Question: Employees travel to their normal workplace, a remote production site in a mountainous region, in a company-provided bus from a nearby community. The company provides the transport free of charge to its employees. In order to reduce traffic, the company makes the bus ride mandatory for its employees. If an employee is injured while on this commute, is it recordable?
Answer: YES. A normal commute is considered not work-related but when riding on a company vehicle is required, then it is considered part of the condition of employment and any injuries on the commute are considered work-related.
Letter of Interpretation The mode of transportation is not determinative of OSHA's definition of a "normal commute." Under your scenario, the daily trips between the residence and work site are considered the employee's normal commute, regardless of whether they are made by personal vehicle or company-provided vehicle. An accident occurring during the normal commute is not considered work-related.
The situation is different if the employer requires the employee to use the company-provided bus. A requirement to use the bus is a "condition of employment" (Section 1904.5(b)(1)), which makes the travel work-related.