When an accident occurs in the workplace the compensation that the injured employee can potentially be awarded can be very high. If one of your employees suffers an injury, as the employer you are responsible for medical expenses, lost wages, legal fees and much more.
At the same time, employee injury fraud is on the rise. In fact, one in four accidents are estimated to be fraudulent. Businesses must establish a concrete policy that ensures compliance with health and safety laws while limiting exposure to injury fraud.
What can your business do to reduce exposure to injury fraud?
Have a visible and robust health and safety policy in place. Make sure that all your employees are well versed on the procedure that should be followed if they suffer an injury. With this explicit plan in place, fraudsters are less likely to chance their arm.
Establish a fraud-free workplace. Educate your employees on injury fraud and the prosecution that follows this activity. Employees should understand your business has a zero tolerance on injury fraud. This information should be provided in the form of training for all new employees. There should also posters and notices put up in various locations around the premises to remind employees of the gravity of this activity. However, it is important not to be too aggresive with this process. First and foremost you are trying to foster an environment that makes employees feel comfortable if they need to report an accident.
Limit your exposure to injury fraud from the outset. When you are hiring new staff, conduct background checks to eliminate any potential candidates with a history of injury fraud. If you are concerned about anything you come across, ask them about this directly during the interview process.
Promote the importance of health and safety in your workplace. It is important that your employees understand that you take their health and safety seriously. Provide ways for employees to address their concerns about any health and safety issues and make sure that these are dealt with immediately.
What to do if you suspect an employee is faking an injury?
Be aware of injury fraud red flags. The most common fake injuries are internal injuries to the muscles. Fraudsters will often complain of injuries to the back or neck. You should also be suspicious if there are no witnesses to the accident. If the injury occurred after the weekend or time off or if the employee has previously been involved in disciplinary actions, this is also suspicious.
If you seriously doubt an injury claim made by an employee, you may want to think about enlisting sub rosa investigators. Private investigators can help you by using discreet surveillance to determine the validity of the claim.
You should also make a detailed record of the accident. Take notes from any witnesses or skeptical colleagues and take pictures of the area where the accident allegedly happened. You may also want to contact your insurance company for advice. They may advise that a medical examination should take place to verify the injury.