As a business owner, your employees are important to you. Making sure they’re taken care of, especially if they’ve needed to take time off from work for an injury or illness, should be a top priority.
Related: 5 Workplace Safety Tips for Small Businesses and Startups
If one of your employees files a workers’ compensation claim after an incident at work, it’s important to support their recovery and overall well being. One way to do this is by creating a return to work program to help ease your employees back to work in an environment that accommodates their limitations.
Benefits of a Return to Work (RTW) program
Return to work programs are beneficial to both you and your employees. Here are a few reasons why:
How to Create a Return to Work Program
The first step to creating a return to work program is to develop a return to work policy statement. It should reflect your commitment to returning injured employees to meaningful employment as soon as they’re medically able.
Once you’ve created your statement, follow these eight steps to communicate and support your program:
- Communicate the program to all employees in writing.
- Designate a program administrator to act as the contact person.
- Identify suitable tasks of a light or sedentary nature for injured workers to temporarily perform while they are recovering from their injuries.
- Show care, concern and support for injured workers by staying in touch with them after their injury.
- Remind employees of your desire to have them back at work as soon as they’re medically able.
- Monitor the employee’s recovery progress and let their treating physician know that modified duty is available.
- Utilize forms and resources available from ERIE. Our claims handlers and nurse case managers can assist you in completing these forms and obtaining physician approval for modified work.
- Send the employee a written job offer advising him or her that modified work is available as soon as medical clearance is obtained.*
When an accident happens, you can count on our support. Your local ERIE agent can connect you with a local risk control consultant to help set up a strong return to work program. Learn more about ERIE’s Workers’ Compensation coverage.
*An employee’s return to work or acceptance of modified job duties may be impacted by the Family & Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.