Returning an Employee to Work After an Injury


Let’s face it,  no one wants an employee to sustain an injury on the job. All other considerations aside, a person is hurt, and the only real focus should be on him or her recovering from that injury.

Bringing an injured employee back to work too soon can be disastrous, but at the same time, making sure he or she comes back to work as soon as they’re able to is important to the company’s bottom line. Why? Glad you asked.

According to research, an employee returning to work in a timely manner helps them recover more quickly and increases the likelihood that they will work again. And a quick return to the job helps keep workers’ compensation premiums under control, and means that other employees won’t have to be paid overtime or be retrained to cover the missing employee.

So how do you get your injured employee back on the job quickly and safely? Well, the first step is to put it in writing. Draft a document that states you intend to bring an injured employee back to work as soon as they’re medically able, and you’ll arrange light-duty work when necessary.

Also, make sure you have a claims coordinator available. A claims coordinator oversees workers’ compensation claims and helps coordinate a successful return to work.

You should also have a primary care clinic in mind. If you can find a local clinic with doctors who understand occupational injuries and the process of returning to work, by all means use them. You can suggest to employees that they go there if they’ve suffered an injury.

And finally, think about transitional jobs. An employee coming back from injury might not be ready or even able to resume their previous duties, so having work for them to do that will ease them back into the swing of things can make things a lot easier for everyone involved.

Here’s hoping you’ll never need to think about an employee injury! But if you do, give these ideas due consideration.

-Steve Petty, Director of Risk Management

StevePettyPhotoCroppedWP Steve Petty joined the Insured Solutions team as Director of Risk Management in 2010. The lessons he has learned from thirty-five years in risk management formed a foundation for what is today a unique Workers’ Compensation program, generating exemplary results for employers.

Contact Steve at, (229) 207-0664.

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