Tempted to hire a private investigator to spy on employees claiming Workers Compensation? You’re not alone. Luckily, covert operations can be avoided by taking a proactive approach to preventing Workers Compensation fraud.
Here are some effective tips for shielding your business.
Watch for red flags
Knowing common signals of Workers Compensation fraud is an important step in protecting your business.
Some red flags to watch out for are:
- There are no witnesses of the accident (or the only witnesses are friends/family members of the injured employee).
- It is difficult or impossible to reach the employee.
- The employee changes his or her story about the accident.
- The accident happened on a Friday afternoon but wasn’t reported until the following week.
- The accident happened outside of the employee’s normal working hours.
Not all claims that occur under these circumstances are fraudulent, but it may be worth it to take a second look.
Make safety a priority at your business
Creating a safer work environment not only lowers the chance of accidents, it also reduces the opportunity for employees to fake an injury. Your business should frequently conduct safety inspections of all work areas and any equipment. Remove hazards immediately, and be sure to document the repairs you make.
Thoroughly investigate workplace injuries
Take the time to review any surveillance videos of the area where the incident allegedly took place. Also, be sure to interview all witnesses shortly after the accident happens — and take any rumors of dishonesty or fraud seriously.
People who lie on résumés are more likely to lie about workplace injuries. Make it a routine part of your hiring process to conduct background checks on all applicants. And don’t neglect to verify their references and any other information included on their applications and résumés.
Clearly communicate your Workers Compensation policies
It’s important to discuss your Workers Compensation policies with all employees. Tell them what to do when an injury occurs, and explain that insurance costs affect the amount of money available for raises and bonuses. Also, make sure you tell your employees that Workers Compensation fraud is a serious crime that will lead to termination and prosecution. Post fraud awareness posters in conspicuous locations explaining what fraud is and what its consequences are.
Implement a return-to-work program
Workers Compensation fraud is less inviting when employers have transitional duty for injured employees. Make sure your employees know that if they get injured on the job, your business will work with the doctor to help them return to work as soon as possible.
Stay in touch
Don’t lose contact with employees who are off work because of an on-the-job injury. Injured workers who are hard to get a hold of might be committing Workers Compensation fraud. Contact them periodically, and document each contact (whether you were able to reach them or not).
Get signed statements when employees leave
In your exit interviews, obtain signed statements from exiting employees stating that they have or have not had any unreported injuries at work. This will go a long way in discouraging post-termination claims.
Workers Compensation is a major expense for most businesses, and Workers Compensation fraud makes it more costly for everyone. It pays to take a proactive stance to reduce Workers Compensation fraud at your company.