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Business Protection Bulletin


By Business Protection Bulletin

Workers Compensation premiums represent a major personnel expense for most organizations. Injuries that cause employees to miss work are especially costly, in terms of both lost wage compensation and lost productivity. Also, the longer a worker is disabled and unable to work, the more his future earning power decreases and the more likely it becomes that he will hire an attorney. For these reasons, it is advantageous to both employer and employee to get the injured worker back on the job as soon as possible. As a result, many employers have implemented return to work programs.

Under a return to work program, the injured employee performs a different job while receiving their prior level of pay. The new job should be matched to their current physical capability, reflecting their state of recovery from the injury. To succeed, this requires a good working relationship between the employer and treating physician. The employer needs accurate information as to the tasks the worker can safely perform; otherwise, the result might be a second, more severe injury. If the worker’s physician will not cooperate or provide a realistic estimate, the employer or insurance company might have to require a physical examination by an independent physician.

A return to work program should be one piece of a comprehensive and coordinated loss management program. The elements of the program should include:

  • Immediate reporting and investigation of accidents
  • Arrangement of primary medical care
  • Return to work program
  • Regular communications with the injured worker

To assist in the arrangement of primary care, the employer should provide the treating physician with job descriptions that explain each job’s physical tasks in detail. Meetings with the physician to explain the nature of the employer’s operation will help match a job to the worker’s capabilities. Communications between the physician and the employer are vitally important. The employer might want to arrange for direct reports from the physician or regular reports delivered by the employee. The ideal situation is one where the employee can assume light duties without missing any time. Barring that, limiting lost time to a week or two will still keep the claim’s cost down, resulting in premium savings for the employer. The experience modification formula, which adjusts the premium based on loss history, gives the most weight to losses of $5,000 or less. Getting the injured worker back on the job quickly will help keep the loss well under that limit. Since losses remain in the calculation for three years, the effect of holding down claim costs is long lasting.

Of course, return to work programs have pros and cons. The pros include:

  • Limiting or eliminating lost work time
  • Keeping the worker involved in the work environment
  • Eliminating the need to locate, hire and train a replacement
  • Increasing the chances of success should the worker refuse the new duties and sue for lost wage benefits, since the employer can show that it made a reasonable job offer

Among the cons are:

  • The employer will pay the employee’s full wage for reduced productivity
  • An employee with a bad attitude about his alternative duties could lower morale among the other employees
  • If the alternative arrangement does not work out, returning the employee to lost wage benefits will wipe out any cost savings

Although individual cases might not produce the desired results, employers should realize long-term savings by implementing return to work programs. Beyond the verifiable dollar savings, return to work programs can give the employer a more stable, happier workforce and a good reputation with potential employees.


By Business Protection Bulletin

In a National Survey report released in 2006, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SMHSA) estimates there are 13.4 million illicit drug users employed in the U.S. workforce. An estimated 3.1% of all employed adults use illicit drugs before reporting to work and another 2.9 % use illicit drugs while on the job. Additionally, an estimated 42.9 million binge drinkers are also employed in America’s workplace. SMHSA estimates 7.1% of America’s workforce drink while on the job.

These grim statistics also reveal that substance abusers are 5 times more likely to file for workers’ compensation, 4 times more likely to have an accident, and 3 times more likely to use sick time and be late for work than non-substance abuses. Employers who do not know the signs of substance abuse face potentially damaging costs that can shrink their bottom line.

These signs might indicate that one of your employees could have a serious substance abuse problem:

  • Recent or rapid changes in quality of work and level of output
    Irregular attendance, being late or missing more time than normal
  • Atypical or unexpected emotional reactions to ordinary or everyday situations such as random and explosive outburst of temper or dramatic mood swings
  • Expressing a lack of interest in their job performance and avoidance of responsibility to their regular duties.
  • Observable changes in their normal attitude when interacting with others in the social context of the workplace.
  • A deterioration in appearance and personal hygiene and the advent of sloppy grooming
  • Abnormal physical motor skills such as inexplicable nervousness, twitching, odd gait, poor muscle control, rapid or loud speech, or a mask-like facial expression
  • The unnecessary use of sunglasses, dilated pupils or redness in the whites of the eyes, or a distorted sense of sound, time perception, and touch
  • Sleepiness or a trance-like state, speech that trails off or slurs, or unusual forgetfulness during a conversation
  • Breath or clothes with an unusual odor
  • Runny nose, repeated nose bleeds or sniffling, and watery eyes, especially if other cold/flu like symptoms are not apparent or the individual has no known allergies that can account for the appearance of these symptoms
  • Reluctance to expose the arms: wearing of long-sleeved shirts, especially in unusually hot circumstances
  • The appearance of irregularly spaced scars on the inside of the arm or other parts of the body
  • Suddenly appearing to be secretive or furtive, the frequent but inexplicable absence of the employee from their work station, or frequent access to out of the way locations such as basements, restrooms, or storage areas.
  • Excessive activity, maybe in the form of manic behavior or a general inability to sit still
  • Theft of small items from employer, co-workers, friends, or family
  • Excessive borrowing of money from co-workers.

