Going back before being signed off by the doctor can lead to additional expenses and further injury.
One of the most important parts of recovery after a workplace related injury is actually getting back to work. It is important to not rush it, because just like any other part of the workers compensation process, it takes time. It is a process that involves communication and collaboration between the injured worker, the St. Louis workers compensation attorney, the involved healthcare professionals, and the employer in order to create a safe, healthy, and productive environment for the returning employee.
- First and Foremost, Recover! – This might seem obvious, but the most important tip about getting back to work after a workplace injury is to ensure that the time is right to go back to work. Going back before being signed off by a healthcare professional can lead to additional expenses to all parties involved, and worse, further injury. Be sure to consult all relevant healthcare professionals, from primary care physicians to necessary specialists to therapists for physical and mental health.
- Communication Between All Parties – Once the health care providers relevant to the injury have signed off on the return, be sure that they are in communication with your St. Louis workers compensation lawyer and the supervisors of the company. This communication will ensure that the subsequent process is smooth, efficient, and transparent for everyone.
- Make a Plan for the Return – Returning to work does not just mean showing up the next week and resuming previous tasks. Communication and consultation between involved parties should result in a concrete action plan that suits everyone’s needs.When making the plan, be sure to ask the following questions: What safety measures, policies, and procedures have been and should be addressed in order to make the work environment as safe as possible? What barriers need to be addressed or overcome in order to accommodate a safe return? What duties is the worker capable of doing? In what capacity and to what extent should the communication between the St. Louis workers compensation attorney, health care provider, supervisor, and recovering employee continue?
- Evaluate, Reflect, and Give Feedback – The return to work process does not end on the day of return. This is step that should continue for as long as is necessary to ensure the safety of the worker. As outlined and planned for in the previous step, assessing outcomes upon returning to work is one way to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of the returning process. It is important to obtain feedback from both supervisors and from the returned employee. This feedback is important not only to monitor the return of the returning employee in this case, but also the return to work integration process for the company as a whole. This evaluation will lead to better outcomes for the individual, and better practices for the company in the future.
Returning to Work after Your Injury
Returning to work after a workplace related injury can seem daunting, but by prioritizing safety, communication, and feedback, the process can lead to positive outcomes and empowerment for both the returning employee and employer.