Loss Control Insights

Four Steps for Implementing a Return to Work Program!

return to work

Return to work programs are designed to bring injured employees back to work safely and quickly within a medically-approved capacity. This can save your organization an average of $463 per day in medical and indemnity costs. Return to work programs may also:

  • Minimize productivity losses
  • Reduce the need to train new employees
  • Reduce the risk of re-injury
  • Improve your experience modification factor

Despite all of these benefits, many companies delay return to work program development because it seems too complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Just follow these four steps:

Step One: Create a Policy Statement
Outline the purpose of your return to work program with a brief paragraph. Include employee expectations and communicate the policy to all employees. Use this example.

Step Two: Develop and Document Procedures
Create a written document listing responsibilities, steps and necessary forms to use when an injury occurs. EMC’s Administrator Checklist can help you. 

Step Three: Identify Transitional Tasks
Brainstorm tasks that can be completed by employees with common restrictions. Consider seasonal tasks, “rainy day” projects and other meaningful work. EMC has prepared a list of transitional work examples for your review.

Step Four: Build Job Descriptions
Document the job requirements of current positions so you understand how they might be affected by restrictions. Use EMC’s Improving Your Job Descriptions document if you need assistance.

EMC can guide you through the process if you need assistance. Once the program is in place, we encourage you to ask injured workers and their supervisors for input on the program and what improvements, if any, should be considered.

Employers who have implemented return to work programs report savings in medical, hiring and insurance costs. And that’s only the beginning. You can Count on EMC® to help you implement a comprehensive injury management program that could save you even more.