Many of the above physical, mental, or emotional changes can be attributed to a variety of everyday or exceptional physical illnesses, diseases, or non work-related problems that might be of brief duration. Carefully evaluate what appears to be suspicious or unusual behavior because outside influences can be at work as well. Employers must be cautious because if you act irresponsibly and jump to conclusions, you might not be able to avoid potential civil action.

Make sure that a multitude of substance abuse symptoms appear concurrently and persistently before making a decision about how to proceed. The best approach in learning how to recognize and combat substance abuse problems is to contact substance abuse experts through local, state or federal programs. A good second step is to implement a solid workplace policy on substance abuse for your business. As a final step, provide all employees with information on where they can seek counseling and intervention.


By Business Protection Bulletin

Employers are facing increasing liability as a direct result from their employees’ cell phone use. So why is this the next legal frontier? The number of lawsuits involving employer liability for traffic accidents caused by employee cell phone usage is steadily growing, as well as lawsuits based on health problems associated with cell phone use.

The principal of vicarious liability states that an employer is responsible for the harm caused by its employees if the employees are acting within the scope of their employment at the time an accident happened. In this situation, a company can be held accountable by a third party for auto accidents caused by an employee’s cell phone use if the company provided the phone or if the cell phone is an integral part of the employee’s job. The company can even be held liable for incidents resulting from personal calls made by employees on company-issued cell phones, or phones inside company cars.

There is also an emerging trend establishing that an employer can be found directly negligent if it allowed employees to use cell phones for business without proper training or in spite of safety issues, and an accident results.

Another exposure resulting from employee cell phone use is the rise in the number of claims brought by employees for health problems associated with their cell phones. Employees who consistently use cell phones as part of their job are filing workers’ compensation claims and lawsuits alleging that radio frequency radiation from cell phones causes brain cancer.

The scientific evidence concerning whether or not cell phone use increases the risk of cancer is inconclusive. There are two studies that are most frequently quoted, and their results are contradictory. A study conducted at the Danish Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, whose results were released in December 2006, followed the health of over 420,000 cell phone users over the course of 21 years to determine if cell phone use causes cancer. The researchers concluded that the radio frequency energy produced by cell phones did not increase the risk of contracting brain cancer. However, an April 2006 study conducted by the Swedish National Institute for Working Life, examined the cell phone usage of 905 adults who developed malignant brain tumors. They found that people with more than 2,000 hours of total talk time had 3.7 times the risk of developing brain cancer as compared with non-users. The study also found an increase for tumors specifically on the side of the head where the cell phone was used.

Although there is no way to alleviate all potential liability arising from cell phones in the workplace, companies can offer employees training on the safety issues and possible health risks associated with using cell phones. Promoting a safe workplace is a simple way to reduce the number of accidents and health risks associated with cell phones.


By Business Protection Bulletin

A salesman is robbed in a parking garage and loses his laptop computer. Hackers unleash a Trojan horse virus that infiltrates the computer network of a large retail store chain. The virus compromises a customer database. An unhappy employee spirits customer records home with him and begins applying for credit under customers’ names. These things can and do happen. They are a technological and public relations nightmare for the businesses involved. They will also likely culminate in lawsuits against the firms for mishandling customer information. Without financial protection against these types of events, a business could very quickly go bankrupt.

The rise of electronic commerce and the use of sophisticated computer networks for storing data have caused the insurance industry to develop products to cover businesses against liability for lost customer information. One such product is the Electronic Data Liability policy, introduced in 2004 and now available in many states. Its purpose is to pay for a firm’s defense when customers sue it for allegedly failing to safeguard their information, and to pay any resulting settlements or judgments against the firm.

