Posted on: April 13, 2016 by Manchester Specialty
Home health care employees – from personal/home care aides and companions to nursing assistants or home health nurses – typically drive their own vehicles from location to location. Depending on their duties, caregivers may also transport clients to conduct personal errands or to doctors’ appointments. As these individuals are frequently on the road, often have tight time schedules and unforeseen demands, and drive in unfamiliar areas, they can be at a higher risk for experiencing motor vehicle-related hazards. In addition, distracted driving, aggressive driving, lack of seatbelt use, driving while tired, poor weather conditions, and poorly maintained vehicles can all contribute to car accidents.
In 2014, according to the Labor Department, the leading cause of work-related fatalities involved vehicular accidents occurring on public roadways, a statistic which represented 23% of all workplace deaths. In addition, the estimated annual total economic cost to employers as a result of employee vehicular accidents is about $250 billion, which includes expenses for medical treatment, legal costs, property damage, increased premiums for insurance including Workers’ Compensation, and loss of productivity.
To help mitigate such vehicle-related hazards, home health care agencies should have a strong driver safety program that protects them, their employees, and the clients they serve. An effective driver safety program includes the following:
In addition, employees need to play an important role in their road safety. This includes never using a cell phone for calling or texting while driving; avoiding distracting activities such as eating, drinking, and adjusting the radio and other controls while driving; avoiding driving when over-tired; using detailed maps or GPS to determine their route before leaving for the destination and allowing enough time to arrive safely; having their vehicles checked and serviced regularly; checking for tire wear and tear; adhering to speed limits (30% of fatal accidents involve excessive speed); and keeping the gas tank at least a quarter full.
Manchester Specialty offers end-to-end insurance solutions designed to protect help home health care agencies against the exposures they face along with their employees. Our solutions include a wide range of Liability coverage, including Non-Owned & Hired Auto insurance, which will protect a home care firm in the event an employee is in an accident involving his or her personal vehicle, and either doesn’t have adequate liability limits or has allowed the coverage to lapse, unbeknownst to you. We also provide Workers’ Compensation insurance to step in when on-the-job accidents and injuries occur. For more information about our suite of business insurance products for home health care providers, you or your local agent/broker can contact us at 855.972.9399.
Posted in: Workers' Compensation