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Before the COVID-19 pandemic, less than 5 percent of employees worked primarily from home; that number has climbed to an estimated one-third of U.S. employees today. This unprecedented change in our working model has strained technology, managerial, and strategic resources as we continue to modify and adapt where and how we work. This further affects the context and effectiveness of a company’s safety and health controls geared primarily for a brick-and-mortar presence.
Every employer is duty bound to provide a safe work environment for their employees, regardless of where they work. Yet most employers will find that improvised home offices are “less likely to be ergonomically compliant, which can lead to repetitive stress injuries … and may also be more liable for slip-and-fall injuries,” according to an article shared by Insurance Business America titled “Workers’ Comp Liabilities Facing Work From Home Employees.”
Employers, don’t despair! Increases in experience ratings are anticipated to rise slowly in occupational categories where there has been a rise in telework arrangements. Even better news, injury prevention for teleworkers can be accomplished through policy, education, and modifying individual behavior. Implementing a few of the following best practices will help you to mitigate potential for teleworker injuries.