Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Nov 16, 2015

Light duty work is a win for injured millworker and employer

Safety and HealthWorkers’ Comp 

Millworker with a hand injury gets back to work in one day instead of five by seeing an occupational medical clinic specialist and getting approved for light duty work right away.

Millworker with a hand injury gets back to work in one day instead of five by seeing an occupational medical clinic specialist and getting approved for light duty work right away.

THE SITUATION: A millworker working for a Washington based remanufacturing company recently sustained a hand injury when his hand was caught in a conveyer belt and his finger was dislocated. The worker sought treatment at the local emergency room and was certified off work until he could see a local hand specialist.

After learning of the worker’s injury the company contacted Vigilant for guidance. In an effort to get the injured employee appropriate care and back to work as soon as possible, Vigilant advised the employer to do the following:

• Take the worker to a local occupational medical clinic where he could be seen immediately, along with a light-duty job description for approval,
• Communicate with the worker about available light-duty work, and
• Discuss potential loss of wages while on time loss and the importance and returning to work.

The worker was agreeable to seeking a second opinion at the occupational medical center and expressed interest in light duty work. After seeing the occupational medical center specialist, the worker was released for light-duty work, stacking blocks, and he returned to work the very next day. Had he waited to see a local hand specialist he could have been off work for up to five days.

THE OUTCOME: Studies show that people who are injured and return to work faster, get better faster. At the same time, employers reduce their risk to time loss costs on a claim by helping injured workers get back to work. In this scenario the worker and the employer both win - the injured worker protects his income and job opportunity, and the employer minimizes time loss and high workers’ comp premiums.

WE LOVE RETRO BECAUSE IT GETS WORKERS BACK TO WORK
For help with return-to-work programs, contact Vigilant to learn more about our Washington workers’ comp retro program. With the help of our safety and claim management staff you’ll be well on your way to reducing safety hazards and injuries as well as reducing your exposure to costly workers’ comp claims.

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