Return to Work
June 02, 2020 Safety News

Return to Work After an Injury

The longer a person is out of work, the less likely he or she will return to the prior job - or any job. For an injured worker who must be out of work for a time, it is in the best interest of the worker as well as the employer to return to work as soon as the worker is able. 

Why You Need a Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Program

“Data shows that three months after a disabling injury, the likelihood of a worker ever returning to work is around 90%. That probability drops to 32% at one year and even lower to 5% at two years,” according to Erica Fichter, SVP of Medical Management and Accident & Health for Broadspire, a Crawford company. “Time is not on the employee’s side when it comes to disability, and the health consequences to the individual can be significant.”

Work is good for the soul, the mind, and the body. Many of us have come to that realization in recent weeks! Hopefully, your job is more than a paycheck, but also provides a sense of accomplishment, social interaction, and a reason to get out of bed each morning. Research shows work is good for you… so let’s talk about how to make that happen when an employee is injured while at work

A well-structured return to work plan can help injured workers return to work as soon as physically possible. The key is to have a plan. An employer’s Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Program is a policy plan including the company’s philosophy regarding injured workers and the workplace. The plan will help implement the company’s Philosophy into action.

Beacon Mutual has a dedicated team of physical therapists, ergonomists, and disability case managers who are dedicated to helping companies develop, and have in place, a Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Program before an injury happens. Furthermore, the team is ready to help execute these plans to best serve the employers and the injured workers.

Our Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Program will help you develop physical requirements of the job and a job description which includes the duties, amount of weight lifting needed, time spent standing or walking, and other information about the job.  Once developed, the program will benefit the employer and their employees.

Employer Benefits:

  • Help the employer save money and decrease overall cost
  • Increase relationship with employees
  • Decrease the need to hire new employees or temporary help
  • Offer light duty work to reduce costs and speed recovery

Employee Benefits:

  • Faster overall recovery
  • Decreased financial impact
  • Increased value of the relationship with the employer
  • Reinstate the injured workers’ sense of accomplishment

There are two components in a Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Program:

  1. Job Descriptions:

    A chief complaint among medical providers in the workers’ compensation system is that they do not get accurate, detailed descriptions of a worker’s day-to-day job tasks. Without that knowledge, it is nearly impossible to determine if and when the employee can safely return to work. A job description will also help the rehabilitation team customize a plan to maximize results.

  2. Ergonomic Assessments

    Beacon’s ergonomic team is able to help develop a Requirements Form for job roles at a company. A Professional Ergonomic Evaluation can be performed by skilled members of the team. The team can help facilitate a diagnosis-specific return to work plan after an employee has sustained a workplace injury. Additionally, the team can help develop a light duty or modified duty plan that meets the physicians’ limitations while supporting the needs of the workplace.

    These and many other issues come into play when an employee is injured. It’s essential for those in the workers’ compensation system to focus on the whole person, not just the specific injury. Beacon Mutual is here with physical therapists, ergonomists, nurses, and disability case managers to help provide comprehensive support to help injured workers on the road to recovery. With a plan in place, the injured worker can get back to work as soon as possible to decrease the financial risk for both the employer and employee, while ensuring the continuity of gainful employment and a thriving workforce.

Developing Your Program:

To learn more about developing a Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Program at your workplace, you can read about the program in more detail, register for an upcoming workshop about the program, or contact us

Read Program Details

Liz Murray, RN, BSN
Written by

Liz Murray, RN, BSN

Claims Manager

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