The home office is quickly becoming commonplace for many companies. Working at home has a lot of benefits for employers and workers. It can allow for more flexibility and reduce overhead costs.
However, there are some aspects of working at home that become complicated. One of those is when you suffer an injury while working at home. It takes more investigation and work to make a determination about whether it is a true work injury. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has some guidelines to help make the determination if an injury or illness when working at home is a work injury.
OSHA explains that determining if an injury or illness is a work-related injury or illness is similar to making that determination for an incident that occurs in the workplace. It starts with seeing what you were doing at the time of the injury or what conditions you were working under.
For an injury, such as a fall, if it did not happen as a direct result of doing your assigned work duties, then it is not a work injury. Any condition you develop or injury you have must be something that occurs simply because you were doing your job.
Of course, there are exceptions. You may suffer an injury or illness while doing your job duties that is not a work injury because of the circumstances.
In general, if the reason for the injury or illness is due to circumstances that would not be present in your workplace, then it is not a work injury. For example, a fall injury that occurs because you fell over a toy on the ground would not be a work injury because the toy being there is not the responsibility of your employer.
In short, if your injury or illness could have happened in your regular workplace, then it is likely a work injury.