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Preventing injuries while working at home in Minnesota

Employees who work from home may be at a higher risk of injury. While most cases go unreported, there have been notable examples of workers' compensation benefits being awarded for injuries that were suffered while the worker was at home. In one case, it was held that an employee was eligible for benefits after he slipped on his driveway, fell and was subsequently paralyzed.

The court ruled that the injury was caused during the course of employment because he was salting his driveway in anticipation of a work-related delivery. In another case, a woman was awarded benefits after she tripped over her dog while walking to her garage to look at fabric samples. In this case, it was determined she was injured while performing employment duties. While those cases may give employers pause when it comes to allowing workers to work from home, it may be better for the employee-employer relationship overall.

Those who understand the benefits of allowing employees to work from home note that it may reduce the number of injuries in the long run. For many, long hours spent in a daily commute often poses significant health and safety risks.

An employee who suffers an injury during the course of his or her employment may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. These benefits may allow a worker to pay living expenses while they are injured and unable to work. If an injury causes a permanent disability, benefits may be available for the rest of the employee's life. It may be beneficial to talk to a workers' compensation attorney after suffering an injury in order to facilitate the claims process.

Source: Safety+Health magazine, "Working (safely) from home", Tom Musick, Jan. 25, 2015

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