The right workers’ compensation insurance can help transportation businesses save.
When you think of a high-risk industry, most people immediately conjure thoughts of construction and heavy manufacturing. This is why you may be surprised to learn that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics actually found that the trucking industry experiences more on-the-job injuries and illness than the construction, manufacturing, and mining industries. To ensure that their staff is adequately protected from injury risks, here’s what employers in the transportation industry need to know about workers compensation insurance.
- Injury Risks
First, it’s important to understand the risks that drivers in the transportation industry face. Some of the most common types of injuries drivers face are musculoskeletal issues. Drivers can spend long periods of time in a sedentary position, followed by periods of strenuous labor when it comes time to load or unload, if they are delivery drivers. The quick turnaround from sitting to sometimes heavy-duty activity can mean muscle strains, sprains, tears and more.
Depending upon the vehicle type, drivers may also face serious risks while getting in and out of their vehicle or assisting passengers. And when weather is inclement, there is always the increased risk of slips and falls, especially while drivers are entering or exiting the cab of their trucks, or loading and unloading their trailers. There is additional risk that drivers could be harmed by unsecured loads while trying to move things around their trailers.
Vehicular accidents are also a common source of employee injuries. Because drivers can face unpredictable weather conditions, reckless motorists, unforeseen traffic hazards, and other unexpected perils, driving accidents are sometimes unavoidable.
- Claims Management
For transportation companies, addressing workers compensation risks requires a multi-pronged approach. For instance, companies should provide comprehensive health and safety training to their staff. New drivers should be carefully vetted to ensure that they have the necessary experience and skills to operate the company’s vehicles. Companies could also set strict safety protocols that drivers can enact in potentially risky situations.
When it comes to workers comp coverage, companies should look for experienced agents that can provide coverage with a robust claims management operation. Some insurance providers assign a single claims adjuster to each company. This ensures that the adjuster is familiar with the company, prior issues, and other relevant information that will help them deal with claims effectively and efficiently. With this team approach, companies, their agent and its carrier can work together to develop risk mitigation strategies that help minimize losses.
Finally, workers’ comp that includes a return-to-work program encourages injured employees to return to work by offering them the chance to fill modified roles. As the employee recovers, their duties will be adjusted until they are free of physical limitations. Return-to-work programs, allow transportation companies to keep injured employees engaged until they are able to return to work in their full capacity.