Pandemic Business Continuity Planning – Return to Work Considerations

May 5th, 2020 Comments off

Various governments have started to implement return to work plans for nonessential workplaces. Certain companies will open immediately, while others will reopen gradually.

AFIMAC has been supporting essential businesses with wellness screenings for the past six weeks. During this time, we have gained valuable information that can help your company develop potential screening plans.

The following are significant points to consider:

  • Policies
  • Procedures
  • How to deal with peak times and spikes in foot traffic
  • Indoor v outdoor screening
  • Canopies, tents and screening structures
  • PPE for screening staff – optics and messaging
  • Training for in house screening staff
  • Next steps to take if an employer or visitor fails screening
  • Signage – where and what verbiage to use
  • Impact of weather on temperature scans
  • Thermal cameras – permanent installations

Our wellness screening entails:

  • COVID-19 questionnaires
  • Thermal temperature scans

Many companies are requiring employees and contractors to complete return to work questionnaires. We have developed a digital screen tool that can be completed digitally from any mobile device. It will keep track of all documents, ensure you have consent, and sign-off.

You may also need to collect additional information related to visitors, contractors, guests as well as deliver drivers. Our screening tool will also allow you to:

  • Obtain consent
  • Upload photos
  • Upload government ID
  • Complete any site related questions

If you would like to learn more about how we can help,  please reach out to me at jrovers@afimaccan.com.

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Essential Workers – Wellness Safety and Well Being

April 1st, 2020 Comments off

Businesses that have been deemed essential are still required to operate. Individuals coming to work are concerned about their health, safety, and wellbeing. Employers may consider enhanced screening options to ensure employees feel valued and that management is taking the steps required to protect their health. This provides a level of confidence so that employees can focus on their work assignments.

You may wish to consider the following options:

  • Enhanced screening
    • Wellness questionnaires
    • Thermal temperature scans
    • Digital wellness checks (completed from a mobile device)

These measures will not eliminate every risk associated with COVID-19, but it will allow you to identify those individuals who present a hazard.

How Can You Make This Work?

  • Place screeners at access points.
  • Questionnaires and temperature scans can be conducted from an individual’s vehicle.
  • Those that pass, proceed to work.
  • Individuals who fail can be sent for secondary screening.
    • Some sites have set up secondary triage areas
    • Nursing, health and safety teams or HR staff are completing enhanced secondary screening
    • A follow up is conducted to ensure employees seek medical attention if required

Wellness Questionnaires (these questions should be reviewed and approved by your legal team)

  1. Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19?
  2. Have you been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
  3. Have you travelled outside of Canada?
  4. Do you have a sore throat, shortness of breath, or headaches?
  5. Do you currently have a fever?

You want to keep the questions limited so that the screening can be completed efficiently.

The temperature threshold set by many companies is 38C or 100.4F. Please consult with health care professionals or government websites to determine what your temperature threshold might be.

Required Supplies:

  • N95 or approved masks
    • Due to the limited supply of N95 masks, various government agencies have approved other masks
  • Rubber gloves
  • Thermal temperature scanners
  • Depending on location – you may need the following
    • Protective weather canopies
    • Temporary triage centre – drive-through or tents
    • You can also transition building/facilities not in use if needed

Ensure the following is communicated before rolling out any screening program:

  • Message employees, contractors, and delivery drivers in advance of screening
  • Include details of where screening will take place
  • You may need to increase entrance signage to ensure individuals know where to report
  • Ask individuals to be patient
  • Explain the process
  • Define what is considered a pass or fail
  • Provide additional information for those that have failed – with instructions and next steps
  • Ensure information is available in different languages to include all staff (if required)
  • You may need translation support
  • Set up regular communication points and update processes throughout the day

AFIMAC can provide screeners, logistics supplies, and equipment, as well as guidance as you prepare to roll out your plan. Feel free to contact jrovers@afimaccan.com with any additional questions you might have.

