Now that summer is officially here, many landscaping companies across the state of California are kicking their operations into full gear. From pruning tree lines and installing retaining walls to laying sod and planting flowers, the owners and operators of these landscaping companies always need to take the necessary precautions to prevent serious work injuries and avoid potential liability.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the non-profit organization that "partners with insurers and law enforcement agencies to facilitate the identification, detection and prosecution of insurance criminals" recently released an analysis on the incidence of workers' compensation/employee fraud in the first quarter of 2011.
In recent workers' compensation defense news, four people - including two prominent physicians - are facing serious criminal charges for their alleged involvement in a work comp fraud scheme estimated by authorities to have netted nearly $17 million.
Regulation over what constitutes workplace safety can be confusing for employers to navigate and understand. There are specific requirements for workplace safety, but just what is included in the definition is not always clear and is constantly changing. When an employer fails, even inadvertently or unconsciously, to stay current on new legislation it can come at a great cost.
From slippery surfaces to exposed wiring, most office environments are rife with both hidden and obvious dangers that can cause serious work injuries. In fact, the failure to identify these risks and take the appropriate measures to remedy them can ultimately result in decreased productivity, increased insurance premiums and steep work comp costs.
Last month, employers and risk managers from across North America gathered in Vancouver for the annual Risk and Insurance Management Society meeting. Interestingly, one of the most discussed topics at the conference had to do with the increased use of mobile technology - smartphones, BlackBerries, laptops, iPads - and how this increased use is now leading to increased workers' compensation defense costs for many employers.
There is no disputing the cost that employee fraud - as it relates to the payment of workers' compensation - has on both large organizations and small businesses. To illustrate, consider a recent statistic from the National Insurance Crime Bureau: Workers' compensation fraud costs U.S. businesses of all sizes upwards of $7.2 billion a year or 20 percent of total work comp payments.