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Are fake injury-on-duty claims a problem in your company? Here's how PPE can put a stop to it

by , 26 January 2015
Recently, I came across a question on the HealthandSafetyClub.co.za about an employee who lied about his injury-on-duty.

He claimed he was wearing his protective clothing at the time of the accident and it didn't protect him so he could claim the accident as an IOD. But the truth is he wasn't wearing his PPE. This means the accident was his fault.

When his employer inspected the PPE, he discovered this was actually a case of IOD fraud, because PPE never lies...

Keep reading to find out what this employee did and how you can use your PPE to prove it...

Here's how the employer in our story used his employee's PPE to prove his IOD fraud

According to the question on the HealthandSafetyClub.co.za, the employee was a chainsaw operator. He cut and broke his leg while operating the chainsaw because he wasn't wearing his protective trousers.
He then cut the trousers and rubbed his blood on the outside of the cut to make it look like he was wearing them at the time of the accident.
He did all this so he could get compensation from COID.
But the employer had his doubts. So he turned to the PPE and noted two things.
Firstly, the outer layer of the trousers jam the chainsaw so it doesn't get through the second layer.
Secondly, there was no blood on the inside of the trousers.
This is clear proof his employee's IOD claim was fake, and that his COID claim was fraudulent.
So, if you think some of your employees faked their IODs, do what this employer did and inspect their PPE carefully.
Here's what you need to look for.
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Look for these four signs when you inspect PPE to prove IOD fraud

  1. Look for damage to the PPE
If your employee was actually wearing his protective gear when the accident happened, there would be clear signs of damage.
For example, if something fell on his head while he was wearing his hard hat, there would be cracks or dents in the hat.
  1. Look at the type of damage
Carefully inspect the type of damage. For example, if your employee said the corner of a crate hit him in the head, the dent in the hat should show the point of the corner. If you see a round dent in the hat, you can conclude it's not from your employee's accident.
  1. Blood evidence
Blood patterns are different depending on whether your employee rubbed the blood or it transferred directly from a wound.
Only a direct blood transfer shows your employee had his PPE on at the time of the accident. If you're not sure, take it to a forensic detective. 
  1. Test the PPE to see if the damage is even possible
Take a similar piece of PPE and test it. For example, hit a hard hat with a crate and see if it will break. Also test if the hard hat will actually protect your employee's head in this situation.
Check your employee's PPE and see if the damage to it matches your employee's story. If it doesn't you can prove it's IOD fraud.
This way, your employee – and company – won't end up in serious trouble with COID and the DoL.
PS. You can find out more about how to investigate your employees' IODs in the Health and Safety Advisor

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