Getting injured workers back on the job, being productive – can be a daunting task. Communication is a major factor in successfully returning the injured employee to full time, full duty work status. Communicate with the employee immediately after the injury occurs. Communicate with the medical professional to determine a proper care and light duty work regime. Communicate with the insurance company’s injury management specialist so that they don’t just keep writing out checks to the employee for an unlimited amount of time if, in fact, that employee is able and medically ready to return to work. Continue to communicate with the injured employee so that they know you care and that the company is concerned that proper care is given by the medical professional, and so that you can keep tabs on progress with the recuperation process.
Establishing a policy of “light duty work” can be helpful.
Way back when, we had an employee who was “injured”. It wasn’t bad, but enough so the worker felt he should stay at home until fully recovered. We communicated with the
doctor and the insurance carrier and designed up a job that the physician and the insurance carrier felt he could handle without further injuring himself.
We brought him into the office. We put him in the conference room. We brought in one file drawer from the admin area. We turned it over and dumped the contents onto the table. Then, instructed him to refile everything back in to the drawer. Look at each piece of paper, find the corresponding manila file folder and place the document into that file. Once all the papers were in the proper file, we then instructed him to go through each file folder and arrange all the individual papers in chronological order. It took danged near all day for him to complete the task.
The following day he arrived and we placed him into the same conference room. The file drawer was there too (same file from the previous day). We dumped the same file drawer out onto the conference room table, and told him to: refile everything back in to the drawer. Look at each piece of paper, find the corresponding manila file folder and place the document into that file. Once all the papers were in the proper file, we then instructed him to go through each file folder and arrange all the individual papers in chronological order. It took 5 hours this time around. We then brought out a difference file drawer and did the same thing.
He was late to work the 3rd day. Seems he stopped at the doctors office and got a written release to go back to full time duty at his old job.
Interesting how that turned out