Remote Work and Workplace Safety

Remote Work and Workplace Safety

What pops into your mind when you think of workplace safety training? Many of you probably picture an office conference room full of bored employees watching dated instructional videos about keeping work areas clean.

Workplace safety, while not a topic that captures our imagination, has long been emphasized in conventional work environments because it is a very important issue. But in an age where conventional work environments are quickly becoming the exception and not the norm, employers and workers alike are rethinking how we view “workplace” safety and safety training.

Some research suggests that by 2020, nearly three-quarters of all workers in the United States will be mobile or work remotely at least part of the time. Mobile workers are making up an increasingly large percentage of the workforce, and this sea change means the way we talk about safety must also change.

What are Risks for Mobile Workers?

Many of the risks that have traditionally been a concern at offices are still worth discussing in the context of remote work, such as what to do in the event of severe weather or fire. But the risks for remote or mobile workers are varied, depending on what type of work they do. For example, an employee who works from home on their computer faces minimal risks compared to the worker who is constantly traveling for their job.

The more a worker is on the move, the more risks they will face as part of their job. Motor vehicle crashes have always been one of the leading causes of work-related injuries, and the more mobile our workforce becomes, the more we can expect this type of work-related injury to be prominent among the American workforce.

Depending on where and how workers are travelling (long drives on dangerous roads, multiple commutes to dangerous neighborhoods, or international travel to countries where safety might be a concern), other hazards might be a concern. Each worker should be trained according to their specific job responsibilities.

What Should Employers Take into Consideration?

Employers should attempt to foresee possible dangers that each of their mobile or remote workers will face in any given situation. Businesses should identify risks, inform employees of those risks, train them on best practices to avoid being injured and establish a system through which workers can contact supervisors if they are injured or in danger.

For example, if a business has several sales representatives deployed in its region and severe weather occurs, that business should be able to notify workers of the storm and check in with employees after the storm has passed to ensure their safety.

The two key things for businesses to remember are accountability and communication. Supervisors and employers should make it a priority to be able to warn workers of dangers and help those workers in the event of a dangerous situation. Take accountability for the safety and training of your workers, and always keep lines of communication open.

If you have suffered a work-related injury, you deserve compensation for lost income and other costs associated with your injury. Contact Kaplan Lawyers PC by filling out our online form or calling us at any of our office locations:

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