Some companies believe that taking the time to develop a return-to-work (RTW) program for injured employees costs more than its worth.
Some don’t think they have enough injuries to justify the cost of an RTW program, or they don’t think they have any “light duty” jobs available.
Some employers just don’t like the idea of paying an employee their full salary for doing light-duty work.
Studies Prove Return-to-Work Programs are Effective
But studies have shown that getting an injured employee back to work as quickly and safely as possible is the best approach for both the employee and the company. Return-to-work programs save employers on medical costs, lost time days, and workers compensation insurance costs. These programs can even reduce the number of lawsuits, wage replacement costs, and productivity losses.
The longer an injured employee is out of work, the less likely they’ll be to return to work and the more it costs the employer. Return-to-work programs reduce the length of claims and help injured employees recover more quickly.
RTW programs show that the employer cares about the well-being of the employer and wants to help them get back to work. And getting an employee back to work can help lift the injured employee’s spirits and the morale of their co-workers.
Keep Your RTW Program Simple and Cost-Effective
Despite common misconceptions, back-to-work programs don’t need to be costly or complicated.
First, you’ll want to work with your managers, supervisors, and insurance agent to ascertain if specific jobs are more prone to injuries, approximately how many injuries occur within your company each year, and how your injury stats compare with others in your industry.
Once you have this information, work with your insurer and possibly a trusted physician to develop a return-to-work program that fits your company.
Here are 3 Components of an Effective Return-to-Work Program:
- The Right Medical Providers
You want to find medical providers who are on the same page as you. You want them to focus on what an injured employee can do, rather than what they can’t do, and you want the provider’s focus to be on safely returning the employee to work as quickly as possible.
Every employee should know that there is a return-to-work program in place and that it is followed. They should be familiar with the details of the program. And all employees should understand that the company’s goal is to return an injured employee to work as soon as it’s safe to do so – even if that means a light-duty job.
- Alternative Jobs
You should have a list of light-duty jobs that may be appropriate for someone who is injured. Most companies have tasks that need to be done or activities that once completed could make other jobs easier or improve production, but these tasks or activities aren’t done because there isn’t time or manpower to do them. These tasks may be perfect for an injured employee. When the time comes, discuss the possibilities with the injured employee to see what would be a good fit with their abilities and their medical restrictions.
Taking the time to develop a return-to-work program for your company – no matter how big or small it is – can help your business reduce costs.
We Can Help You Lower Your Costs
American Insuring Group can assist you in creating an effective return-to-work program that works for you and your employees.
Our Independent Agents can also help lower the cost of your Workers Compensation Insurance. So give us a call at (800)947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online to start saving.