Many employers think they have no control over helping an injured employee return to work after a workers compensation claim.
On the contrary—the employer can control much of the situation and ensure that employees return not only to gainful employment, but also to duties that are best suited to them post-injury.
Under some workers comp policies, depending on your state of domicile, an employer may provide injured employees access to doctors who are known and trusted for handling workers compensation claims. These doctors often target care to maximize return to work.
Employers should follow established protocols to follow up with an injured employee to show that they care. This communication should be done under consult with your attorney and insurance advisors, though, to make sure it doesn’t create legal entanglements.
Have a plan for how to offer modified duty for an injured employee as soon as that person has a medical release. Companies may find it difficult to accommodate the restrictions of an injured employee, but it is worth the effort. Injured employees who can return to your business and do meaningful work (even if it is different from their normal scope of duties) often close out workers compensation claims or reduce the disability loss—and are grateful to have gainful employment. From the financial side, the employer benefits from paying less on the claim, paying less on future workers compensation rates, and retaining a valuable member of the company’s team.