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5 Cost-Saving Reasons to Have a Return to Work Program After an Employee Injury.

June 8, 2020 rizvi Comments Off

Unfortunately, we don’t all live in a bubble and accidents still happen (even if we try our darnedest).

When employees get injured on the job or suffer from an occupational illness, workers’ compensation insurance helps them get the medical care they need and provides a portion of their lost wages while they recover. On average, an employee misses 8 days due to a workplace injury or illness.

After a worker’s comp injury an employee may not be at full strength and able to come back to their same duties.

A return-to-work program allows workers who are unable to perform their usual job duties to work in a limited or temporary light-duty capacity.

Encouraging your employee to come back for light-duty or regular-duty has a number of benefits for your business.

  • Reduce claims costs up to 70%. Lost-time days and medical costs are reduced.
  • Injured employees return to work up to 50% sooner.
  • In companies that have well-managed return-to-work programs, up to 90% of injured employees go back to work within 4 days of the injury.
  • Faster recovery period. Good return-to-work programs treat work as therapy to help the employee recover up to 3X faster than if they stayed at home.

Increase the likelihood of employees returning to work.

  • Injured employees who remain off work longer than 6 months have only a 50% likelihood of ever returning to their job. That likelihood decreases to less than 10% if time lost exceeds one year.

But where to start?

Here are a few steps to develop a return-to-work program.

  1. Create a written policy. You should create a written policy that states your company’s focus to motivate injured workers to return to work as soon as possible. You should explain modified duties and the perks of returning to work as soon as possible, like restoring their income and maintaining their skills. The policy must include information about the need for a physician’s note that explains any limitations or restrictions your employee may have. Be sure to check with an attorney who understands the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and is well versed in the workers’ compensation laws in the states where your business operates.
  1. Develop several light-duty job descriptions. Light-duty work is meant to be transitional and short-term. It’s intended to keep an employee engaged and adding value during their recovery. You should develop a list of duties that can accommodate disabled or injured workers. These jobs should have a time limit, the goal is to get your employee back on their feet and productive while transitioning between light-duty and full duty as they recover.
  1. Create an agreement form. Develop a return-to-work program offer which covers these points:
    • The start date of the work
    • The hours of work
    • The employee’s supervisor during the work
    • The deadline for the employee to accept the work

As you know, even 1 injury can have a devastating impact to your business. A return-to-work program can help you soften the blow and help employees achieve a sense of structure and belonging as they recuperate.


>>>>> Do you have a return-to-work program?


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