Workplace injuries and illnesses significantly impact both workers and employers. There are two ways to reduce those impacts:
- Investing in prevention: an effective safety and health program can help workers avoid sustaining an injury during the course of their workday.
- Developing a practical and comprehensive Return to Work program: these programs can help your business maintain productivity, reduce days lost and provide your worker with the support they need for a healthy recovery.
What is a Return to Work Program?
A Return to Work program is a proactive approach to helping injured workers stay at work or return to safe and productive employment as soon as health permits following a workplace injury. A Return to Work program provides modified or accommodated duties and/or graduated work schedules as needed to help injured workers come back to work while they are recovering from their injury or illness.
The goal is to facilitate a safe and timely return to work, prevent further injuries and optimize the worker’s recovery. The best approach is to have your Return to Work program and policies in place before a workplace injury occurs – but it’s never too late to start.
Why Have a Return to Work Program?
A Return to Work program helps you:
- Keep experienced workers connected to the workplace
- Reduce the costs of recruiting and training replacement staff
- Maintain productivity and team dynamics
- Improve workplace morale
- Reduce direct costs related to workplace injuries
- Meet the legal requirements related to Human Rights and WCB re-employment legislation.
A Return to Work program helps injured workers:
- Recover more rapidly from their injuries
- Maintain their full rate of pay and benefits
- Continue to earn pension benefits and vacation days (in some cases)
- Get back on track sooner with less uncertainty about the future
- Maintain social contact with co-workers.