Transportation / Fleet Companies

Workers’ Compensation for Transportation / Fleet Industries

The cost of workers’ compensation insurance coverage is very close to the median for work comp in general for bus companies, shuttle bus services and taxicab fleets. There are work comp insurers who specialize in this market, but the coverage is also available from most work comp carriers.

The workforce for the transportation fleet companies will consist of:

  • Fleet Drivers
  • Maintenance personnel
  • Reservations
  • Luggage handlers
  • Food & beverage operations
  • Office staff

Read More: Workers Comp in the Trucking Industry

Drivers make up the bulk of the workforce.

  • Most fleet drivers have a high school education and some have technical school training.
  • The workforce tends to be stable part-time employees.
  • Parents with small children like often work these part-time jobs.
  • Many fleets have video cameras to monitor the behavior of riders.

Transportation companies normally have a safety program and will require their fleet drivers to take safe driving courses and often need a Commercial Driver’s License.

The primary causes of work comp claims for fleet drivers include:

  • Traffic accidents
  • Falls getting on and off the buses or other vehicles
  • Improper maintenance of equipment
  • Wrist injuries from the levers used to open and close bus doors
  • Back problems due to roadway vibrations and/or poorly adjusted seating.

Read More: Workers Comp in the Trucking Industry

Pre-hire testing and fitness for duty testing is often required to ensure that fleet personnel have the strength and ability to help open escape doors and evacuate riders in an emergency.

In order to have enough customers, fleet companies, like bus and taxi services, will be located in larger towns, cities and metropolitan areas. This allows the fleet employees who have a work comp injury to obtain medical care quickly.

  • Transportation fleets, like bus and taxicab companies, will have a posted workers’ compensation doctor to see in those states where the employer can select the medical provider.
  • In the states where the fleet employee can select their own doctor, it is common to have a list of doctors posted for the employee to select from.
  • Large transportation fleet operations like airlines often have occupational medical clinics in their hubs to provide rapid treatment to injured workers.

Indemnity benefits for transportation company drivers average close to the median for all work comp indemnity benefits. The most common cause when there are permanent disability benefits owed to a fleet driver is due to injuries to the drivers’ backs.

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

  • Parcel and package delivery services
  • Interstate trucking (with higher work comp rates)
  • Automobile towing (with higher work comp rates)
  • Local freight hauling services
  • Airlines

Read More: Workers Comp in the Trucking Industry

Transitional / Modified Duties in the Transportation Industry (Bus Drivers

When fleet bus drivers are injured and restricted from driving, there are a variety of jobs and tasks they should be able to perform.

A very big problem with restricted fleet bus drivers can be dealing with wheelchair-bound riders. The driver is required to be able to maneuver the occupied chair (push / pull possibly heavy weight) and to “lock-down” the chair which can require kneeling and/or bending to reach and fasten the attach points in a confined space.

If a mechanic is restricted, consider whether the employee is able to perform the majority of the required tasks, some with a modification such as another employee’s assistance for heavy lifting.

If there is an applicable union contract, be sure to review the terms to verify modified duty is not prohibited or restricted; if it is, work to negotiate it out of the contract in the future.

Some modified opportunities include:

Counter: Count passengers entering/exiting at a particular stop.
Office / Clerical: Perform office/clerical work.
Time Checker: Have employee take empty trailers to the field and return with full trailers to the silo or barn.
Passenger Counter: Ride selected routes and count passengers per route.
Cleaner: Clean the vehicles, check for sleeping children when bus returns to the depot.

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