Benefits of an effective return to work strategy

While workplace injuries are not always preventable, especially depending on the risks of various industries in California’s job scene, the implementation of precautions may lessen the probability of workplace injuries. In situations where an accident does happen, it is in the benefit of everyone involved for the injured worker to return to work as quickly as possible.

Companies that provide support, encouragement and resources to an injured worker to aid in his or her effort to return to work may minimize the impact of the injury on both parties.

The reality of workplace injuries

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in the United States alone, nearly 4.5 million workers sustain an injury or illness caused by their job each year. This alarming statistic reveals the necessity for employers to put guidelines in place to protect their workers, encourage compliance and provide adequate training and on the job experience for their workers.

Returning to work post-injury

One of the first questions that everyone may ask after a workplace injury or illness occurs is how soon the compromised employee will return to his or her responsibilities. Significant lapses in time may create financial distress, mental strain and even uncertainty about career stability. For employers, an injured worker who is receiving ongoing medical treatment and cannot work may lead to a loss in productivity, morale and even profit.

The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy suggests that employers design a well-rounded approach to helping workers return to work post-injury. Options for alternative labor including telecommuting, accommodations in scheduling and adjustments to responsibilities are all considerations that could facilitate a faster transition back to work for the injured employee. Employers who assist an injured worker in returning sooner may provide incentive and motivation to the worker while simultaneously retaining talent and increasing productivity for the company.