Return-to-Work Strategies

What happens to employees recovering from injuries?  Good return-to-work strategies can help employers reduce escalating benefit costs while enabling workers to remain connected to the workplace.

Employers utilizing such programs can provide significant workers’ compensation savings by expediting closing claims and containing medical costs.  Ideally claims should be closed within a year of the accident.  In addition, companies are able to retain productive and valuable employees.

Employees who participate in these programs are able to focus on recovery and regain confidence that they will be able to return to work.  When possible, on-the-job rehabilitation reinforces the employee’s habit of going to work rather than sitting at home or doing other things which may hinder their recovery.

A successful return-to-work program should clearly define eligibility and establish time frames for providing employees with transitional work duties.  Clearly defining those duties will assist doctors responsible for releasing employees.

From Business Insurance, May 7, 2007 issue, p. 23.