The policy covers the firm’s liability for “loss of electronic data” caused by an “electronic data incident.” An “electronic data incident” could be an accident, a negligent act, error or omission, or a series of these.

Some examples of the types of incidents this policy might cover are:

  • The previously mentioned Trojan horse virus that enables hackers to access the customer database.
  • During a power blackout, looters break into an office and take employees’ computers.
  • An employee leaves customer files in the open on her desk at night, allowing cleaning staff to obtain bank account information and social security numbers.

Coverage applies on a “claims made” basis. This means the policy will cover incidents that occurred on or after a specific date stated in the policy (known as the “retroactive date”) and reported to the insurance company during the policy period. For example, assume that a policy has a term of January 1, 2008 to January 1, 2009, and it lists January 1, 2005 as its retroactive date. On September 30, 2008, the firm finds out that hackers broke into its systems in the summer of 2006. It reports the incident to the insurance company that day. The policy would cover this claim because it occurred after the retroactive date. This would not be true if the break-in happened in 2004, before the retroactive date.

To keep the policy’s cost down, it does not cover several types of losses. For example, it does not cover losses caused by theft or unauthorized use of electronic data by past or present employees, temporary workers or volunteers. The policy will not provide coverage for the acts of the previously mentioned disgruntled employee. It also does not cover losses arising out of a firm’s providing “computer products or services.” These include, among other things, installing or repairing computer equipment and software, storing data for others, providing Internet services, and providing communications services to others. It also does not cover acts such as alleged copyright or trademark infringements.

Although the policy covers claims reported during the policy period, it has a special provision to give additional time for reporting. The insurance company will treat claims reported within 30 days after the policy expires as if the policyholder reported them while the policy was in force. For an additional premium, the company might extend the reporting deadline to three years after the policy expires. However, this additional premium can be up to 100% of the original premium.

High-speed computer networks have given modern business opportunities it has never had before. However, those opportunities have come at the cost of higher risks with potentially large consequences. Any firm doing business over the Internet or private networks (that is to say, all firms) should discuss electronic data liability coverage with one of our insurance agents. Call our office today!


By Business Protection Bulletin

The International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC) discovered that not only are highway vehicles the biggest risk of serious injury to employees, but they are also associated with some of the most costly workers compensation claims.

The researchers analyzed injury data from the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) and the National Institute on Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Their findings revealed that only work in construction, agriculture, and certain natural resource industries caused more employee injuries than vehicle accidents. The data also showed that traffic accidents were the source of a large portion of the total number of serious disabilities and fatalities.

The study categorized injuries by industry and occupation. As an occupational class, truck drivers were found to have a substantially high risk of fatalities; however, they had significantly fewer non-serious injuries. The reverse was true for passenger cars. They were found to have fewer fatalities, but almost double the number of non-serious injuries. The researchers concluded that the size and weight of trucks protect occupants in slower-moving collisions with other vehicles. However, because trucks are prone to jackknifing and overturning, truck drivers are more likely to experience a fatal injury. Besides the high fatality rates, trucker drivers were discovered to have workers compensation claims of longer duration and higher average cost.

Other occupational categories that generated a high number of expensive workers compensation claims as a result of vehicle accidents were salespersons, messengers, and collectors. It is important to realize that these were actual claims, and not rates of injury per worker. This means that jobs that have traditionally been considered unlikely to cause worker injury carry more risk than originally believed.

The data also indicated that employees involved in vehicle accidents had a significantly higher rate of permanent total disability and workers compensation death claims than all other types of claims combined. The average severity of temporary total disability, permanent total disability, and fatality was greater for vehicle claims than for non-vehicle claims.

The predominant cause of injury in workers compensation claims resulting from vehicle accidents was neck sprain and neck pain, which accounted for 15% of all vehicle claims. However, these claims made up less than 2% of the overall number of workers compensation claims.

When examining the cost of vehicle accidents to employers, workers compensation payouts represent only a small part of the expense. The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety studied the combined cost of motor vehicle accidents to employers in 2000. The researchers found that medical expenses amounted to $7.7 billion, sick leave, life and disability insurance benefits totaled another $8.6 billion, while workers compensation claims costs approximately $2 billion for employers.


By Business Protection Bulletin

According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Internet fraud complaints soared from $206 million in 2003 to $336 million in 2005. The worst news, according to a survey performed by the Enterprise Strategy Group in 2006, is that your data is more likely to be stolen from inside your company by employees or on-site contractors than by outside hackers.

