Workplace injuries happen, exposure to a work environment ensures that they always will; the objective of risk management is to reduce the exposure. Private investigations are conducted after an incident occurs to gather and preserve evidence, or to confirm or deny a claimed restriction. WorkCover is the generic name for workplace injury insurance. It is also known as WorkSafe, SafeWork, ReturnToWorkSa and various other titles across Australia.
WorkCover investigations can be trigger by the initial accident report, especially where some concern as to the veracity of the circumstances exists. These are generally factual investigations (interviews, affidavits, locating and preserving evidence).
Workcover surveillance is often requested where an injured party has had a claim accepted, and is failing to participate in return to work activities or is failing to make the expected recovery. This is covert surveillance to compare the displayed level of ability with the claimed level of ability. Where indications of fraud are found the period of surveillance may be extended. Surveillance may also be requested when the employer receives a civil claim for damages, alleging the workplace injury has restricted current ability and future earnings; this is especially true where the claim appears outlandish.
Surveillance is the prefered method to confirm or deny a claimed restiction, by obeserving and recording the persons abilities under normal circumstances. Generally speaking it may reduce exposure but unless there is evidence of real fraud the insurer may still be required to pay something, once the claim is accepted, which means the employer will see the payout reflected in their insurance premium (along with the cost of supporting the injured worker in the initial period).