What are the Essential Components of a Successful Return-to-Work Program?
Return-to-work programs are only effective if they are implemented with the support of upper, middle and lower management. Do not exclude your employees from the process. Return-to-work programs are successful when you allow frontline employees to contribute to developing the overall plan—remember, they are the ones doing the job, their input and recommendations can be an eye-opener.
Six Essential Components Before the Injury:
- Create a written return-to-work policy.
- Review the policy with new employees during their new-hire orientation or with existing employees during their annual review.
- Write a detailed job demand evaluation that identifies the specific tasks and physical demands associated with each job within the company.
- Create a detailed job description for every position.
- Establish a working relationship with a walk-in clinic or occupational medical center.
- Assign a specific person in your organization that will be responsible for administering the return-to-work program. This person should have a thorough knowledge of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Workers’ Compensation Statutes.