Protecting your most valuable and sensitive data must be a three-fold approach:


Begin the process by asking yourself three basic questions.

  • Who would want steal from my company? Consider the possibilities from different perspectives such as hackers, competitors, thieves, disgruntled current or former employees.
  • What data would they want to steal? Sensitive data is any information which compromises the security of your company. Client information, product and technology information, social security numbers, bank account and financial information, credit card numbers are just a few examples of the data which could be at risk.
  • What do I need to do to plug the leaks and protect this data? Security measures you can implement range from the very economical, such as purchasing commercial security software, to having an IT security consultant develop a custom security system appropriate to your company’s needs.


Creating in-house security procedures is the only sure way to prevent data leaks from occurring inside your company. Security measures should include technical features, physical safeguards and the human element. Proactive steps to remedy potential weak points include:

  • Ensuring terminated employees lose access to not just the physical locale, but to the computer network, e-mail, and voice-mail systems as well.
  • Implementing access controls through the creation of internal firewalls to restrict the availability of sensitive data to only those employees who need it.
  • Creating stringent password policies to ensure employees do not share passwords. Alter passwords when employees leave or use additional passwords for sensitive data. Passwords should be strengthened by using a mixture of letters and symbols.
  • Updating your operating system regularly. Newer systems upgrade their security software and the options relating to access control giving you better security.
  • Scrutinizing how employees use your computer system. Prevent employees from being able to download material to CDs or iPods. Install security alarms to alert you when large blocks of data are deleted. Include a system to allow designated IT staff to be guard against unauthorized remote access to internal data.


Data threats from within your physical locale can be solved by:

  • Employing encryption algorithms to protect vital data by making it unreadable to outside eyes. This includes your order forms where sensitive information such as credit card numbers or bank account information is involved and e-mail between employees who are transmitting crucial or sensitive information should also be encrypted.
  • Basic or custom designed security software packages which guard against viruses and worms are essential. Many companies fail to regularly update their security protection. Hackers or crackers evolve their methods and strategy of attack frequently and can be incredibly diabolical and creative.
  • Ensure you have a firewall suitable to the needs of your company. Commercial software packages may be adequate for smaller companies, but larger companies may require custom designed systems to safeguard sensitive data.
  • Back up all of your systems on a regular basis. Larger companies should do so daily while smaller companies could get by with weekly backups. Regardless, backups should be stored off-site! Should you keep backups on-site when your business experiences a natural disaster your backup system could also be destroyed. Companies need to be able to set up their system from another location with minimal delay.
  • Consider adding a virtual private network (VPN). Vested partners must be able to access the necessary data from your company in a secure manner. A VPN will allow safe access from remote locations. Extend your security system to any hardware employees are using such as cell phones, laptops etc.


By Business Protection Bulletin

Many employers become embroiled in convoluted and expensive litigation because they make simple but avoidable errors when terminating an employee. Even if you do terminate an employee correctly there is no guarantee you will avoid a lawsuit. However, if you’ve done everything properly during the termination process, your chances of winning the lawsuit are much greater.

Five Common Termination Mistakes

The most common errors made by employers are:

1. Not Applying Human Resource Policies and Procedures

Proper termination policies and procedures should provide good directions for terminating an employee in accordance with applicable state and federal laws. Similarly, a well-written employee handbook, which spells out issues of misconduct and poor job performance, adds to an employer’s credibility while negating claims to the contrary from a terminated employee.

2. Lack of Documentation

Poor performance should be documented in detail along with a substantiating basis. Misconduct issues require a thorough, unbiased investigation in alleged incidents. Chronologically order the documentation to provide a solid foundation for the termination. Keep in mind that without adequate documentation, your basis for terminating an employee may appear to be groundless and lack substance.

If disciplinary actions have been taken, the manager, and always with a witness present, should ask the employee to sign a description of the incident and the employer’s response. If the employee refuses to sign, this should also be documented.

3. Failing to Give Employee Notice of a Termination

Although many states do not require you to give notice to an employee, many legal experts say doing so can prevent a negative decision. One very important reason is to prevent the employee from using an unrelated tactic such as discrimination to cloud the real issue behind the termination.

Should an employer terminate an employee without a prior warning, the onus is on the employer to prove that the employee should have known they would be terminated based on their actions. Avoid this situation by giving the employee notice that if they commit the same or related infraction again, they will be terminated.

