury occurred during work-from-home hours does not mean that it was related in any way to work duties. This is something that nonsubscriber employers in Texas must be acutely aware of, or they may risk paying for injuries for which they are not actually responsible. Employers who are interested in creating policies that protect both employers and employees from work-from-home injuries. would be well-advised to first seek guidance of a knowledgeable attorney.