Do Online Businesses Need To Worry About Health & Safety?
If you’re running a business online, you might think that one of the best advantages is that you don’t have a responsibility or a duty of care for your employees. Is that true? Well, the short answer is yes with a rather important but. The but in question refers to how you might run your online company. For instance, you may hiring employees on a full contract rather than using freelancers or an outsourcing business. If that’s the case, you could still have a responsibility to them. What if they are working from home, we hear you ask? Well, obviously then your physical responsibility for those employees is limited, but a virtual team does still have rights that you need to respect. So, let’s look at some of the problems with health & safety, how to avoid them and what they could mean?
Can AI Injuries Still Be A Problem?
Yes, they can. There have been numerous cases where employees working from home have attempted to sue their bosses for an accidental injury. The only injury that we can think of that might be relevant here would be RSI. Repetitive Strain Injury is caused by typing for long periods without breaks. The advantage for business owners is that RSI often develops due to a poor work environment or posture. However, it is possible to argue that RSI developed because employees were not able to take breaks through the day to complete their level of work. If that’s the case, there could be a legal case there for an AI outside of premises liability. That said, it’s unlikely that the payout for this type of claim will be large. In fact, it’s entirely possible that a claim like this would simply be thrown out.
Discrimination And Bullying
Mental and emotional safety issues are very much still a concern for an online business owner. At least they should be because you’ll still have a group of employees under your command. It is your responsibility to ensure that they are treated fairly without any cases of bullying. Be very careful about emailing your employees or messaging them information that might be offensive or inappropriate. You can still get in trouble with sexual harassment, even if your employee is working one hundred miles away. While the number of lawsuits in this area is fairly low, lawyers are already looking at ways to put pressure on online businesses.
If you are unsure whether health and safety could be an issue in your business, it’s best to speak to a lawyer. Don’t forget these days this doesn’t have to cost a fortune. H&S outsourcing is available for business owners who are interested and willing to invest some money in an expert team.
If you’re worried about being sued by a worker who is injured completing their job at home, you may want to think about arranging workers compensation. With workers compensation, you can make sure that you are covered for any injuries no matter where your employees are located.