Working from home seems pretty low risk. But did you know employers are still responsible for recording work from home injuries?
It’s true, the same OSHA recordkeeping rules apply for workplace and work from home injuries. While injuries and illnesses must require medical treatment beyond first aid, loss of consciousness, days away from work, etc., to qualify as recordable on an OSHA 300 log, they can happen when employees are on the job at home.
When determining if a work from home injury needs to be recorded, the deciding factor is the environment. It must be a result of the work environment and not home environment.
For instance, rushing to answer a work call while slipping on the wet kitchen floor isn’t related to the work environment. However, if the employee trips over a box of work papers to answer the phone and medical treatment beyond first aid is required or the injury meets one of the other general recording criteria, it’s likely an OSHA recordable. For those who like black and white answers, recordkeeping will drive you crazy as there’s lots of gray. OSHA provides guidance and examples in standard 1904 and Safex consultants can also help you if work from home injuries arise.
One way to gain clarity is to investigate all injuries and near misses. Doing so will help you determine the root cause and educate employees on how to be safer in the future.
There’s one other thing for employers to know. OSHA recordable injuries and illnesses and workers’ compensation claims are not always correlated. For instance, a work from home injury may not be an OSHA recordable but the employee may receive workers’ compensation (and vice versa).
In closing, we encourage you to keep safety at the forefront, even for employees working from home, investigate injuries or illness, no matter where they occur and reach out to our team if you have questions.