Light-duty Can Help Reduce Workers’ Comp Claims Costs

  by    0   0

After an employee is injured on the job, recuperation times can vary, but every day they are away from work, the claim cost increases and your productivity suffers. 

By implementing a program that offers a good incentive to return, you can reduce the risk of paying more benefits than necessary. 

Recent research shows that employers lose about 80 million work days annually due to workplace injuries or illnesses. The number of employees who remain away from work more than seven days because of injuries or illnesses stretches into the millions. 

This means that employers are left to deal with the high cost of workers’ compensation premiums, lost productivity and disability benefits. But, by creating a special incentive program, you can greatly reduce these costs.

Light duties 

When an injured worker is off work healing, a physician will regularly examine them. These exams will in part determine whether the worker is ready to return to their previous tasks. 

In some cases, it may be possible to get the individual back to work sooner with light duties. 

For example, consider a worker who is injured while lifting boxes in a warehouse. The attending physician will be examining the employee to determine whether he or she is ready to lift boxes again. 

If the employee has a back injury, it could be several weeks before they can return to work. 

But, if the employer offered the worker an easy temporary job in the office, they may be able to return much sooner. To make something like this happen, a light-duty program must be put in place. A solid program should have the following features:

  • Addresses environmental, physical, knowledge and emotional factors that may prevent employees from returning to work.
  • Makes the transition to full-time work easier.
  • Focuses on employees’ abilities instead of their disabilities.

Light-duty programs improve employee morale by increasing incentives for returning to work and staying safe. For the employer, they maintain productivity by lowering the number of lost work days.

These programs help speed up employees’ recovery processes. Recent research shows that 50% of workers who stay out of work for more than six months will never return to their jobs. If they stay out for more than one year, the likelihood of returning to work is about 10%. 

Getting employees back to work as quickly as possible is the best way to bring about feelings of being part of the team. It also lessens the financial impact on the employee and their family. 

The elements of a solid plan

To make sure a program is as comprehensive as possible, include the following elements:

  • Performing meaningful tasks instead of simple busy work. 
  • Coordination with the doctor about work restrictions.
  • Alternative work assignments that benefit the employer and employee.
  • Descriptions of duties the injured employee must perform.
  • Provisions for situations where employees may have to take additional medical leave time after returning to work.
  • Stated conditions and time parameters for temporary assignments.

Benefits of return-to-work programs

  • Making it easier to keep valuable employees, who are productive while recovering.
  • Making communication happen between employees, employers and doctors, instead of between employees and their doctors.
  • Making it difficult for employees to stay out of work longer than necessary.
  • Reducing the need to recruit, hire and train new workers.
  • Reducing the cost of workersí comp disability payments to injured workers.
  • Showing your concern for the injured employeeís health.
  • Reducing claims costs, which can help reduce your rates.

The takeaway

Workers’ compensation consumes a sizable portion of overall personnel costs. A solid return program can reduce those costs, including intangible ones, like the absence of an experienced worker. Also, it helps keep employees happy. To learn more about return-to-work programs, discuss the options with us. 


Related Posts

Business Growth Can Lead to Increased Risk

As the economy continues expanding, companies need to be careful about properly managing their risk, according to a report by Advisen Inc., an insurance research and data firm. Increased activity typically means proportionally additional losses. For example, more trucks driving more miles will inevitably result in more accidents. However, there are other kinds of risk […]

READ MORE →

Property Coverage for Businesses with Changing Needs

Some businesses have very stable property insurance needs as the value of their non-building assets, equipment and inventory doesn’t vary much during the year. Other types of business experience wide variations in the value of their property. Florists tend to carry more stock around Valentine’s Day and Mothers’ Day than they do on most days […]

READ MORE →

The Risks of Staff Using Personal Devices for Work

Bring your own deviceAs more employees use their personal mobile devices for work companies are being forced to confront the resulting security implications as well as how the devices are changing behaviors in the workplace. That’s according to a report by Littler Mendelson, an international law firm specializing in employment and labor law. The report highlights the dangers […]

READ MORE →

Controlling the Risks of Business Vehicles

commercial autoAs the cost of commercial auto insurance continues climbing at unprecedented rates, any business with vehicles has to make sure that it has procedures and policies in place to reduce the chances of its drivers causing accidents. When a business entrusts a vehicle to an employee, it is literally putting its assets on the line. […]

READ MORE →

Top 10 Workplace Injuries, and How to Reduce Accidents

Manual worker having pain in backOverexertion and falls on the same level are the most common types of workplace injuries in the United States, according to a new study. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.’s “2019 Workplace Safety Index” reports on the causes and costs of the most common injuries across eight major industries. The list can be a good guide for […]

READ MORE →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top