The VanDyke Group | The 3 Elements of a Successful Return-to-Work Program
Oh no, one of your employees has suffered an injury on the job! How will that affect your small business? Since many staff members of small businesses wear many hats, in time, the loss of productivity, finances, and even morale can add up quickly if you do not have a “return to work” (RTW) program in place. A successful RTW program should address these three key components to help an injured employee recover faster and more efficiently.
work related injury, return to work policy, RTW, small business, workmans compensation,
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21 May Help Your Employee Return to Work After an Injury

Injuries can happen even in the safest work environment. How will an employee’s on the job injury affect your small business? Since many staff members of small businesses wear many hats, the loss of productivity, finances, and even morale can add up quickly if you do not have a “return to work” (RTW) program in place.

A successful RTW program should address three key components to help an injured employee recover faster and more efficiently.

1. Quality Medical Treatment
Above all, your injured employee’s health should be the top priority. Helping your employee receive the right care at the right time avoids setbacks and misdiagnoses. Talk to your workers compensation provider to help navigate the claims process and find medical providers who understand work-related injuries.

2. Communication and Compassion
Ease your injured employees concerns by practicing open and empathetic communication. Keep them updated on what’s happening at work and engage their recovery with phone calls, notes, or even flowers. Additionally, you should regularly communicate with your employee’s workers compensation claims case manager. The more the case manager understands about the employee’s role, the more they’ll be able to help with healthcare providers and a rehab plan.

3. Gentle Transitions
Keep in mind that transitions may be time consuming and require flexibility. Take the time to assess working conditions and make any necessary adjustments or adaptations before the employee returns. You may need to make a list of temporary or transitional roles if the employee will be unable to perform their previous job until more fully recovered.

Regardless of how limited your resources are, being proactive helps keep your workplace safer and ease productivity challenges during an employee’s absence. Plus, an effective RTW program helps your business comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), which requires the reasonable accommodations of employees with disabilities, including disabilities from a work-related injury.

If you’re still unsure about developing a RTW program, reach out to your independent insurance provider. They have the extensive experience necessary to help you navigate a workers compensation claim and develop an effective RTW program to help your employee and your business return to productivity as usual.

Source: Safeco 2019

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your medical professional or legal representative for information specific to your needs.