According to the numbers provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were nearly three million workplace injuries reported by employers in 2014. While this suggests a continuous decline in the number of injuries at the workplace, the truth is that these can happen at any given time.
As important it is to help their employees recuperate from their injuries, employers should also help them have an easy transition once they return to work. Most employers may have a return-to-work program, but these aren’t always effective to everyone. With these tips offered by occupational therapy companies in mind, an injured employee’s transition back to work can go as smoothly as possible.
Make them feel valued
Reach out to your employee as soon as you hear about their injury, and let them know that, as their employer, you’re available to send help. It also helps to talk with the employee’s doctor and their claims adjuster to make sure that everyone is working toward the same goal of guiding your employee to recovery.
Furthermore, give assurance to your employee that they still have a job waiting for them, particularly if their injury requires a long-term recovery period. If possible, offer them light-duty jobs that they can easily do while recovering.
Adapt to their needs
You can also work with your employee to explore ways you can accommodate the injury in the workplace. After deciding that your employee can perform the essential functions of their job, you can then apply reasonable accommodations, including physically adjusting their workstation, limiting their tasks, and establishing a part-time work schedule.
Invite them to social events
Injured employees might feel out of place, especially when they spend a week or two away from their workplace. To make sure that they will remain in contact with your work environment, make sure to extend any invitations to social events. This can also make it easier for them to return to their work.
Set more realistic goals
Ideally, your employee should have recuperated from his or her injury at the least amount of time possible. In some cases, however, this does not happen. In the end, developing a return-to-work plan with achievable goals can work to your advantage.
The Elements of a Good Return-to-Work Program
What really makes for a great return-to-work program? Other than these steps, employers should ensure that there will be employee involvement, mutual trust, communication, coordination, and a successful safety and health program and management.
You can also recommend your employees to seek help from a clinic offering physical and occupational therapy, like U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group, to ensure their speedy recovery.
Tips to ease an injured employee’s transition back to work, SimplyWorkComp.com
Bringing the injured back to work, Industrial Safety & Hygiene News