With a nod to fellow blogger Nancy Germond, let’s take a look at our employees when they drive for the job.
When your employees are working, their actions are your responsibility. Your employees are the practice, and their actions on the job – and, to an extent, off the job – are a reflection of the organization. Overall, traffic accidents are a growing share of workers compensation injuries. In addition, motor vehicle claims are more likely to involve lost-time than total claims. The more one drives, the higher the risk of being involved in an accident. Nearly 40% of motor vehicle claims are lost-time as opposed to just under 23% for all claims.
There are two issues for a practice that has its employees driving for the job: first, your employees represent the practice, such as in their driving behavior, particularly if they are driving a marked vehicle (logo, name, etc). Secondly, accidents are costly in terms of lost time, in medical costs and potentially in general liability costs.
Before allowing employees to drive for the job, it is a good practice to review your insurance coverage with your agent. Your agent may also advise you on some preventive steps that you could take. A motor vehicle record report for the employees who will be asked to drive can be requested, which will show the accident and citations driving history of the employee. Finally, sit down with the employees and review driving expectations – no cell phones, no speeding, courtesy, basic traffic laws (eg full stops at stop signs) and so on.
For your part, plan enough time for trips – pushing people to “hurry” is counterproductive. I spent 10 years as an
These policies and expectations should be part of the practice’s formal policies and procedures, and adopted by the board. Safety issues are an important part of ongoing training in any business, and healthcare has its own special situations. Driver screening and training is an important liability and workers compensation control practice for all.