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Information on injuries suffered during business travel

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been asked to clarify what it means if an employee is injured when traveling from the airport back home for business (or a similar scenario). More specifically, how is this addressed in terms of recordkeeping?

Take for example a person who flew back into his or her hometown after a business trip. On the way home from the airport, the worker is involved in a motor vehicle accident. What does OSHA think of this?

In this scenario, OSHA notes that the accident would be considered work-related for its purposes. Any injury or illness that occurs to a worker while traveling for business, if engaged in professional activities, is considered to be "in the interest of the employer."

But there is some gray area. For example, injuries are not considered to be work related if it happens when the worker takes a personal detour from his or her direct route of travel. This is something that OSHA describes in greater detail in Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illness, Section 1904.5(b)(6)(ii).

Most people who travel for business never have to think about this. They make it from Point A to Point B, and back, without any problems. However, this is not always the case. There is the chance that a person could be involved in an accident, such as a car crash, on the way to or from the airport.

As an employee who travels often, you need to know your rights. This includes those associated with injury or illness, as it could have an impact if you ever need to make a workers' compensation claim.

Source: The Business Journals, "Rules on injuries sustained during business travel," Travis Rhoden, Nov. 13, 2015

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