Accidents can happen even in the most safety-conscious workplace, and that risk is multiplied when employees go out to perform their work while moving from one place to another.
Moreover, the injuries that traveling workers might sustain can be pretty severe, regardless of the type of vehicle they use for transport – car, train, or plane. Major collisions and crashes can lead to life-threatening or even fatal injuries.
It is the company’s responsibility to extend its safety culture beyond the workplace to wherever its employees conduct their work. Doing so keeps employees as safe as possible while also keeping workers’ compensation claim costs as low as possible.
Having said that, workers’ compensation cases that involve traveling employees are pretty tricky for employers to navigate, much less manage their costs. This article will discuss strategies to reduce workers’ compensation-related costs that apply to traveling employees and why investing in workers compensation solutions makes a lot of sense.
Review Activities That Fall Within Scope Of Employment
This is the first thing employers must do to know the different types of non-work-related activities that workers’ compensation can cover. Because when employees travel for business purposes, recreational and social activities may be involved.
For instance, an employee may have to take a client to dinner or a baseball game. The result of this recreational or social activity is for the direct benefit of the employer. Not all situations can be categorized easily, though, which is why, ideally, employers must do this before sending even one worker out for business travel.
You could do this by working closely with your workers compensation provider network and insurance consultants.
Set Clear And Specific Travel Policies
After discovering and listing all the possible non-work-related activities that are eligible for compensation, the next thing to do is implement clear and specific travel policies for your traveling employees. Such policies must define which particular activities are considered work-related and which ones aren’t.
Recent workers’ compensation cases that involved traveling employees, like Barbara Pinkus v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., underscore the need for well-defined travel policies. The Texas court ruled that the travel accident the employee, Ron Pinkus died from was not related to business in any way, even though the employee was on a business trip. This is because the employee was going to meet his son for dinner when the accident happened.
Having a travel policy in place from the get-go can help you as an employer minimize potential risk exposures. Again, this is best discussed with your workers compensation provider network.
Have An Action Plan In Place
It is also important to quickly and effectively manage any injuries as they occur before they become worse. Come up with a proper action plan that can be applied in the event of injuries sustained by your employees while they’re on business travel.
This plan should detail the immediate necessary actions to be taken by the designated personnel, like supervisors and claims adjusters. Having this plan in place, along with well-defined roles, allows the process to run smoothly. You won’t only reduce the severity of injuries. You’ll also reassure your employees that wherever they are working, the company will know what to do should they ever be injured.
When employees travel on behalf of their company, the employer benefits most from the travel. That’s why they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The steps laid out in this article can help you make sure that these types of claims won’t break the bank. Working with a workers compensation solutions provider can help you implement these steps more efficiently.