California’s “Stay at Home” orders have forced many organizations to move from offices to working from home within a short period of time. This drastic change can potentially impact your organization’s workers’ compensation coverage. An employee may still have a workers’ compensation claim even if they are working from home. This begs the questions of how an organization can implement a culture of workplace safety when having employees work from home. Shouldn’t their homes already be safe?
Having employees consider safety practices in their own home may be challenging to implement. Additionally, there are other factors at play such as family members and pets, which may be an obstacle for employees to adhere to your organization’s risk management safety procedures.
However, your organization can still implement a safety program to help prevent claims for employees who work from home. It is still important to remind employees of safety. A perfect time to remind employees is during video/phone conferences. Get employees involved by creating a safety committee that may have key insight on hazard identification and how to eliminate/minimize the risk. A few other things to consider include:
- Verifying that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms function
- A reminder that extension cords should not run across doorways or under rugs
- Placement of working a fire extinguisher
- A quiet room or personal area where the employee can work
- Work with counsel and create a telecommuting policy including specific work hours, reminders to still take breaks, and adhering to safety policy.
The list above is not an exhaustive list of ways to mitigate workers’ compensation claims, and administrators should be proactive in their organization’s safety program. An effective safety culture begins with upper management. Consult your HR professional or employment attorney to ensure policies are compliant.
Baker, Romero provides clients with safety videos tailored to our clients’ operations. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns or would like us to provide you with a quote for workers’ compensation. We are here to help. Stay Safe!