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Non-Exposure Workers' Compensation Claims May Increase During the COVID-19 Pandemic Non-Exposure Workers' Compensation Claims May Increase During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Non-Exposure Workers' Compensation Claims May Increase During the COVID-19 Pandemic

While overall workers' compensation claims may be reduced during the COVID-19 crisis due to fewer people working, this impact may not be uniform across all industries including manufacturing, retail, distribution and logistics. There could be an increase in claims due to a variety of factors, including the following:
 
  • Employees may be required to work longer and harder due to meeting increased demands, which could lead to more claims related to overexertion. 
  • Some businesses are hiring new employees to meet demand for product and services. Social distancing and/or the need to meet production demands may lead to limited time or ability for orientation and safety training, which could in turn lead to more workplace injuries.
  • Many employees are working from home, which presents another challenge for employers due to a lack of oversight of the work environment and the equipment used. Injuries occurring while an employee is working remotely from home are generally compensable as long as they occur within the course of and arise out of their employment. 

Employers should work closely with their third-party administrators and defense counsel to manage the potential increase in claims. Investigating each claim is still key to determining if the claim is legitimate or should be contested. Injury prevention and safety training are essential to preventing claims in the first place and should still be given priority. The use of video training and tutorials is safe way to fulfill this obligation if social distancing is not practical.

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances.

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