There is a benefit to every workers’ compensation program when an employee returns to work following a work injury. This is true even in instances where the employee returns to work in a “light duty” capacity.
Creating an effective return to work takes an investment by all interested stakeholders. It also requires creativity and a willingness to keep employees within the workplace. In the long run, it also reduces program costs and promotes a better work environment.
Understanding the Benefits of Light Duty Work
Engaging injured workers in light duty work creates a win-win situation for all interested stakeholders. This includes the following:
Employees: A person staying at home following a work injury incurs many psychological barriers. It not only takes the employee out of their natural schedule, but it creates isolation and boredom. Countless studies show that employees working in a modified capacity following an injury have better outcomes and a quicker recovery.
Employers: Interested stakeholders who own and operate a company can create a positive work environment by offering light duty work options. It allows the employer to demonstrate a willingness to keep employees working and increases workplace morale. It also allows them to complete necessary tasks that might otherwise not get resolved promptly.[READ REST OF STORY HERE]
Supervisors are critically important to the effectiveness of your injury management program. They are often the first person on the scene of a workplace accident and may know the injured worker better than anyone else in the organization. They set the tone for how well the injured worker responds and engages in the recovery process.
Employees in charge of other workers who view their role in the workers’ compensation process as just an annoyance do a disservice to injured workers and the organization. Employers should take steps to ensure supervisors appreciate the value of the workers’ compensation program and have a thorough understanding of how they can positively contribute to it.
While some organizations have detailed step-by-step plans in place for handling workplace injuries, many don’t; or even if they do, most employees are typically not well versed in the protocol. That’s why it is imperative to continually train supervisors on all the various aspects of the workers’ compensation system and how they fit into it.
For example, if one of your workers went to his supervisor after sustaining an injury, how would the supervisor respond? Would he know, or have a list of steps to follow, a medical provider to treat the worker, if needed? Would he know to address the worker’s medical needs first?
Here are some of the initial procedures supervisors should have down pat:
Get injured worker medical attention. First and foremost, make sure the worker gets medical attention if needed. If so,
Where to go
How to get the worker there; i.e., should he drive himself, and, if not, who should drive him
What, if anything to take with him
Communicate appropriately. Extensive research has been done on the impact of a supervisor’s language and tone toward an injured worker. Questioning the truthfulness of the worker, for example, can have a dramatic impact on outcomes. Negativity threatens the worker and research has shown the odds are there will be twice as many days out of work than if there is a positive response from the supervisor.
Whom to contact. Is there a department/person/number the organization has for reporting injuries? For example, is there a nurse triage system in place?
A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) has shown that a team-based workplace mHealth challenge using pedometers and online tools can get people moving more and help them lose weight.
Sedentary lifestyles, particularly in the United States, are a big contributor to a variety of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. There’s a lot of enthusiasm around using mobile technology to help get people moving more, highlighted in a recent scientific statement from the American Heart Association. And the data is starting to catch up with that enthusiasm.
This study looked at Stepathlon, a workplace mHealth program that gives employees pedometers, gets them together in teams, and sets up a 100-day competition to increase activity and step counts. Participants came from nearly 500 employers in 64 countries, the majority of whom were from low and middle income countries. Using a website or a mobile app, participants could track the leaderboard, access personalized tools for self monitoring, and get health & fitness tips. Continue reading Workplace mHealth Program Shows Improvement In Step Count, Weight Loss→
Health & Workers' Comp News for California's Santa Maria Valley