One of the most important things you can do for your injured worker is to return them to work, as soon as possible, in a safe environment. Returning them to work shows they are a valued team member. Your worker benefits by being productive and receiving wages, and you benefit by having an experienced and productive worker on the job instead of receiving wage-loss benefits, which in turn helps you control your workers’ compensation costs.
Have transitional (modified or alternate) work available, if needed for when the worker returns.
Planning for a worker’s recovery and return to work is very important. You, as the employer, are one member of the Claims Management Team. The Claims Management Team coordinates efforts to help assure that the worker receives appropriate medical care and a safe return to work. Below are the members of the Claims Management Team and their responsibilities:
- Report all injuries promptly
- Stay in contact with the employer, doctor, and WSI claims adjuster
- Attend all medical appointments and cooperate with medical care
- Follow medical restrictions (if given) both on and off the job
- Accept transitional (modified or alternate) work as provided by the employer if the worker is unable to return to their pre-injury job.
- Communicate and educate all employees on reporting incidents and injuries immediately
- Investigate the accident
- Develop a transitional work plan for returning the worker safely to work
- Stay in regular contact and maintain positive communication with your worker to let them know that they are important to the company.
- If your worker experiences lost work time, continued medical treatment, or work restrictions, visit with the doctor to obtain your worker’s work abilities and assess their medical status.
- Stay in contact with WSI and the Return-to-Work Services Case Manager so the worker’s abilities can be monitored and updated, and work duties adjusted accordingly.
Medical Provider Responsibilities
- Provide prompt and appropriate care to the worker
- Provide prompt medical reports
- Communicate with the worker, employer, and WSI
- Develop a treatment plan, which identifies physical abilities and includes using work as part of the recovery process.
Claims Adjuster Responsibilities
- Investigate, determine liability, and manage the claim
- Participate in coordinating medical treatment
- Assist in coordinating transitional modified or alternative work
- Communicate and coordinate with members as needed
- Maintain contact with the Claims Management Team
Return-to-Work Services Responsibilities
- Assist in returning the worker to substantial gainful employment with a minimum of retraining as soon as possible after an injury occurs.
- Place emphasis on substantial employment with the pre-injury employer in the worker’s pre-injury capacity by utilizing transitional (modified or alternate) work.