Are Home-Based Workers Filing Workers’ Comp Claims?
A Mississippi workers' comp attorney explains
The pandemic sent many employees home to do their work where they may have set up their workspace on the couch or some other informal setting.
The living room or kitchen might seem like a relaxing spot for work, but unlike an employer’s office, these home spaces generally were not designed for hours of keyboarding or other business work.
Employers anticipated they would receive an increase in reports of injuries related to working from home. But according to a Hartford Courant article, many at-home workers did not file claims reporting back or neck pain or other musculoskeletal injuries.
But some workers did ask employers for support. According to the Courant, a claims officer for an insurance company said people were requesting accommodations to work at home, such as chairs with the proper height.
Vivienne Fleischer, co-founder and president of Performance Based Ergonomics, told The Courant workers who might have been experiencing eye strain, neck, shoulder and lower back pain and other ailments related to working from home avoided filing formal workers’ comp claims. Fleischer said at-home workers might have thought they would be forced back to the office if they filed the claims.
Types of at-home work injuries
Working for hours at a time can lead to injuries, even if you have an office job that requires mostly computer work. When you move those tasks to a home office, the risk of suffering musculoskeletal injuries or eye strains does not disappear. In fact, you may have a greater risk of getting injured because homes are generally not ergonomically set up for office work.
The following are some common work-from-home problems that could lead to a workers’ comp claim:
- Back pain
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Eye strain
At the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020, an American Chiropractic Association survey found that 92 percent of chiropractors reported an increase in the number of musculoskeletal conditions and linked many of the problems to working from home.
What to do if you’re in pain while working from home
Don’t ignore problems that are related to at-work home. Ask your employer for a new chair or other equipment to use at home that can help you avoid injuries.
If you are suffering an injury or ailment while working from home, you might need to file a workers’ comp claim. You have a right to file the claim even if you were working as a telecommuter.
You may be asked by your employer to return to the office to continue working. The injury, however, might be serious enough to keep you from working at home or at the office. Such workers’ compensation claims can become complicated and lead to disputes.
That’s why it’s wise to contact a workers’ compensation attorney. Call or use the online contact form to connect with Tabor Law Firm, P.A., and schedule a free consultation. We will review your case and help you decide your next steps.
A work injury can be devastating, whether it happened at home or in the office. The claims process can be complex, especially when you are trying to recover from an injury.
We can help you fight for the compensation and benefits you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.