Security cameras in the workplace can help employers stave off fraudulent Workers Compensation claims – as long as the companies using them are careful not to violate employees’ privacy.
CEC Entertainment Inc. (Irving, TX), which operates Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurants, reduced fraudulent Comp and Liability claims significantly after installing surveillance cameras in 2009 and 2010. Says CEC Director of Sales Management Jeff Strege, “We’ve made a number of claims literally vanish once we produce the video footage to show that what the claimant said didn’t really happen.”
Commercial insurance broker Marsh Inc. recommends that such businesses as retailers, manufacturers, transportation companies, and financial institution use cameras to monitor workplace safety and evaluate potential injuries as a way to monitor and validate incidents that could generate costly claims. What’s more, adds Paul Braun of Aon Risk Consulting, employees who know that they’re being taped will be less likely to try claims scams.
Using surveillance video can run afoul of privacy laws that prohibit companies from filming employees inside of restrooms, and require them to post signs informing workers that they’re under video surveillance. In general, says Thomas Martin, CEO of Martin Investigations & Security Services (Lima, OH), “Where your eyes are allowed to see, the cameras are allowed to see.”
Although cameras can’t film all areas of a company, employers should look closely at Workers Comp claims that happen outside the cameras’ view. Notes Martin, “If you have pretty much 75% coverage, and they happen to fall and claim an injury in the other 25%, it becomes very suspicious that (the injury) wasn’t recorded.”
Insurance and security experts generally agree that the cost of installing and maintaining video monitoring systems in the workplace is well worth the investment in discouraging or preventing phony – and costly – Comp claims.
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