Recording Injuries/Illnesses Related to Travel and Telecommuting

Employees on Travel Status

Injuries and illnesses that occur while an employee is on travel status are work-related if, at the time of the injury or illness, the employee was engaged in work activities on behalf of your company. Some of these activities include travel to and from customer contacts, conducting job tasks, and entertaining or being entertained to transact, discuss, or promote business.

Work-related entertainment includes only entertainment activities being engaged in at your company's direction. When an employee joins a private club or organization, perhaps to "network" or make business contacts, an injury that occurs there is not considered work-related.

Injuries or illnesses that occur when the employee is on travel status do not have to be recorded when:

  • A traveling employee checks into a hotel, motel, or into another temporary residence for one or more days, he or she establishes a "home away from home." You must evaluate the employee's activities after he or she checks into the hotel, motel, or other temporary residence for their work-relatedness in the same manner as you evaluate the activities of a non-traveling employee.

  • The employee checks into the temporary residence, he or she is considered to have left the work environment. When the employee begins work each day, he or she re-enters the work environment. If the employee has established a "home away from home" and is reporting to a fixed worksite each day, you also do not consider injuries or illnesses work-related if they occur while the employee is commuting between the temporary residence and the job location.

  • An employee takes a side trip for personal reasons. Injuries or illnesses are not considered work-related if they occur while the employee is on a personal detour from a reasonably direct route of travel.

Employees Working at Home (Telecommuting)

Injuries and illnesses that occur while an employee is working at home, including work in a home office, will be considered work-related if the injury or illness:

  • Occurs while the employee is performing work for pay or compensation in the home, and

  • Is directly related to the performance of work, rather than to the general home environment or setting.

For example, if an employee drops a box of work documents and injures his or her foot, the case is considered work-related. If an employee's fingernail is punctured by a needle from a sewing machine used to perform garment work at home, becomes infected and requires medical treatment, the injury is considered work-related.

However, if an employee is injured because he or she trips on the family dog while rushing to answer a work phone call, the case is not considered work-related. If an employee working at home is electrocuted because of faulty home wiring, it is not considered work-related.

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