Off-Site Job-Site Safety
In recent years, many employers in industries from construction to health care have decided to keep their employees working off-site or in remote places without much supervision. Workers can be exposed to a wide range of dangers. Employers must still adhere to job-site safety rules and laws when their employees are off-site. If you are concerned about off-site job-site safety, you should consult the seasoned Riverside and San Bernardino County workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C. Even when you work off-site, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.Off-Site Job-Site Safety
If you are an employee who works off-site, you may find that you do not have a supervisor or manager who makes sure that safety standards are followed. You may not realize that you are in a dangerous situation in an off-site location because the place is unfamiliar to you. Moreover, you may not know how to perform the inspection and assessment of the site that is necessary to determine whether you are facing dangers off-site. Many businesses employ their workers off-site. For instance, some health care workers work at patients’ homes or in off-site clinics. For another example, salespeople may need to meet with clients at their own office or in a restaurant for a business dinner or lunch.
Your employer is required to follow laws and regulations related to safety, including the Occupational Safety and Health Act. However, these standards can vary widely depending on the industry. For instance, there are construction standards that require employers to anticipate dangers and provide the appropriate protective gear, such as eye goggles or harnesses. In addition to hazards of the work, there may be a risk of disruptive workplace violence in off-site locations as well.Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation benefits are no-fault benefits. You do not need to prove that anyone was liable for your injuries. Likewise, your employer cannot deny benefits if you were partially to blame for your accident. You may obtain workers’ compensation benefits so long as you were in the course and scope of employment at the time of the accident. The injury must have been work-related.
Figuring out when workers’ compensation is available for injuries that occur somewhere other than an office or another usual workplace may involve a complicated analysis by an attorney. However, you can obtain benefits for off-site injuries so long as you were furthering your employer’s interests at the time. Work injuries will be compensable through the workers’ compensation system if, at the time of the injury, you were performing work for your employer’s client at its workplace, undergoing professional training for work, traveling for business but off-duty, or traveling between worksites.
On the other hand, you may not be able to get benefits for an injury that happened on a rest break or lunch break. For instance, if you slipped and fell in a nearby sandwich shop while voluntarily meeting coworkers for lunch, you probably cannot get workers’ compensation benefits, but you may be able to recover damages from the shop. Other situations that occur off-site in which benefits may not be available include injuries caused by violations of workplace rules, such as drinking alcohol on the job.Third-Party Liability
Although your only recourse regarding your employer after an off-site job injury is workers’ compensation benefits, you also may have a claim for damages against an at-fault third party. You can hold a third party accountable for its negligence by showing that the third party owed you a duty of reasonable care, breached the duty of reasonable care, and caused your injuries. There are also situations in which a property owner can be held responsible for injuries arising out of a dangerous property condition. You will need to show that the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and failed to provide warnings to visitors or repair the condition.Contact a Seasoned Attorney in Riverside or San Bernardino County
If you are concerned about off-site job-site safety in Riverside or San Bernardino County, you should consult the Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C. Our workers’ compensation lawyers represent people throughout Southern California. Call us at (888) 883-6588 or complete our online form.