Return to Work Programs

Return to Work Programs

If you don’t already have an established return-to-work (RTW) program, the time to start one is now. According to the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), lost time accounts for more than 40% of the total cost of an average workers’ compensation claim.  After 12 weeks away from the job, there is only a 50% chance of employees with a work-related injury returning to work. By six months the chance drops below 20% and after a full year, only about 1% of employees have a chance of returning to work.

return to work

Return to work programs help employees –

They remain productive members of the work force.
They know that they are valued.
They know what to expect from their employer.
They return to their normal wages more quickly.


But Employers win too –

According to a study by Crawford & Company, employers with an RTW program report an average of 5.1 weeks for injured employees to reach
maximum medical improvement compared to 13 weeks for companies without a program in place.
• RTW programs have a positive impact on overall workers’ compensation experience mods, lowering insureds’ premiums.
• Getting employees back to work helps keep premiums down.
• Showing workers you care

To have a successful program, you need the support and buy-in of all employees, so they see that RTW benefits them.
• Communicate the program regularly in newsletters, on bulletin boards, etc.
• Delegate a RTW manager
• Create employee transition goals and list possible transition jobs for each position.
• Set a transitional duty time period (typically 60 days).

For more information and other risk management tips, click here.

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