Saving on workers’ compensation costs is about more than stopping a few accidents. There are sound strategies you can put in place to protect your workers and your bottom line.

Know your employee demographics

Different types of employees have different physical abilities and training needs. Younger staff may be more physically adept but require extensive safety and equipment training to be prepared for the future. Older employees may be less physically adept, but also know the correct way to do their job to avoid injury. An on-going training program benefits everyone and keeps them at the top of their game.

Identify top loss sources

Take a deep dive into your injury data. Are there specific types or causes of injuries that keep recurring? Your Protective Loss Prevention and Safety Services Specialist can help you analyze the issues and recommend ways to mitigate the problems, including on-going training.

Establish a safety policy

Write a comprehensive plan that includes:

  • Statement of policy – explain purpose
  • Expectations of employees
  • Drugs/alcohol policy
  • Role of Safety Committee
  • Loss control efforts (identification and correction)
  • Training

The National Safety Council, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and your Protective representative have resources that can assist in this process. Keep OSHA compliance in mind when developing your policy.

Incorporate the policy into your company culture

Review the policy with all new employees and incorporate reminders of the policy into training with all employees. Ensure that any additional rules and regulations adhere to the policy. For non-English speakers, provide materials in the worker’s native language.

Adopt a Return-to-Work program

Return-to-work (RTW) programs, sometimes referred to as light duty, provide alternative tasks for injured employees during their recovery until they are approved by a doctor to return to their regular job responsibilities.

There are many benefits of a RTW program for both you and your employees. The company benefits from the decreased likelihood of lingering or false workers’ compensation claims, lower disability expenses, and fewer costs associated with hiring and training replacement employees.

Workers remain useful, contributing members of the team. They stay mentally and physically conditioned to a regular work schedule and maintain social contact with their fellow employees, which can encourage a faster return to full duty. RTW programs also minimize financial losses often incurred due to time lost while recovering.

Streamline reporting procedures

Establish clear reporting channels for injuries and educate your team on the importance of prompt reporting. Delaying an injury report can result in the injury becoming worse. It also delays compensation for the injured party.

As a part of this step, make sure to educate your supervisors on proper investigation procedures. Supervisors should:

  • Conduct accident site investigations
  • Ask what, when, how, where, why
  • Complete accident report forms
  • Obtain witness statement forms
  • Be aware of fraud indicators


Train your supervisors to identify possible subrogation. Your claim representative can assist with this process.

Audit for Continuous Improvement

Auditing your program on a regular basis to make sure it is still relevant and effective. New equipment or changes in process may required updating training and policies.

Tangible Benefits

Studies indicate there is a return on investment and that companies see direct bottom-line benefits with a properly designed, implemented and integrated safety program. These include:

  • Compliance with OSHA requirements reduces the threat of OSHA fines
  • Safety programs lower accident rates; fewer accidents lower workers’ compensation costs
  • When incidents do occur, a safety program fully evaluates the issue and finds the root cause to prevent reoccurrence and provides a workplace that is free from recognized hazards
  • A safer workplace creates better morale and improves employee retention
  • Auditing keeps your programs fresh and effective and drives continuous improvement
  • A safety program produces people who are fully engaged in every aspect of their job and are satisfied and fulfilled producing high-quality goods and services 

Spotting Workers’ Compensation Fraud

While most workers' compensation claims are truthful, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that billions of dollars of false claims are submitted each year. To help you detect possible workers' compensation fraud, experience shows a claim may be fraudulent if two or more of the following factors are present:

Monday Morning

The reported injury occurs first thing on Monday morning, or it occurs late on Friday but doesn't get reported until Monday.

Employment Change

The reported accident occurs just before or after a strike, layoffs, the conclusion of a big project or the end of a seasonal job.

Job Termination

If an employee files a post-termination claim:
  • Was the alleged injury reported by the employee prior to termination?
  • Did the employee exhaust their unemployment benefits prior to claiming workers' compensation benefits?

History of Changes

The employee has a history of frequently changing physicians, addresses and places of employment.

Medical History

The employee has a pre-existing medical condition similar to the alleged work injury.

No Witnesses

The accident has no witnesses and the employee's description does not logically support the cause of injury

Conflicting Descriptions

The employee's description of the accident is significantly different from the medical history or first report of injury.

History of Claims

The employee has a history of multiple suspicious or litigated claims.

Treatment Is Refused

The employee refuses a diagnostic test or procedure to confirm the nature/extent of the injury.

Late Reporting

The employee delays reporting the claim without a reasonable explanation.

Hard to Reach

You have difficulty contacting a claimant at home when they are allegedly disabled.


Does the employee have another paying job or do volunteer work?

Unusual Coincidence

There is an unusual coincidence between the employee's alleged date of injury and their need for personal time off.

Financial Problems

The employee has tried to borrow money from coworkers or the company or requested pay advances.


The employee has a hobby that could cause an injury similar to the alleged work injury.
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