Posted August 10, 2016 by Administrator
The debate about rulemaking and who pays in the screening and treatment for truck drivers with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) continues as the FMCSA holds late August meetings for recommendations. The public meetings will be held Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 22-23, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern at the FMCSA National Training Center in Arlington, Va.
Drivers are raising concerns about lost time and money after being referred for a sleep test by a medical examiner. The guidelines for referring a driver for a test are also in question regarding the neck circumference and body mass index (BMI) ratios that can trigger the testing.
Although the rulemaking process has not reached the stage of whether the FMCSA will issue a regulation or just guidance truckers are attempting to get out ahead of any final rulings regarding both testing criteria and cost burden. Many have suggested the agency pursue a pilot program to help determine what the practical costs and implications of such a rule would be.
What is clear at this point is that not all insurance providers cover screenings, equipment and everything that goes along with OSA. The American Transportation Research Institute has also released its findings of a study on sleep apnea conducted this year. ATRI found that costs to truckers can exceed $1,000 in out-of-pocket expenses when referred for sleep apnea screening and much higher costs for treatment if it is not fully covered under their insurance. To learn more about FMCSA regulations and trucking news, visit our blog regularly or view our webinars.
Posted December 2, 2015 by Administrator
In a previous post, we discussed the issues transportation companies have when the lines are blurred between owner-operators and employees. We also discussed warning signs that you may be treating your owner operators like employees. In this post, we will help you learn how to educate owner operators so that they are effective contractors for your organization.
Training for Policies and Regulations
Companies can’t require that independent contractors attend training. It is up to the owner-operators to understand federal regulations and maintain the proper licensing. Any company policies contractors need to understand should be outlined in the lease agreement.
Your organization can create remedial training for employees and owner-operators who are found in violation of federal policies. Let the contractors know that they can have the option of attending this remedial training or the company will terminate the relationship with the contractor.
Let owner-operators know about special permits they will need to deliver to your customers, such as cards needed to enter ports or military facilities. However, you can’t force the independent contractor to obtain the card in order to work with your organization. You also can’t pay for the testing or application process unless you deduct it from the contractor’s compensation.
Make sure that independent contractors understand they need to maintain separate insurance policies that will protect them and their cargo. Your company will also need to maintain insurance policies such as Occupational Accident coverage and non-trucking liability coverage.
Explicit Lease Agreements
Create detailed owner-operator lease agreements that explain the independent contractor relationship, company policies and charges. This way the independent contractor will understand company expectations, compensation and deductions.
Owner-operators can be an effective way to manage your business while cutting expenses. If you want to learn more about transportation safety, risk reduction and best practices, contact us.