WORKERS’ COMPENSATION FOR TRANSPORTATION 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 Industry
The workforce for transportation companies will consist of:
- Maintenance personnel
- Luggage handlers
- Food & beverage operations
- Office staff
Drivers Make Up
Drivers make up the bulk of the workforce.
- Most bus 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 buses have video cameras to monitor the behavior of riders.
Transportation companies normally have a safety program and will require their drivers to take safe driving courses and often need a Commercial Driver’s License.
The Primary Causes Of Work Comp
The primary causes of work comp claims for drivers include:
- Traffic accidents
- Falls getting on and off the buses
- 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.
Pre-hire testing and fitness for duty testing is often required to ensure that personnel have the strength and ability to help open escape doors and evacuate riders in an emergency.
In Order To Have Enough Customers
In order to have enough customers, bus companies and taxi services will be located in larger town, cities and metropolitan areas. This allows the employees who have a work comp injury to obtain medical care quickly.
- Bus companies 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 employee can select their own doctor, it is common to have a list of doctors posted for the employee to select from.
- Large operations such as 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 driver is due to injuries to the drivers’ backs.
Some Categories Related To Transportation Companies
Some categories related to transportation companies 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
Transitional / Modified Duties in the Transportation Industry (Bus Drivers)
When 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 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:
Sample Transitional Duty Jobs in the Transportation Industry (Bus Drivers)
|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.|