According to the Workers Compensation Research Institute, employees who are disabled for longer than six months have less than a 50% chance of ever returning to their job. If they are off work longer than a year, the chances for a successful return to work are less than 10%.
This suggests early intervention is the key, but how can this be accomplished?
- Business owners should consider what “light duty” jobs they may have available before an injury occurs. Some jobs to consider may involve completing paperwork, answering phones, courier or supervisory work.
- Submit a job description along with the loss notice so the claim representative can help determine potential return-to-work options and better communicate with the treating physician.
- Contact from a business owner immediately following an injury means a lot to the injured worker. Express sympathy and set expectations to work with the employee to return them to work as soon as possible.
It is important to remember the goal of the workers’ compensation system: to allow access to medical care for injured workers with the goal of returning them back to gainful employment.
There are many ways to achieve the end result, but according to a study from the National Council on Compensation Insurance, losses are reduced by 70% if a worker returns to work before indemnity payments begin.
This means having a return-to-work program established could save hundreds or thousands of dollars in the long run! Call our office today to discuss implementing a return-to-work program for your business.