4. Failing to Provide a Just Cause for Termination

In many states, workers are employed ‘at-will,’ which means that employers can terminate an employee at any time. Consequently, many employers feel they can terminate an employee for practically any reason and are immune from negative consequences. This is simply not true.

Most employees fall in some protected class such as age, gender, race, religion or disability. Many lawsuits can be avoided or won by employers who base their termination decision on a ‘just cause’ or who provide a legitimate reason for the employee’s termination. A ‘just cause’ reason must have its foundations based on facts or proof.

5. Not Providing Accurate Performance Evaluations

The lack of documented performance evaluations is commonly used as the basis behind many wrongful dismissal actions. Often, managers seek to avoid confrontations with employees at appraisal time by giving the employee a positive evaluation and indicating the employee met performance expectations. Supervisors must be taught to be honest when completing appraisals. An employee may entertain thoughts of litigation when their performance appraisal states their performance met expectations, but the employer terminates them for alleged poor performance.


By Business Protection Bulletin

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 2.3 million workers between the ages of 16-24 years of age were hired for summer employment. On average, one of these summer employees will be injured on the job every five seconds. Most of these work related injuries are both needless and costly to the employer. The three main causes for the majority of these injuries are due to inexperience, lack of training and inadequate supervision. There are a number of proactive steps that employers can take to limit their exposure and reduce their liability.

Steps to Take Beforehand. Business owners would be wise to develop safe working practices for summer help. Here are some simple but practical steps you can employ to reduce your costs from job related injuries this summer:

  • Ask yourself what hazards the summer worker will be exposed to, including any pertinent risks outside the immediate working area.
  • Consider carefully the personnel who are to be involved in the training process and ensure they are well versed in the training procedures.
  • Always try to assign an experienced worker as a supervisor and ensure they keep a watchful eye on the summer worker over the first several days.
  • Make sure that any equipment to be used is examined and operational beforehand. Ensure that all legally required equipment safety guards are in place.

Take the Time to Give an Adequate Safety Orientation. Even before on the job training begins, give all your new staff a safety orientation. Here are some of the most important points to cover:

  • Appoint someone to act as a safety coordinator to explain the applicable federal and state safety laws.
  • The safety representative should stress and encourage new employees to ask questions about any aspect of the job they don’t understand.
  • Ensure that your summer workers do not hesitate to report unsafe conditions or hazards and to whom.
  • Stress that newly hired workers should not engage in any job activity where they haven’t been properly trained. Emphasize that they must always think safety first.
  • Inform new workers not to leave there work area unless they’ve been told to do so. Describe and show the locations of first aid kits, emergency alarms and exits, fire extinguishers, emergency alarms, eyewash stations, and how and where to obtain medical help.
  • Instruct all workers using hazardous equipment or processes to always use required protective gear such as gloves, hearing protectors, safety visors, and hard hat or safety shoes.

Provide Thorough Training. By taking the time to train your summer workers with good training techniques, you can dramatically reduce the risk of injuries. Here are few points to keep in mind:

  • Assign an experienced worker to give the worker their full attention until fully trained.
  • Provide detailed instructions on how to perform all aspects of the job and encourage them to ask questions.
  • Demonstrate how each task should be performed and repeat it until understood. Observe how the worker performs the task and correct any mistakes.
  • Teach the worker how to properly lift heavy items, use ladders safely and how to avoid injury from activities involving repetitive actions.
  • Monitor the worker’s progress in the first few days as this is the time when most injuries occur.


By Business Protection Bulletin

Is your facility about to undergo repairs or remodeling? What would you do if one of the contractors from the company you hired was injured on the job? Many business owners would think, “Wow. Too bad for that construction company.” But in reality, it just might be too bad for your business. If the contractors doing work at your facility aren’t insured, an on-the-job injury could result in a lawsuit against your company.

How can you protect your business? First of all, be careful who you hire. The most important thing to remember is to only conduct business with reputable companies that are licensed and insured.

Making sure your vendors are licensed

It’s not too difficult to find out if a contractor is licensed. All licensed contractors are required to display their state license number on their advertising and marketing materials. This includes flyers left on your car’s windshield or at your front door, their ads in the phone book, their newspaper ads — even their logo painted on the side of their company vehicle.

