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Workers Comp: 3 Keys to Effective Return-to-Work Programs

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Nov 05, 2017

Tips to reduce the cost of your return-to-work programs while reducing workers compensation insurance costsSome 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:

  1. 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.

  2. Communication
    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.

  3. 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

Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agents Specializing in Workers Compensation Insurance in Reading, Philadelphia, Harriburg, Altoona, Allentown, State College, Lancaster, York, PA and beyond. Contact Us.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.

Tags: Return-To-Work Programs, Workers Compensation Insurance, workers comp costs

Return-To-Work Programs & Workers Comp Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Thu, Apr 21, 2016

Use Return-to-Work programs to lower your workers compensation insurance rates in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Allentown. Lehigh Valley, Reading, Lancaster, York, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.Return-To-Work programs are instrumental in enticing employees out on a workers’ compensation claim to come back to work. Many employers struggle to manage and fill the void that is left behind when a worker is out; however, a solid Return-To-Work program will encourage employees to return to work quickly (once they are cleared to do so by a medical professional of-course), thereby contributing to lower workers compensation insurance costs.

It is extremely important that the return-to-work program is well-known and understood throughout the company. It needs to be an indispensable part of the corporate culture understood by owners, managers, and employees. If you want employees to return quickly and efficiently, it needs to be a system that everyone can follow and understand.

Five Essential Elements of a Successful Return-To-Work Program:

#1) Offer employees a transitional position

Present them with a temporary job that will ease them back into the workplace while still making them feel as though they are making a difference. If their job usually requires heavy lifting, consider offering a light-duty job instead. Make sure the job makes sense for both the employee and the company, otherwise you run the risk of further loss.

#2) Make the cost of workers’ compensation very clear to all employees

Each employee, regardless of their current position, should understand how expensive workers’ compensation claims are and how it affects the organization. Most employees have absolutely no idea that companies pay a large deductible each time an employee goes out on a claim and assume the insurance company is the only one paying. Employees may feel differently if they know it is coming directly from their employer’s pocket!

#3) Remain in constant contact with the employee

Never underestimate the power of a “get well” card! There will be many outside sources, such as friends, families, lawyers, etc., trying to tell your employee what to do. Make sure you call to check in with them frequently and keep them posted on any updates or changes within the company. In most states, the company is able to direct medical care for an employee as well, which allows them to check-in with healthcare professionals to ensure that the employee is following protocol and is not being dishonest about their care or their return to work date.

#4) Make necessary arrangements to “speed up” return time, if possible within four days

90% of all workers out on a workers’ compensation claim can return back to work within four days. Whether they are returning to a transitional job or their actual position, the quicker they return to the workplace, the less expensive it is for the employer. These four days are considered the waiting period and if you bring an employee back before the waiting period ends, the company’s workers’ compensation company may not have to pay indemnity or lost wage payments, which in turn saves the company from having to pay the claim deductible.

#5) Keep employees updated on company “happenings” while they are out

Even though an employee is unable to perform their regular duties, they may be able to continue attending trainings and meetings. If they are unable to attend these sessions in person, the company may be able to skype them in, or at the very least can provide them with a PowerPoint deck or notes from the meetings. Keeping them in the loop can encourage them to return quicker and will allow them to transition back into their position more easily when they do return.

One of the keys to keeping the cost of workers’ compensation in check, is to get employees back into their position as quickly as possible. This doesn’t happen by accident; it’s important for companies to take a proactive approach.

Contact us for help in lowering your worker's comp insurance rates!We'll Help You Save on Workers Compensation Insurance

For more information about saving on workers’ compensation costs, contact us online or give our experienced agents a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, workers comp, workers comp insurance, PA Workers Compensation Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance, Return-To-Work Programs