Many businesses must have employees working off site. Both the employer and the employee suffer when a worker sustains accidental or other injuries off site, including situations when the employee becomes the victim of a crime. Workers compensation premiums can increase as a result of claims from off-premise injuries to workers, even those who telecommute from home (as employees, rather than independent contractors).
Specific Safety Issues Involving Off-site Employees
As a business owner, you need to be aware of the employment hazards faced by your staff members when their duties take them to other locations. Consider the variety of risks that threaten off-site employees:
- Real estate agents must conduct property viewings with potential buyers. These agents face increased risks of premises-related accidents when visiting sites where construction or remodeling work is underway. Providing hard hats, goggles or other protective equipment can help minimize injury risks. Criminals could be lying in wait at such locations, ready to prey on any visitor.
- Delivery and repair personnel perform most of their duties off site. Repair personnel face injury risks while working at poorly maintained or dimly lit sites, in addition to construction-related hazards. Delivery people face risks from criminal activity and accidental injuries.
- Sales representatives make presentations to prospective customers. Travel-related accident risks increase with prolonged driving, especially when the sales force faces strict deadlines. A crowded schedule puts a driver at increased risk of getting involved in an automobile accident, especially when it becomes necessary to drive at night.
- Home health care personnel work at the patients residence. Patients in need of such care are less likely to maintain and clean their homes, bringing increased risks of premises-related injuries.
Taking Precautions to Increase Employee Security and Safety
Employee security and safety begins with an awareness of the variety of risks involved in working off site. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety offers safety tips for employers and employees for situations involving workers who work alone while off site. It is important to provide safety tips for female employees who travel alone, especially when foreign travel is necessary. Women face unique risks when visiting countries where females do not enjoy gender equality. Provide travel guidelines for all of your employees with advice about how to avoid becoming a target of criminal activity.
Developing a Workforce Safety Program
A program for communicating safety advice to off-site workers can be an effective way to make their jobs less hazardous. It can help you and your management team develop a deeper understanding of the risks that those employees face. Consider providing all off-site employees with written safety guidelines addressing the unique hazards they face when working at remote locations. Safety meetings can provide your staff with the opportunity to voice their own concerns and offer suggestions for increasing workforce safety. Take advantage of the ServiceM8 app to manage job safety analysis audits and schedule safety meetings from anywhere, using your iPad or iPhone. ServiceM8 integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks Online accounting software.