4 Steps to Start a Return to Work Program

Workers injuries are a common occurrence at any workplace; however, severely injured employees inevitably must take longer leaves while they recover. This long absence from work is costing industry billions each year. This is the reason why companies must have a well-rounded return to work program for employees that can help them recover mentally, physically and financially.

Here are four basic steps developed by risk management experts to help you start a return to work program.

1. Holistic Return to Work Program

It’s essential for companies to focus on developing a holistic return to work program, which is based on an extensive framework addressing issues before and after injuries occur. Corporations with injured workers must have different options for such employees to return to work as early as possible. For this purpose, companies must implement Early Return to Work and Stay at Work Strategies (SAW).

2. Light Duty Assignments

To make the transition from injury to recovery for an employee easier, risk management experts suggest such employees must be assigned to light duties. The less duress an employee is under, the easier it will be transiting to recovery and gaining full health over time. If you are working with a third party administrator or TPA, or an insurance provider, seek their help to identify light duties for your injured employees. With this approach, companies will be able to improve their bottom line.

3. Use a Process to Identify Yellow Flags

Business owners must consider specific cautionary predictors or yellow flags that may prolong the recovery period of an injured employee. These yellow flags can delay return to work. Some of the warning signs include injured employees internalizing pain and injury. Similarly, some employees severely fear a re-injury. To cope with these yellow flags, talk to the employee and arrange therapy sessions, if possible. Discussion with HR will help eliminate yellow flags.

4. Collaboration and Monitoring

Working collectively with injured employees and monitoring their recovery process will go a long way. Vocational rehabilitation consultants and expert physicians can help develop a suitable return to work program that focuses on the injuries of the employees. Moreover, there should be a system that tracks employees’ recovery process.

If you want to learn more about this subject or wish to find more risk management solutions, contact SIA Insurance Group by calling at (630) 325-4000.

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