Workers’ compensation claims do not require Missouri employees to prove the cause of an accident. If a distraction results in an injury, an employee may file for workers’ comp benefits if it occurred while on-the-job.
As reported by EHS Today, a study conducted by Screen Education revealed that employees spend an average of 2.5 hours accessing digital content during each work shift. According to the study, 14% of the workers responding to surveys stated distractions from using a smartphone device caused a serious on-the-job accident.
Mobile devices contribute to injuries and deaths while working
Out of the distraction-related work accidents studied, half of them resulted in either injury or death, and nearly 60% resulted in property damage. The greatest number of accidents caused by smartphone distractions occurred in an industrial workplace.
Some survey respondents stated that their employers had a policy for restricting their usage of smartphones during their work shifts. Accidents, however, still occurred. For many employees who began working remotely or from home, a mobile phone device became a necessary part of the job.
Workers’ compensation covers injuries that occur onsite or remotely
As noted by Insurance Business America, employers must ensure that a remote worker has a safe environment in which to perform his or her job duties. If an employee sustains a work-related injury or illness while at an off-site location or at home, he or she may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
The Screen Education study results did not disclose whether the employees surveyed required the use of a mobile phone to carry out their job functions. Nevertheless, an accident that occurs while performing tasks for an employer — even if it results from a digital distraction — may qualify for workers’ comp.