Employers Liability - what are your employees bringing home

Employers liability fills gaps in the workers' compensation standard coverage. For example, suppose an employee is injured due to a defective piece of equipment that their employer manufactured. The employee has a products liability claim, but is also collecting under workers' compensation. Employers liability coverage steps in and covers the employees products claim in excess of the workers' compensation payout.

Another extension of workers' compensation through employers' liability concerns the families of workers. If a worker transports a toxin or a pathogen back home on their clothing or themselves and exposes their family, employers liability pays the medical bills.

This scenario is little known and rarely claimed, however, for more than just monetary reasons, it's good to control this potential exposure.

The first step requires reviewing any material safety data sheets (MSDS) for chemicals and supplies that may be transportable by simple contact to clothes, through respiration or on skin or hair.

Can any of these products cause allergic reactions or are they known for anaphylaxis reactions?

Step two: if any pathway is possible, contain that product to your work space.

Step three is to set up work zones, decontamination zones and clean areas for employees to enter, dress and store personal items, and clean-up after work. Use a buddy system to be sure all potentially affected areas are decontaminated properly and completely.

Unfortunately, you cannot control the health of all the people your employees contact, or even their families. Some common cleaners and relatively benign chemicals can cause serious distress in sensitive people.

Employers liability has historically been a rare claim; however, as more people suffer allergies, reactions to chemicals, or just gain knowledge of their personal environment, these claims promise to become more frequent.

Controlling these exposures now will reduce future costs. There are virtually no statutes of limitations for claims. Besides, you don't want to make kids sick, and they are the most sensitive to low doses.

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