For employers workers’ compensation fraud can be an issue. We previously discussed how you can detect a fraudulent compensation claim. But the good news is there are several things employers can do to make their workplace open, safe and productive.
1. Foster a Fraud-Free Workplace.
Start by talking to your employees about workers’ compensation. You can eliminate misconceptions by clearly explaining what it is, how it works and your zero-tolerance position on fraud. Display posters and circulate employee newsletters to spotlight workers’ comp fraud as a serious crime. Additionally, you can encourage employees to report fraud anonymously by providing a secure email or a number they can call.
2. Hire Carefully.
Stop workers’ comp fraud from the start by doing due diligence when you hire employees. Conduct thorough background checks on potential employees before hiring. There may be past phony workers’ comp claims or other types of fraud convictions on their records. If you have questions about anything you find, ask them to explain.
3. Install Video Equipment.
Prevention is an effective deterrent for fraudulent claims. Video monitoring on closed circuit TVs has proven to stop fraud and other workplace crimes.
4. Consider Conducting Drug Testing.
Drug users in your workforce can cause you a lot of trouble. In addition to being unsafe, workers may be more likely to file false claims. If you detect potential cheats or questionable behavior, make safety a priority by spot testing for alcohol and drug use.
5. Create a Plan if an Employee is Injured.
Being prepared is one the most important parts of maintaining a safe workplace. Designate a responsible staff member to be in charge when an injury happens. Some steps you can take are:
- Have your predetermined medical provider’s contact information available
- Get a detailed description of the accident and injury
- Report the injury right away to your administrator
- Make sure workplace injury evidence is undisturbed
- Get names of witnesses
6. Create a Safety Program.
A safe workplace makes it harder to fake injuries. When you make workplace safety a priority this will let your employees understand how important this is to you. Schedule regular safety meetings. Use several methods to communicate this through posters, flyers and newsletters to underscore safety procedures. Use positive reinforcement by rewarding workers for meeting safety milestones.
7. Look for the Red Flags of Fraud.
We’ve covered how to detect fraud in our previous article. Here are some alerts you can look out for:
- Sketchy work history or “job jumper”
- A child support lien
- Extensive criminal record
- Exaggerated details about incident or symptoms
- Co-worker skepticism
8. Listen to Your Employees.
If a claim is fraudulent, there may be rumors of foul play circulating among the rest of the employees in the workplace. If you hear suspicious information that may be reason for you to investigate the claim more carefully.
9. Partner with Your Employees.
Your employees are your best asset. Build partnerships with them by keeping an open line to employee complaints. When you hear issues in the workplace, correct the safety problems soon and let your employees know what you are doing about their complaints. By showing you care about good working conditions you can create a loyal and productive workforce.
10. Make it Easy to Return to Work.
To fully create a safe workplace, let employees know every attempt within reason will be made to get injured employees well again and back to work. Write a formal return-to- work plan that includes flexibility such as temporary or alternative duties.
Create a safe and supportive workplace through planning, documentation and partnerships. It’s a balance creating a workplace that is fair and precise. If there are too many workers comp claims rejected, the message for honest workers may be that all workers comp claims are treated with suspicion creating a less pleasant work environment.
Finally alert your insurer. Your insurance company is your partner who should know about suspicious claims immediately. They will help you navigate the investigation of suspect claims.