Why Establish a Return to Work Program?
Employers of all sizes need to pay attention to safety and the cost of workplace accidents to workers as well as to the businesses bottom line. While accident prevention is the best way to reduce overall injury costs, an effective workplace Return to Work (RTW) Program is the best way to manage cost and improve recovery after an injury has occurred.
The longer an injured employee is absent from the workplace, the higher the costs will be to you and your carrier. Additional costs include lost productivity, overtime, decreased morale, increased premiums, and the costs of hiring and training a new employee if you must replace the injured employee.
Our main goal is getting the employee, healthy and back to work. Essential to RTW programming is early assistance in helping injured employees return to work as soon as it is possible. Research and practical experience has shown that:
- There is only a 50% chance that an injured employee will return to work after a six-month absence; this decline to a 25% chance following a one-year absence and is further reduced to a 1% chance after a two-year absence.
- Early outreach and assistance allow the injured employee to maintain a positive connection to the workplace. RTW programs can alleviate many of the concerns, fears, and frustrations experienced by the employee following a workplace injury. RTW program development will enable all stakeholders to work together in an integrated and enhanced fashion. Furthermore, a RTW program improves communication and clarifies the roles and responsibilities of each individual involved in helping the injured worker to return to work and stay at work.
A RTW program enables all employees, including non-injured and injured employees alike, to understand and have access to a process for resolving any difficulties that may be encountered at the work site during the period of transition back to work. With a formal workplace RTW program in place, an individualized RTW plan can begin to be developed for injured employees immediately after each accident occurs. Predictable, fair, and consistent policies are most successful.
RTW Programs are a win-win for employers and employees alike. You win by keeping a valuable trained employee while minimizing workers’ compensation costs. And employees typically recover faster, build self-esteem and reduce their financial loss of not working.
Our workers’ compensation services include a dedicated professional account represented who can take claims, answer questions you have about claims, educate injured workers on their benefits and assist with Return-to-Work Coordination.