Establish an Early Return-to-Work Program with Light Duty Tasks
When an employee is injured on the job, everyone wins if you set up an Early Return-to-Work program (ERTW), and most insurance companies will assist in setting up your ERTW. Start at the beginning and set your company goal as a ‘zero-accident culture’. Begin by assessing the overall program by identifying workplace deficiencies and unsafe activities. Invite your insurance company to visit your business, tour the premises, and discuss how they handle claims and take care of injured workers.
Create a job bank of modified duties that injured workers can safely perform until they fully recover from their injuries. Doctors can assess those job banks and determine which tasks a recovering worker can do – and when. Preventing or minimizing lost time from work results in higher employee morale and productivity. Focus on work site safety and injury prevention, as well as what can be done to get injured employees back to work as soon as possible. Your workers’ compensation insurance company has claims staff that will work with you and will stay in close contact with you in order to increase the focus and awareness of ERTW once a claim occurs.
An ERTW program is good for employee morale by providing temporary jobs structured around an employee’s physical restrictions, skills and capabilities. This minimizes costs and lost productivity and shows interest in the employee’s well-being.