The Importance of a Return to Work Program
Workers compensation claims cost employers in the United States billions of dollars each year. This price tag does not reflect the total (direct and indirect) costs involved in work-related injuries or illnesses. While there is no way for employers to control workers compensation and safety costs and money spent in these areas may just be a necessity of doing business.
This does not have to be the case — a strong, proactive safety program and a well-implemented return-to-work program will reduce these numbers, and therefore increase your profits. With results like these, how can any organization be without a Return-to-Work Program? An Effective Return-to-Work Program Is Tough Without a Good Safety Program tailored to the organization and proactive.
The best time to create a return-to-work program is before one is needed. Keep in mind that transitional duties must consist of meaningful work — the employer cannot use these jobs just to reduce their workers compensation indemnity. In order for a return-to-work program to be successful, both the employee and employer must receive productivity benefit from the transitional work; and all employees should receive assistance, regardless if the injury is work related or not. Just as with any other corporate program, senior and middle managers, supervisors, and foremen must buy into the return-to-work program and give it their full support — failure to do so will undermine the success of the program.
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