by Katrina Mattila

Building a Return to Work Program Part One

When an employee gets injured on the job we want to be sure they get the care they need to get better quickly. As an employer, one of the things you can do to help employees recover faster is implement a return to work program. Some of the advantages of a return to work program for the employer are:

  • Retain skilled and valuable employees
  • Keeps employees connected and working
  • Help improve employee morale

There are also important benefits for the injured employee:

  • They continue to earn their regular paycheck and maintain benefits
  • Productive use of their skills helps maintain self-esteem and their value to the organization is recognized
  • Controlled environments minimizes risk of re-injury
  • Employees know what to expect from employer if they are injured

It is important for employers to keep valued employees who understand the organization and have experience. The chances of an employee returning to work after 12 weeks are only 50%. According to a study by Crawford & Company, employers with a return to work program report an average of 5.1 weeks for injured employees to reach maximum medical improvement compared to 13 weeks for companies without a program in place. Having a return to work program provides a positive work culture which leads to less injuries. In Part II, I will focus on how to get started with developing a return to work program.



*Certified Authority on Workers’ Compensation written by Accident Fund Group and Olivet College

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