Injured employees cost US employers upwards of $161.5 billion in 2017, or about $1,100 per injured worker, and around $39,000 per medically consulted injury.[1] Moreover, the work-related injuries that occurred in 2017 resulted in 70 million days lost.2

The physical cost and lost days are often enough motivation to want to not only keep the workplace safe but to get employees back to work as soon as they are medically able. Return to work programs are designed for just this purpose.

A proper return to work program can provide a series of benefits to employers and their employees.

Employer Benefits

  • Control hidden costs as employees who return to work at least part-time will collect fewer disability benefits than if they did not return to work or stayed at home.
  • Avoid the cost of hiring and training temporary workers, contract employees, or permanent replacements.
  • A proper return to work program will allow the injured employee to return to work in at least some capacity of their regular productivity level.
  • The quicker an injured employee is able to return to work typically results in lower workers’ compensation costs.
  • A firm policy and procedure in place help to limit any abuse to the program or workers’ compensation.

Employee Benefits

  • Employees who are able to return to work quickly will retain any valuable hard skills learned on the job and will not have to be retrained.
  • Morale will be positively impacted as employees know their employer has a plan in place to help facilitate a safe and successful return to work.
  • Employees will not lose employment status or require a change to their earning capacity.
  • Employees who are able to commit to an early return to work will find their recovery process rapidly increases, along with a drop in the likelihood of incurring a permanent disability.

At the end of the day, if management is not behind the decision to implement the return to work program, the employees will not be on board either. Everyone from upper management to hourly employees should understand the goals of the program, the purpose, and the background.

Contact Insured Solutions for additional support in getting your return to work program off the ground while keeping work-related injury costs low.   

 

[1, 2] National Safety Council: Work Injury Costs