Archive for April, 2013

Workers Compensation Fraud… It CAN Happen To You

April 29th, 2013

Workers Compensation FraudWorkers compensation insurance exists to protect employees; it’s a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to those injured on the job. But lately, workers compensation fraud has become an entire industry of its own. It’s unfortunately one of America’s most popular crimes; billions upon billions of dollars in false claims are stolen each year, leaving business owners in need of their own protection.

Last month, a Workers Comp Article by NewsOK, revealed that in the past 13 years, Oklahoma judges alone have ordered restitution payments totaling more than $2.5 million in such fraud cases.  While we’re on the road to an improved system, one that limits the number of fraudulent claims and punishes those that make them, it’s no secret that businesses still need to protect themselves.

What can you do?

First, know the many types of workers compensation fraud:

  • Claiming an injury that never occurred
  • Exaggeration of symptoms following a real injury
  • Working while allegedly disabled (and failing to report income)
  • Claiming an injury that happened outside of work as a work-related injury
  • Claiming to be injured during an on-the-job task, when it may have resulted from horseplay
  • Claiming a pre-existing injury/condition as a new injury/condition
  • Extending time off work; employee claims they are still in the recovery phase, when they may actually be feeling fine

Second, know how to protect your workplace:

  • Maintain an OSHA-compliant workplace.
  • Make sure all tools and equipment are up to date and functioning properly.
  • Have surveillance cameras on site, everywhere. This will not only help protect your workplace from potential break-ins or crime, but will also help catch reported injuries on film.
  • Conduct extensive background checks before hiring.
  • Conduct regular drug and alcohol tests in the workplace.
  • Have an accident reporting system in place. Know what information needs to be collected when an injury occurs or a claim is made.
  • Be proactive. Partner with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) BEFORE a claim is ever made against your workplace.

A little bit more about “Partnering with a PEO:”

When you partner with a Professional Employer Organization that knows workers compensation inside and out, not only will your cost of workers’ comp take a nosedive, but as your employer partner, your PEO has a vested interest in your workers’ compensation claims. A PEO’s professional risk managers will help you manage safety reviews and OSHA compliance, file and track claims and make sure they are legitimate, while your PEO’s technology empowers you to offload time-consuming documentation and reporting activities.

PEOs work on your behalf to get employees back to work as soon as possible, while reducing your overall risk. Want to learn more? Contact PEO Advantage today.

Training Incentives Make Learning Fun

April 1st, 2013

Employee Training IncentivesNo matter what industry you’re in, you’ve likely encountered the need for employee training.

Today, there are an increasing number of areas where the demand for skilled positions is outnumbering the supply, and this has prompted more employers to conduct training – whether it’s training existing employees new skill sets or training new hires that don’t have quite have enough relevant experience at this time.

Many industries also call for safety training, which is serious business! If you’re doing business in a high risk industry, OSHA will eventually check your workplace’s safety and training records, and will even ask employees about specific information covered pertaining to their job.

The problem that many employers face with employee training is that it tends to be so tedious and boring! You want your employees to learn and thrive, and you certainly want them to pay attention when reviewing best practices for a safe and secure worksite, but how can you motivate adults to the point where they actually look forward to learning?

PEOs have always assisted companies in the creation and administration of safety plans and on-site learning environments, but today one type of program is becoming increasingly popular:  training incentives.

Do you have a 5-step safety program that needs to be completed by all employees? Quizzing your employees at the end of each step, and rewarding them for knowledge not only motivates them to learn the material, but also makes learning in the workplace a little bit more fun! Why not promote employee interaction and office morale by conducting programs over lunch.  Often referred to as a “lunch and learn,” serving food and beverage during the course of a learning activity can break down barriers to participation and promote employee interaction.

What is the goal of the incentive program? Is it to drive sales and other types of productivity measures or is it to help support the safest workplace possible for employees? Training incentives do not need to be cash, but they do need to be culturally appropriate and should support the overall compensation strategy and business goals.

Incentives should be valuable and quantifiable as the employee completes each level or advances because the end result is actually a win for the employer; you now have an employee that has increased the amount of value they bring to your company.

If you already work with a PEO, be sure to ask them about employee training incentives and how they can be incorporated into your workplace. If you need help selecting a PEO that is right for your company, or just need to know a little bit more about PEOs in general, feel free to contact the PEO experts at PEO Advantage.