September 6, 2016
Prevent lost workdays – Prepare to execute transitional work
Accidents and injuries can occur in any work environment and to any employee. The impact that a single workers’ compensation claim can have on premium rates is well documented, and the anxiety that employers and employees experience when the injury leads to lost workdays can make the experience even more troublesome. Planning for post-injury management can help employers minimize unnecessary lost workdays and assure employees that there is a clear path to returning to work and preserving their job.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is currently offering grant money to help qualified employers fund the development of a formal transitional work program. This type of program would clearly define the procedures to follow to help employees return to work safely and quickly. It also helps establish a number of tools to facilitate the process. The most powerful tool is a bank of job analyses, which includes technical job descriptions with the specific physical demands of each task. Providing this document to a treating physician allows for a quicker and more accurate assessment of an employee’s ability to return to work. This information can reassure the physician that their patient is returning to an environment that is conducive to achieving a full recovery, and subsequently move the process along more quickly.
Transitional work programs offer key benefits
A physician’s decision to take a patient off of work after an injury can involve several factors. The severity of the injury is a given, but an understanding of the workplace and the nature of the patient’s job responsibilities are also crucial factors. An employer’s ability to clearly and convincingly communicate work duties, as well as specific alternatives to accommodate work restrictions, will give the treating physician greater confidence and help support a release to modified or transitional work.
It is also important that employees have a clear understanding of their employer’s game plan for post-injury management. The more thought that goes into injury prevention and management programs, and the more clearly they are communicated, the more likely that employees will trust the process and fully cooperate with their employer’s policies. While thoughtful preparation and clear communication is good for overall morale, they bring specific benefits in preventing unnecessary complications when managing a workers’ compensation claim.
The goal is to help injured employees return to work safely and quickly. While eliminating even a few unnecessary lost workdays can reduce the costs associated with workers’ compensation claims, it can also promote a more positive work environment. Adding a formal transitional work program – especially while BWC grant money is available to cover the majority of the costs – can enhance your resources and improve the process for your employees.
For details on the Transitional Work Grant program or to discuss the value of this opportunity for your organization, please contact your CHS account executive directly, or you can reach our customer service team at CHSClientServices@chsmco.com or call 888-247-7799 x 68726.