A Potential Wave of False Claims are Coming to Employers and Insurance Companies – What You Need to Consider

March 31st, 2020 Comments off

During times of economic uncertainty, individuals will often look for other ways to generate new income as well as methods to shed expenses.

From 2008 to 2010, there was a wave of claims that impacted employers and insurance companies. False claims were seen as a lifeline, and individuals justified it to protect themselves.

The following are likely to be impacted as a result of the current pandemic:

Benefit Claims

  • Workers compensation
  • Sickness, accident and long-term disability

Often these benefit claims pay more than the programs being offered by the government.

You may see a rise in claims for the following reasons:

  • Impending downsizing and restructuring
  • Reinstating previous claims
  • Workplace claims – for those working at home

Theft of High-Value Items and Cargo

  • Copper, stainless steel, wiring, and cables
  • Theft of cargo – medical equipment, hospital supplies, food, alcohol (any load which can be sold quickly for cash)
  • Tools, construction equipment and materials – from construction sites

Ensure loads are secured in fenced yards. Do not pre-load trailers where possible. High-value shipments may require escorts to ensure they are not targeted on-route. You may need additional third-party investigative support to deal with the influx.

Business

  • Small or troubled businesses may have to shed assets to stay afloat
  • Business interruption insurance will not provide enough coverage
  • As a result, you may see an increase in:
    • Stage crashes
    • Inventory thefts
    • Bloated claims
    • Damage claims
    • Fires/flooding

Individuals

  • Individuals are carrying a record level of household debt
  • In good times people tend to purchase luxury items
    • Boats
    • Coats
    • RVs
    • Jewelry and electronics

Thefts, mysterious losses, and fires are the most common method of shedding assets.

What Can be Done?

  • Social Media and Online Investigations
    • Items for sale
    • Photos – activities
    • Accident
  • Surveillance
    • Many individuals will still go out
      • Shopping
      • Yard work
      • Gardening
      • Exercising outdoors
    • Some individuals have chosen to ignore isolation orders. You may need to monitor those who are to be quarantined
  • Third-Party Investigations
    • Statements and interviews
    • Although not ideal – video and online platforms are being used where social distancing is required
  • Cargo Security and Escorts
    • Yards – security and monitoring
    • Cargo on route – escorts
    • GPS tracking
    • Remember – law enforcement will be focused on other priorities

If you wish to learn more, please email jrovers@afimaccan.com.

Categories: Benefit Claims Tags:

Protection Services – What You Should Consider In 2020

February 28th, 2020 Comments off

Over the last few years, there has been a rise in incidents involving aggressive and sometimes violent behaviour. Activists have become more destructive and often ignore old norms and the rules of law. Mental health is also playing a large role in the increase in threats. Many human resources and security professionals believe law enforcement will respond as needed, but police are unable to respond to all but the most serious incidents. This often leaves organizations having to fend for themselves.

Many businesses find themselves in situations where a terminated employee has not only taken to social media to badmouth the company but also returned to the workplace to confront a manager.

AFIMAC’s protection division has seen an annual growth of 30% over the past two years as a result of these threats.

The following are key points you need to consider:

  1. Have a plan. Responding without one will often lead to mistakes.
  2. Ensure your response plan is well resourced. What do we have? What else might we need?
  3. Monitor social media and online activities of individuals and groups. Intelligence is critical.
  4. Build a process to identify risks as well as an escalation process. We often experience situations where the situation is downplayed.

These threats may not just come from your employees. Customers, vendors, activists, as well as members of the public, can all represent threats. Last week, teenagers violently attacked some RBC employees. Activists stormed farms and meat processing plants. Climate change groups disrupted major transportation and energy projects.

Over the next year, I will be posting content related to:

  • High-Risk Terminations – Before, during and post-termination considerations
  • Corporate Meetings and Events – Activists may be targeting your brand
  • Activists Tactics and Response Planning – What to expect as civil disobedience grows
  • Threat Risk Assessments – Why are they important
  • Training – Are your staff prepared to handle a confrontation or aggressors
  • Intelligence Gathering – Do you know what threats you might face

 

Benefit Claims – Warning Signs

September 11th, 2018 Comments off

Benefit claim fraud and abuse can deliver significant challenges to organizations. Enclosed you will find some helpful information to assist you in identifying questionable claims as well as best practices.

