Cell Phones Can Increase Workers Comp Premiums?

2The more your employees use mobile devices on company business, the more likely they are to suffer injuries - and the greater your exposure to Workers Compensation losses - even if the incident occurs off the clock or away from the workplace!

We're no longer living in a Monday-Friday, 9-to-5 business world. Millions of workers rely on smart phones, laptops, and tablets for company business outside the office, posing a challenge to traditional definitions of work-related claims. Some 35 million Americans are working from homes, cars, airports, subways, the local wireless cafe -- even at the beach during vacations! One survey found that nearly three in five respondents (59%) check their office e-mail when on vacation, while 79% pack their laptop along with their swimsuit or skis.

A combination of factors are contributing to the explosive growth of this "cyberworkalohic" behavior: Job insecurity in today's uncertain economy, pressure (real or perceived) from peers or managers, the demands of working in today's global, 24-7 business environment -- and the blurring of distinctions between office and home environments among younger, tech-savvy workers.

Consider these scenarios:

  • An employee on her evening jog is using her cell phone to check on office e-mails when she stumbles on the curb, falls, and breaks her arm.
  • While stuck in traffic on his way home from work, a man receives a work-related text message that's so upsetting he rear-ends another car, injuring his back.

What happens if these workers file Workers Comp claims for job-related injuries? That depends. The growth in employees' work-related use of mobile devices away from the job is so recent that courts haven't yet ruled on whether such claims are compensable.

To reduce exposing your business to this increasingly widespread risk -- which could drive up your Comp premiums -- it makes sense to set and enforce clear and comprehensive rules for using mobile devices on company business outside the work environment. The goal of this "best practice" approach is to create a corporate culture that maintains a balance between increasing productivity and keeping your workers as safe, and injury free, as possible -- on and off the job.

For advice on designing guidelines for employee use of mobile devices, just get in touch with us.

Need insurance for You, Your Family or Your Business?
We can match you to a qualified, local insurance expert!
Further Reading
The more your employees use mobile devices on company business, the more likely they are to suffer injuries - and the greater your exposure to Workers Compensation losses - even if the incident occurs off the clock or away from the workplace! We're...
With so many expenses rising in 2019, you may worry about your life insurance premium costs. Learn more about whether or not your premiums can increase. Review the Type of Policy you Own Your life insurance policy pays a death benefit that repl...
When you only hear about fraud and rising insurance rates, then it can be easy to assume that those are the trends that are here to stay. We encourage you to remember that there is change happening out there though for certain states. Concerned resid...
Are you confident that your loved ones would have financial security if you were to die today? If not, consider purchasing life insurance. It pays a death benefit to your loved ones when you die, and it provides peace of mind and financial security t...
The California case of Diane Minish v. Hanuman Fellowship carries a valuable lesson for anyone involved with nonprofit organizations. After Diane Minish, a volunteer worker with the nonprofit Hanuman Fellowship was accidentally thrown from a forkli...