Unfortunately, many employers view a transition duty program, also known as a return to work program, as a “make it work” situation for both the employer and the injured employee. This approach to a return to work program often ends in frustration for both the employer and the employee.
A successful return to work program is so much more. Having the right attitude back to work, as well as understanding the various transition work schedules, are the first steps to a successful program.
Alternative or light duty programs
Alternative or light work programs allow employees to work less demanding jobs until they are physically able to resume their original job duties. For example, an employee who typically performs physically demanding work might work in a more sedentary capacity, such as answering phones, marketing campaigns, or helping new or new employees.
Modified service program
Here, the original jobs of injured employees are modified by engineering alterations to the workstation. Employers use these programs to prevent further injury. For example, an employer could install a very high desk. This could be used for an employee who is unable to sit for long periods of time or for an employee with a back injury by adding seats with additional back supports and footrests to alleviate discomfort.
“Work hardening” is the third type of transitional work program. In these programs, employees perform their usual work-related tasks in steps of increasing difficulty until they regain the physical capacity necessary to perform their original jobs. This allows the injured employee to remain on the job, albeit on reduced hours. This type of reassignment allows the employee to perform mock assignments close to the task they would perform in their normal job duties.
Note: Design your return to work program to benefit both the employer and the employee. Try to provide a position that can function as a transitional position, even if the employee cannot return to the same tasks quickly. The employee will be working and the company will provide a service. Try to make the return win-win.
During the return to work process, companies must take into account the physical limitations of the employee. If injured workers exceed their physical capabilities, they may experience a recurrence of the injury causing unnecessary pain and suffering for the employee and additional unnecessary workers’ compensation costs for their employers. Additionally, while employers may use transitional work programs for temporary illnesses and injuries, it is important to remember that all absence and disability programs must be integrated with the requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act and the American Act. with Disabilities.