Every day thousands of American workers put themselves in harm’s way at work. In fact, over 5000 workers suffer a fatal injury on the job each year. For every 100,000 full-time workers, 3.5 suffer from a fatal workplace injury.
The good news is that there are employee assistance programs in place to help injured workers. Read on to learn how to get injured employees back to work. Explore topics such as planning ahead and light-duty work for injured employees.
Why Is It Important to Get Employees Back to Work?
Your company’s productivity is going to suffer when an employee is injured. This means that they cannot perform at the same pace and efficiency level as before. Some of the options to replace the injured employee are not great.
You could opt to temporarily replace the employee. However, this means that you have to hire and train a new employee.
When the injured employee returns, you now have too many resources. This option increases your payroll and creates an added financial issue.
Training is an added expense and requires diverting other business resources to get the new person up to speed. Ultimately, you may have to lay off the new employee soon after incurring these added expenses.
You could opt to leave the spot open. However, productivity is diminished and it will take a toll on your other employees. It is also expensive as your business has to pay for a worker’s compensation claim.
The good news is that there is a reasonable option that benefits all parties. For more information on a solution, continue reading to explore light-duty work for injured employees.
What Is Light-Duty Work?
Light-duty work is one option that is growing in popularity. It represents a middle ground for the business and employees.
Here, employees take a transitional role in the organization. Sometimes, it is a modified version of their current job. Other times, the injured employee is placed in a temporary rotation in another department.
In the case of a modified role, any tasks that are physically straining are removed. For instance, the employee may get a temporary reprieve from carrying heavy items.
The best way to develop a modified role is by working in tandem with the injured employee’s doctor. This way, there can be a mutual agreement on what tasks need to be eliminated.
Why Would the Employee Agree to Light-Duty?
There are many benefits to the employee. The employee signs an agreement to transition to light-duty work prior to an injury taking place. This benefits the employer because they do not have to worry about paying into worker’s compensation and hiring a new employee.
It also helps the employee as they continue receiving pay. They do not have to fear being replaced by another employee in their absence.
A Recap of Light-Duty Work and Employee Assistance
Having an employee get injured on the job does not have to cripple your productivity. Instead, it is better to modify their work or move them into a temporary position. Light-duty work is an effective way to minimize productivity losses and keep expenses down.
If you enjoyed this article about light-duty work and employee assistance, check out our blog for more great content.