When to Allow Workers’ Comp Employees to Return to Work

August 21, 2020

A workers’ compensation insurance claim is one of the things business owners worry about. Not only might claims raise costs, but they also can make it hard for you to manage the worker’s needs. It is a good idea to have a few rules in place when it comes to protecting your business. For example, what should you do when an employee wants to come back to work? Here are some tips to help you make the best decision.

When Should an Employee Go Back to Work?

This can be a hard decision to make. Imagine a worker with a cut to the hand. If he or she goes back to work too soon, that injury can worsen. It can lead to other workers doing more of the work than they should. It can also lead to more claims. There are a few rules to consider for this type of workers’ compensation insurance claim.

Follow Doctor’s Orders

The easiest way to reduce some of your liability is to have a note from a doctor. Require employees suffering from workers’ comp injuries to have a doctor’s note that:

  • States the doctor believes the patient can work
  • Lists any type of work limitations they have
  • Includes any type of tasks they can do without risk

This type of note is just the start of your projection, though. In many cases, you will need to do a bit more to ensure your employee is able to return. This may include discussing their risks of injury on the job.

When a Worker Can Work

It is important to get workers back on the job as soon as allowable.

Sometimes, a doctor will allow a worker back to work but on light duty. Whenever possible, make adjustments for that person within reason. For example, they may need to sit down more frequently.

By doing this, the employee can reclaim some of their salary from the business, rather than taking the full cost from workers’ compensation. This might reduce the need to use full workers’ compensation coverage. This might keep your insurance costs lower.

It is always important to ensure that the doctor approves of the type of work the employee is doing. Be sure that the employee’s manager also knows of any restrictions. If the employee does not follow them, it is necessary to take action to reduce your risks. Work with your workers’ compensation insurer to get these claims filed properly based on the type of work your employee can do.