Single Handed Consulting
5 Easy Steps A Worker’s Compensation Manager Can Take to Create A Return to Work Program
It’s never too late to create and execute a return to work program. In most instances, return to work programs are not thought about or created until after an employer’s first workplace injury. However, having a plan in place prior to a workplace injury is essential – our employees are our greatest asset!
Create A Return to Work Program With These 5 Steps
These five simple steps will guide you while you build your return to work program:
Assess how your company currently handles a workplace injury. Ask questions like; who in your company is responsible for reporting the injury? Who is responsible for maintaining contact with the injured employee? Who relays all of the industrial injury information to the Industrial Insurance agency. Does your organization have a return to work program?
Create your return to work program using a systematic approach, documenting every system and process. Identify who in the organization is responsible for each task, such as communication and identification of workplace modifications. A return to work program can include as little as one person or as many as are needed, based on the size of your organization. Create metrics within your program so that you can measure areas of success and areas which need improvement.
Rollout: communicate your new return to work program with every employee of the organization. A clear understanding of not only how the program works but why the program is in place will communicate to your employees that you care and have a clear process in place in the event a workplace injury does occur. Don’t let uncertainty and the lack of a clear process affect your organization.
Implement the return to work program throughout your organization!
Evaluate your program at predetermined dates to objectively measure the success of the program. Identify what is working and what areas you can improve upon. Include key personnel in the evaluation process and communicate clearly any changes to the entire organization.
Studies have consistently shown that the longer an injured worker is off work, the greater the likelihood of permanent disability becomes. Injured workers who do not return to work within six months have only a 50% chance of ever returning to the jobs they held at the time of injury. After more than one year, the chances of an injured worker returning to the same job decreased to less than 10%.
Getting People Back to Work
If your organization doesn’t already have a return to work program, there’s no better time than now to begin creating one for both the well-being of employees and your organization.
Do you have questions about creating a return to work program? At Single Handed Consulting, our team members are comprised of former workers compensation claims managers, return to work coordinators, risk managers, and vocational rehabilitation counselors who collectively have over 50 years of experience creating, implementing, and monitoring return to work programs for almost every industry. Contact us today and let us help you get your team back to work.