Why Establish a Return-to-Work Policy?
Employers of all sizes need to pay attention to safety and the cost of workplace accidents, as well as their bottom line. While accident prevention is the best way to reduce overall injury costs, an effective Return to Work (RTW) Program is the best way to manage the cost of claims that do occur.
The longer an employee is away from the workplace due to injury, the higher your claim cost will be. Additionally, you will incur indirect costs associated with lost productivity, overtime, decreased morale, and the costs of hiring and training a new employee if you must replace the injured employee.
The essence of the RTW program is early assistance in helping injured employees return to work as soon as possible. Research posted by the New York Workers’ Compensation Board has shown that there is only a 50% chance that an injured employee will return to work after a six month absence and only a 25% chance following a one-year absence.
Early outreach and assistance allow the injured employee to maintain a positive connection to the workplace, and can alleviate fears, concerns and frustrations experienced by an employee following a workplace injury.