Telecommunications

Medium and small size employers in television, radio, telephone and internet companies can usually obtain workers’ compensation coverage from insurance carriers without difficulty.

  • Most of the national and international companies either:
    • Self-administer their workers’ compensation program, or
    • Have a captive insurance company with a contractual Third Party Administrator (TPA) to handle their claims.
  • The cost of work comp coverage variesdepending on the media:
    • Telephone companies have higher costs than other forms of telecommunications due to their need to maintain their infrastructure.
    • Residential and commercial installers can be injured while lifting and carrying ladders.
  • The nationwide telephone companies will have a far greater diversity of work comp exposures than the local television station.
  • Each company has their own safety program to reduce the number of work comp claims.

The national telephone companies will have a presence in all 50 states. Their workforce would represent a cross section of both blue-collar and white-collar jobs. Their overall work comp exposures would be close to the median for all work comp.

Internet companies, and local television and radio stations tend to have a greater portion of office workers and sales people. As most of their work comp class codes would be at lower than average rates, their cost of work comp coverage would be below the average for all businesses.

The cost of medical benefits for the national telephone companies would be close to the median due to their diversity of risk exposures, frequency of claims and severity of claims.

  • The availability of medical care depends upon the location of the employee at the time of injury.
  • Office employees in metropolitan areas will have more medical options than employees working in small towns.
  • Selection of medical providers will depend upon the state where the injury occurs.

The national telephone companies’ indemnity benefits reflect the same diversity of claims as the medical benefits do.

  • Overall, the cost of indemnity benefits will be close to the state average where the claims occur.
  • Occupational illnesses would also track the national and state averages.

Some categories related to telecommunications that would have the same or similar work comp issues include:

  • Fiber optic manufacturers
  • Microwave communication companies
  • Cable TV stations
  • Satellite TV networks
  • Local area network operators

Transitional / Modified Duties in the Telecommunications Industry

The Telecommunications industry has opportunity for employees with restrictions to be accommodated on a temporary basis. There are jobs at television and radio stations as well as telephone and internet companies that are not heavy in nature and employee’s jobs with heavy components should be modified fairly easily.

If there is an applicable Union Contract, be sure to review the terms to verify modified duty is not prohibited or restricted. Examples include:

Field Technician / Trouble-shooter: Allow work from the office trouble shooting with customers to resolve internet or service issues.
Field Technician Assistant: Allow a second employee to go on jobs where heavy lifting of equipment or large quantities of wire is anticipated to assist field technicians.
Field Technician Trainer: Injured field technicians can ride-along with new technicians for training purposes.
Customer Service Rep.: Allow employee to sit/stand as needed by offering a raised desk or allow a sedentary employee to elevate an injured limb as needed.


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