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Written by:  Anthony Tocco

Occupational injuries have the potential to occur in all different sectors of industry. A few of these sectors include manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, and hospitality. Businesses that incorporate an effective return-to-work program could benefit through:

  • Reduced Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) annual premiums
  • Reduced employee lost time
  • Increased work productivity and quality
  • Decreased employee injury recovery time

With an efficient and well-documented return to work program, employers can ensure they are following WSIB’s policies and procedures when an employee is injured at work. Companies with a large workforce typically have a designated person to coordinate their return-to-work program. These extensive responsibilities include submitting WSIB claims, following up with injured employees, collaborating with WSIB and healthcare professionals on detailed return-to-work plans, tracking employer WSIB information, investigating work opportunities within the injured worker’s functional abilities and much more. Smaller companies don’t have the necessary manpower to support a position dedicated solely to coordinating return-to-work plans for injured employees. In many cases, a Human Resource employee will be tasked the responsibility of coordinating the employer’s return-to-work program in addition to their other responsibilities. Without the necessary training and education, the return-to-work program coordinator may be unaware of WSIB’s policies and procedures. Failure to follow these policies could lead to fines, increases in annual WSIB premiums, an increase in days of employee lost time, as well as decreases in work productivity and quality.

A well-documented and efficient return-to work-program can help employers follow a standard process from the time an employee is injured on the job, to the time an employee returns to pre-injury job duties. Sandalwood’s team of safety professionals can provide valuable information to create a standard process that will cover the entire injury timeline and complies with WSIB’s policies and procedures.

Sandalwood can help develop a structured return-to-work program that includes:

  • A step-by-step process of what employers and employees are required to do to comply with WSIB’s policies and procedures
  • A step-by-step process employers could utilize when searching for modified work opportunities for injured employees with work restrictions
  • Documents employers could utilize to track past and current WSIB claims and occupational injuries
  • Documents injured employees should bring to their healthcare provider, for their initial assessment
  • Proper education and training on the duties of the employer, the employee, and WSIB
  • Documents employers could use to track return-to-work plan details such as modified work being performed, employee functional abilities, tentative progression timeline, and much more
  • Education on the types of conversations that should be had between the employer and the employee after an occupational injury occurs (i.e., the employer must offer modified duties to the employee)
  • A Physical Demands Analysis (PDA) template employers could use to assess jobs and determine if an employee’s functional abilities fit within specified job duties

Sandalwood’s team of safety experts can collaborate with your business to ensure employees are returning to their pre-injury job duties in a safe and timely manner. A few benefits that come with standardizing a good return-to-work program include increased employee morale, decreased WSIB annual premiums and improved adherence to WSIB’s policies and procedures.

Contact Sandalwood today to find out more about how a Return-to-Work Program can help your business!

For more information visit the Health and Safety page.