When an employee is injured on the job, business owners and injured workers alike can benefit from a well-researched and carefully implemented return-to-work (RTW) program. These programs are designed to get injured employees back to work in a timely and comfortable manner, allowing companies to save on expenses related to the injury and helping employees retain their skills and morale.
Specifically, there are a few key components that should go into your company’s RTW program.
Offer Assistance With Claim Documentation
The process of filing a workers compensation claim can be quite complex and overwhelming—especially for somebody who has just suffered a workplace injury. Employers should go out of their way to contact injured workers as soon as possible following an incident to offer help with the claims process and to let them know about the company’s return-to-work programs and policies.
Assess Capabilities, Restrictions, and Potential Accommodations
Speaking directly with the employee and his or her physician can help employers get a better idea of the injured worker’s prognosis, limitations, and capabilities. Comparing these to the known essential functions of the worker’s job can help you assess when the employee may be able to return to work. Be sure to carefully consider any potential accommodations that may be required to help the injured employee return to work as quickly and safely as possible. For example, for an injured office employee who cannot sit for long periods of time, would it be possible to set up a standing desk configuration that would allow him or her to return to work?
Provide Alternative Return-to-Work Options
Before presenting an offer for an employee to return to work, be sure to have back-up options available. For example, if the employee doesn’t feel able to return to his or her regular job, you should be prepared to offer an alternative option, such as a temporary position, until he or she is able to return to work without any necessary accommodations.
Stay in Touch and Be Prepared to Make Changes
Above all else, it’s important for employers to stay in frequent communication with injured workers both before and after they return to work. By inviting employee feedback and making changes to accommodations as needed, employers can provide injured workers with the resources and support they need to return to work confidently.
A great return-to-work program can save your company money on workers compensation premiums and boost employee morale.
About David G. Sayles Insurance Services
At David G. Sayles Insurance Services, we strive to protect the investments of homeowners like you. Our comprehensive policies are customized for you to provide the exact coverage you need. For more information, contact us today at (800) 439-0292.