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The Return Of The Injured Worker

The continuation of our examination of Return to Work Mistakes focuses on the fear that an injured employee "may get hurt again".
This fear is experienced by both the employer and the employee. This fear frequently presents an obstacle to the establishment of transitional assignments. Although it is true an injured employee may be re-injured, you face an even larger risk. The risk that the worker develops a "stay at home, disability attitude".
Many studies show that our societal approach to disability has been to "hide" the disability away from the society's view. This "norm" leaves the temporarily injured employee subconsciously choosing to stay home, "hiding". The longer the worker is at home, the harder it is to come out of "hiding".
As a society we are just beginning to adopt a Holistic approach to disability. This approach encompasses personal, social and environmental factors in terms of the health of the person. This approach also permits the employer to see what workplace factors present a barrier to the employee's return to work. Sometimes those barriers might be co-workers' perceptions that the returning worker is " not pulling their weight" or the worker's discomfort with the curious questions of children.
Once you identify the barriers inside your school, you are able to plan methods of overcoming them. In addition to keeping your Workers comp claim costs down, you help your workers make meaningful contributions. The meaningful contributions help the worker maintain their self-esteem.
For either a sample job description or a full sample Return to Work planm, please email beth@blockinsurance.net.
Watch for part 4 of our Return To Work series.
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