For just a moment, imagine the implications of one of your temporary employees being involved in a vehicle accident. As you may know, these types of accidents can drag on for several years. Therefore, several questions need to be asked.
Who was driving the vehicle? Was anybody hurt? Was it reported to law enforcement? If so, what do the details of the report have to say? Who hit whom? There are more, but I’m sure you get the idea.
This is a case wherein the temporary employees were well within the scope of job duties assigned by the client. However, those duties were not disclosed to the staffing company.
In this case, two client company-owned vehicles were involved in this accident. One vehicle was following another. The vehicles were being driven by individuals employed directly by the client, not the temporary employees.
The rear vehicle struck the vehicle in front of it. Because it was thought that no lasting damage occurred when the vehicles collided, no report to law enforcement was made. Everyone was thought to be okay. They continued working that day, as normal, without any report of injury.
It wasn’t until the next day that three of the passengers, all temporary employees, were admitted to a hospital due to pain and injury from the accident the previous day.
In a clearly compensable claim, the insurance company paid a total of $70,000, but could this have been prevented?
The answer is, quite possibly, yes. The fundamental problem with this claim was that the temporary staffing company was not aware that the temporary employees were to be transported. The client company failed to disclose that transportation was part of the job, and therefore the staffing company did not take the proper steps to ensure their employees would be safe.
The very act of driving or riding in a vehicle is one of the most dangerous activities employees can engage in. It’s crucial to understand the exposure to your temporary employees of both driving, and being a passenger.
The pro tip is to make sure you understand your exposure to transportation, even in positions that seemingly have no driving exposure.
The optimum way to manage this is to prohibit temporary employee transportation or driving in the client agreement, unless it has been disclosed by the client company. In other words, prohibit the client from transporting temporary employees without a formal disclosure.
With the disclosure, the staffing company knows about the potential risk. At that point, they can determine whether they want to accept the risk or not. Our recommendation, as their insurance carrier, is often not to do it, and definitely not with more than one employee being potentially exposed in a single accident.
Realistically, we know that you will make placements with this type of exposure. If you do, you need to make sure to properly manage the exposure. Managing the exposure would include ensuring that the client company has safe vehicles, that their driver has had their motor vehicle background checked, and that they have an adequate level of insurance.
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Work First Casualty Company is proud to announce that we’ve expanded our borders! We are prepared to begin serving in North Carolina with the same high-quality service that you come to expect from us on February 1, 2016. Discover what a Work First Casualty Company policy can do for you by contacting Bruce Winterrowd, Vice President of Underwriting and Marketing at (630) 416-7594 or by email at email@example.com