The first “store-front” for many business owners is often times the front door of their own homes. In fact, a new home-based business is created every 12 seconds in the United States, according to businessforhome.org. Of course, while many organizations may only start out with one or two employees, some of them can grow from a “one-man-shop” to a major enterprise with a large workforce overnight. Remember, Apple was launched out of a garage by only three people — Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniack and Ronald Wayne — back in 1976 and is now a major corporation with large work teams across the globe.
With this in mind, it’s important for small business owners to prepare now for the issues and challenges that may arise with managing teams of employees (whether small teams or future large workforces). One of those issues is mitigating on-the-job injuries and workers’ compensation claims by facilitating a safe and productive workplace environment. While most companies work hard at providing a safe workplace, and, at assisting employees with legitimate on-the-job injuries — they still have to be aware of individuals who may take advantage of the system through workers’ compensation fraud.
While there are several types of fraud activities associated with workers’ compensation, employee fraud is listed among some of the most costly types of work comp fraud in the marketplace. However, it is also very preventable if organizations deploy the right procedures.
The good news is there are now innovative technologies and solutions to help companies fight against fraud, and reduce costs and unnecessary litigations in the industry. These new innovations involve prevention and early intervention solutions that are disruptive models to the traditional workers’ compensation model that’s been around for years.
Below are five innovative best practices that companies can now consider implementing to support a fraud-free workplace.
- Pre-Work Screenings: Pre-Work screenings help to weed out applicants who can’t do the job in the first place. A pre-employment test is performed to identify an applicant’s ability to perform the physical demands that are specific to each job.
- Drug Screenings and Background Checks: Both drug testing and background checks allow organizations to identify the integrity of an individual up front prior to hiring. Drug tests determine if there is a history of drug use, and, if so, indicates the types of drugs in the system. Background checks investigate the criminal and financial records of an applicant. If any applicant shows negative incidents on a drug or background check, they may be a likely candidate for future fraudulent activity.
- Onsite Ergonomics Solutions: Involves physical therapists before injuries occur (not just after occurrences), to work with employees, supervisors and management to understand workflow and all job task requirements. As result, therapists are able to recommend optimum positions, ergonomic strategies and physical movements required at work stations to minimize musculoskeletal impact on the employee.
- Employee Education: Encourages managers to educate employees on how to use workers’ compensation legitimately and how it can be used illegitimately. Information should also be shared about penalties and fines that could be incurred with fraudulent claims. By educating employees on a consistent basis, it will encourage a fraud-free workplace.
- Prompt Reporting: Trains and engages employees to report any health concerns as soon as they notice any discomfort. Once these early notifications are reported to supervisors, they are able to immediately address the concern and respond with appropriate evaluations, diagnosis and/or medical care – before the issue escalates.
Reducing workers’ compensation fraud is easier than you think, given the latest solutions now available to employers. By utilizing these innovative prevention and early intervention models, costs associated with managing illegitimate claims can be reduced, and legal and medical fees can be significantly mitigated as well. To learn more about some of these latest solutions visit http://workwellpreventionandcare.com/.
The image above provived by Tori Rector, found at this link, from Flickr Creative Commons, is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution license. Some rights reserved. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/