Returning an injured worker to work (RTW), saves money for the employer but also retains the dignity of the worker as being valuable to the employer.
Numerous studies have shown that injured employees recover faster when they return to work. In addition, their return can decrease claims expenses, limit downtime, and eliminate the need for additional staff.
Always consider ways to return an injured employee to the workplace and restore productivity. Return to work programs (RTW) create ways to bring injured employees back to work by modifying their job temporarily or creating a transitional job during the recovery period – all while carefully monitoring their medical progress.
By implementing an RTW program you can:
- Improve morale among all employees.
- Gain control and increase potential for a positive resolution of the claim.
- Reduce or avoid temporary or permanent disability payments.
- Reduce medical costs.
- Reduce or avoid litigation.
- Discourage fraudulent claims.
- Avoid the replacement and training costs of hiring a new employee.
- Identify cross-training opportunities that enhance employees’ abilities in their regular jobs.
- Increase awareness of safe work practices and injury prevention.
Injured Workers | Employees
Studies show the longer workers are away from their jobs, the harder it is to return to their previous duties. Although your doctor may say you’ve reached a level of maximum medical improvement (MMI), you may not feel you’re ready to return to your previous full-time job.
An effective return to work policy includes:
- Confirmation that your employer understands the nature and extent of your injuries, and your present physical limitations
- A plan to provide reasonable accommodations by your employer to permit you to transition back to work safely, free from unnecessary pain and discomfort
- Open communication between you, your employer, and your treating physician, to expedite your return to your former work duties as soon as medically advisable
A return to work policy is intended to provide a transition period for you to return to work and eventually become fully productive at your former job. If you are partially disabled from your on-the-job injury, it’s especially important to establish a work plan with your employer as soon as possible. You want to assure your employer you can still be a productive employee and not a financial burden.
The workers’ comp representative and your physician may work closely with your employer. They can help find a position to accommodate your restricted duty, and determine whether that duty is temporary or permanent.
If your treating physician clears you to return to work with restrictions that place you in a lower paying position, workers’ comp may reimburse you for a portion of the difference in pay (until you can return to your previous job).
Be sure to notify the workers’ comp representative as soon as you’re cleared by your physician to return to work.
You can always ask for SOSRTW services and introduce us to your employer. We can offer experienced professional assistance to an employer for services to commence even before your physician releases you (that is, if you can browse a computer, you can work with our program).
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