Making sure your vendors are insured

Making sure they are insured may take a little more legwork on your part — but you’ll thank yourself in the long run. It is vital that any contractor or vendor you work with has Workers Compensation and Commercial General Liability insurance. Commercial General Liability policies cover at least four things:

  • Bodily injury: This is simply any harm done to a person’s body or physical well being.
  • Property damage: This is damage to any type of real estate or personal property (such as furniture or equipment).
  • Personal injury: This includes slander or libel. It is defined as damage to a person’s (or a business’) reputation or basic rights.
  • Advertising injury: This refers to liability for the harm caused by the insured’s advertising (i.e., advertising that slanders another organization or business.)

Contractors should show you proof (i.e., certificates of insurance) that they have a Commercial General Liability policy. When contractors show you their certificates of insurance, don’t forget to review the effective dates and expiration dates.

To cover all your bases, you might want to consider these tips:

  • Insist that your company be added as an additional insured on the vendor’s General Liability policy.
  • A contractor’s insurance agent should be able to mail the certificates of insurance directly to your business. Make sure this happens.
  • Take the time to develop an approved vendor list, requiring certificates of insurance for each vendor included on the list.
  • Do not lend any of your tools or equipment to contractors performing work at your business. A contractor’s injuries that are caused by defective equipment could lead to costly lawsuits.
  • Make sure the contractor’s insurance limits are as high as your own.
  • Contractors should agree to enter a written contract that indemnifies your company for a liability claim.

By taking steps like these, you can make sure your vendor’s liabilities don’t become your own. It’s well worth the effort.


By Business Protection Bulletin

Every employer should be prepared to conduct their own on the spot workplace injury investigation. In cases of serious injury, or injuries of a questionable nature, early intervention by the employer is essential. By being proactive, an employer can more readily reduce their liability to exposure by preventing a situation from spiraling out of control rather than engaging in a costly court action.

The main reasons to investigate are:

  • This is your only opportunity to conduct your own discovery into the cause or legitimacy of the injury while the incident is fresh.
  • Allows you to obtain the witness versions of the incident before details are forgotten, in some instances to prevent possible deception or collusion.
  • Provides the best opportunity to understand the underlying cause of the incident and to make an informed management decision.

Understanding How to Conduct an Investigation

Every investigation is really nothing more than a step-by-step logical process. You are best served to have specific individuals designated to perform the investigation.

Your purpose as an investigator will be to determine whether the alleged workplace injury had a casual connection with the worker’s employment. You want to know whether the worker was exposed to a particular danger or possibly some other risk peculiar to the worker’s actions at the time of the alleged injury.

Your designated investigator must have a thorough understanding of applicable state and federal laws. Personnel information and the results of the investigation need to be confidential and relayed to only those people who need to know.

All investigations must be conducted objectively and without making assumptions or jumping to conclusions. Training immediate supervisors to provide as much detail as possible is also critical to a successful investigation.

Investigations Basics

These are some of the essential steps in the investigative process:

1. Preserve the Injury Site

Try to preserve the injury site as long as it is viable or to satisfy legislative requirements. At the very least do whatever is possible to present a detailed and thorough representation of the injury site. If necessary, gather any physical evidence and store separately in a locked area. Use plastic bags to preserve and seal the integrity and prevent contamination of the physical evidence as necessary.

2. Document the Injury Site

Before removing any physical evidence, document the site by taking videos of the accident, or take detailed pictures. Draw a diagram and show the distances and physical locality of each piece of evidence. Take note of serial numbers or any other manufacturing information that relates to the process or physical equipment involved. Service records and maintenance reports should also be secured as they relate to the equipment involved.

3. Perform Statement Taking

Where possible and depending on the severity of the injury your task would be try to get a statement from the worker first and foremost, but not at the expense of medical treatment of course.

Secondly, it is especially vital to take the names of all available witnesses and interview them as soon as practical. Sequester each witness separately if possible to avoid comparing of stories or possible collusion to commit or abet potential fraudulent claims. Stress to each witness that they are not to discuss the incident with other witnesses or even other co-workers.

Written statements should be taken in the witnesses’ own words. Avoid leaving blank spaces and have each witness sign and date the witness statement.

Be Proactive

By taking responsibility at the outset to determine the cause of a workplace injury, you can quickly determine the validity of a Workers Compensation or disability claim. If something questionable arises, you will have detailed documentation to address contentious and possibly litigious issues before they go the distance.

Contact our office for more information about this important issue.