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Safety Matters


Our blog discussing workplace safety opportunities in Nova Scotia and around the world.

Top 5 Best Practice Tips for Successful Return to Work - May 2022

As claims become more complex, with more factors impacting time off due to injury and return to work than ever before, the importance of creating healthy workplaces, both physically and psychologically safe places to work, is increasing.

While injury prevention is the best way to keep people in your workplace safe and reduce overall costs, putting an effective return-to-work program in place is key to managing the impact of an injury. Reducing injuries and supporting employees when an injury occurs will also reduce your workers’ compensation premiums.

A return-to-work program is a plan to help a person who has been injured at work continue to work or return to productive employment as soon as it’s safe and suitable to do so. In fact, getting workers back on the job, or stay on the job, is an important part of their recovery process.

As an employer or manager, your role in supporting an employee injured at work through their treatment plan is critical to their success, and ultimately, to yours. 

Here are the Top 5 most important parts of a successful return-to-work program:

1. Prevent the Injury

You have the responsibility to create a safety culture in your workplace by making injury prevention your top priority.

2. Partners and Responsibilities

A successful return-to-work journey requires a team who works together, stays connected and shares their knowledge and expertise. Employers, WCB case workers, and health care providers, all have responsibilities to the person injured at work and the larger team – working together on the same plan to get the employee working to well. 

3. Policy and Procedures

A Return-to-work policy details a workplace’s approach to return-to-work by outlining clear and easy-to-follow steps for helping a person injured at work get back to their job as soon as it is safe to do so. The key to a successful return-to-work program is strong leadership and guidance, coupled with a positive collaboration between your employee and all the return-to-work partners. 

4. Transitional Duties

Transitional duties play a very important role in your employee’s recovery process, serving as a bridge until your employee can safely return to their regular duties. Transitional, or modified, duties are any temporary changes to an employee’s job that aligns with their functional abilities after an injury. In other words, duties that match what they are able to do.

5. My Account 

Submitting claims fast and online through MyAccount means you and your employee can access the right service at the right time, so recovery can begin sooner. Monitor your company’s claim costs and progress in real-time, send and receive messages and documents securely using secure messaging. 

Check out the Working to Well section of our website - it’s packed with resources to help reduce the human and economic toll of workplace injury in our province.

Safety and Health Week is a great time to pause and reflect on safety and return to work, and to reinforce the principles and practices that make your workplace safe. 

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