Problematic claims tend to revolve around the following:

  • Fake injuries
  • Exaggerated injuries
  • Old reoccurring injuries
  • Non-work-related injuries – claimed as a work injury

Why do individuals abuse benefit claims?

  • Additional time off
  • Do not like the current job they have
  • Individuals wants modified or light duty work
  • They have another job or interest

Warning Signs

  • The incident was not immediately reported, and there was no explanation regarding the delay
  • No witness to the incident
  • Employee did not seek medical attention
  • Employee refused treatment
  • Employee’s story is inconsistent
  • Diagnosed injury does not align with the incident
  • History of claims
  • Medical notes are vague and do not provide restrictions/limitations
  • Employee is hard to reach
  • Return to work meetings, and appointments are often missed
  • Restrictions seem excessive – based on the nature of the injury
  • Sudden change in medical providers
  • Employer is seeing similar claims from the same doctor
  • Employee is rumoured to have a side job or other interests outside of work
  • Accident occurs before a layoff, strike, long weekend or holiday
  • Accident occurs before termination or discipline
  • Employee can perform tasks outside their restrictions when not at the workplace
  • Employee engages third-party representation immediately

When a claim presents the above warning signs, the following should be considered:

  • Conduct a detailed internal investigation into the incident that includes the employee’s social media and online activity (before the employee ‘goes dark’)
    • Most people post all aspects of their lives online (Cost range $75-$375 per file)
  • Challenge validity of claim quickly – claims are often rubber stamped because the employer does not contest
  • Get restrictions immediately
  • Offer modified duties as soon as possible to get them back to work
  • Be prepared to manage the claim aggressively – the employee is banking you will give up
  • Work with other stakeholders
  • Engage surveillance when the employee is not participating in any return to work programs
    • ($1200 to $1500 per day)

Steps to consider after social media or surveillance investigation:

  • Meet with the employee
  • Ask them questions you know the answer to:
    • Can you drive?
    • Are you able to do yard work?
    • Are you still unable to stand for longer than 10 minutes?
  • If the employee is deceitful, it lends credibility to your case
  • You may elect to re-offer modified duties:
    • That match the activity observed
    • Goal is to have the employee provide written documentation that they cannot perform these duties
  • You may wish to engage a second round of surveillance
    • The feedback received did not align with observations
    • Found employee acting outside their restrictions
    • Show the employee the evidence
    • This often garners an immediate return to work

The test of reasonability should always be considered. During any proceedings, the employee will attempt to paint the employer in a negative light. You need to be able to demonstrate all the steps taken to have the employee return to the workplace. Ensure you do not appear heavy-handed in your approach.

Does Your Claimant go Dark on You?

August 29th, 2018 Comments off

By: Sophie Cranley, Risk Mitigation Specialist at AFIMAC Global

AFIMAC and our technology partners have undertaken industry research in an attempt to assist those managing claims to gain the most from our social media intelligence reports.

From our findings, at least 40% of subjects ‘go dark’ within a few days of the claim being reported!

The results have been validated by numerous lawyers who have confirmed that this is a tactic they deploy with their client to prevent anyone from utilizing open source social media intelligence that could be used by the industry to mitigate spiraling claims costs/associated fraud risks.

Clearly this is not an acceptable situation, however, with early intervention, there is an opportunity to change the landscape and reduce claims costs.

Remember the old adage – strike and strike fast!

Today nothing is this more critical than social media background reports. Structured background reports and financial records live on forever, but this is not the case with social media.  Not acting quick enough will deprive you of valuable intelligence in establishing your case.

Are you prepared to allow your claimant to ‘go dark’ on you?

To obtain a sample report or learn more, please email: scranley@afimaccan.com

 

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Click to learn more about AFIMAC Social Media Investigations

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