While lawyers and judges are the ultimate legal experts, of course, I believe that every citizen should take the time to learn a little about law for several reasons. First, it is important to know your rights, and knowing them can come in handy if anyone ever accuses you of a crime you didn't commit or threatens you legally in another other way. Second, learning about your local, state, and federal laws can help you act as a better citizen. When election time comes around, you can then truly understand ever change in law being proposed by a candidate and whether it benefits society or not. I plan to share posts about law topics explained in plain English on my new blog, so you can come back often to sharpen your legal knowledge!
In an effort to reduce overhead costs and increase profitability, many companies are opting to allow their employees to telecommute. Employees who work from home are not utilizing resources like electricity, plumbing, etc. Creating a telecommuting workforce can save your money, but it can also leave your company vulnerable to workers' compensation claims.
Here are three things that you need to do to protect your company from workers' compensation claims filed by telecommuters in the future.
1. Inspect home offices.
Since you could be liable for injuries that arise when an employee is working at home, it's important that you take the time to inspect the home offices of your employees for potential hazards. Checking for any details that could impede worker safety allows you to address these problems with your employees and resolve them before they have the chance to cause injury.
Taking the time to ensure that each of your telecommuting employees has access to a safe work environment will help you reduce the number of workers' compensation claims filed against your company in the future.
2. Alter your employment contracts.
If you know that your employees will be spending a significant amount of time working from home, you should draft employment contracts with this in mind. Be sure to include stipulations that require employees to take safety precautions when setting up their home offices.
You should also require employees to immediately report injuries and commit to completing their work duties in a safe and reliable manner. Having these stipulations included in your employment contracts will help you alleviate some of your liability for injuries should any workers' compensation claims go to court.
3. Schedule regular safety training.
Teaching your employees how to work in a safe manner will help them avoid injury while telecommuting. You should schedule regular occupational health and safety training sessions for your employees to educate them on ways they can mitigate the risk of injury and improve the overall safety of their home office work environments.
Showing that you are actively attempting to prevent injuries can also be beneficial when it comes to fighting a workers' compensation claim in the future.
Protecting your company from workers' compensation claims filed by telecommuting employees doesn't have to be difficult. Take the time to inspect home offices, spell out each employee's safety responsibilities in your employment contracts, and make sure your employees have regular safety training to avoid injuries in the future. If there is a workers' compensation claim filed against you, you may need a workmans compensation lawyer. Click here for an example of a workmans compensation lawyer in Augusta, GA.