Are you ready to bring injured workers’ back to work with medically-appropriate light-duty jobs? Many employers are not ready. Spring is a good time to start building your businesses’ return-to-work plan. If you don’t have a strong return-to-work plan, you could be losing money.
Returning to work supports injured worker recovery and reduces the financial impact of a workers’ compensation claim on the worker and the employer by helping the worker keep a workplace connection after an injury.
A good place to start with your return-to-work planning is to create modified or light-duty job descriptions to keep on file in case of an injury.
Other action steps to consider include:
- Create a return-to-work policy if you don’t already have one.
- Before an injury occurs, think about what light-duty assignments an employee could do if they were injured on the job.
- Ask your employees for their input in creating light-duty assignments.
- Tell new hires that your business has a return-to-work policy, so should they get injured at work, you will bring them back as soon as possible.
- Tell physicians you have light-duty available and want to bring your injured workers back as soon as medically safe and possible.
- Use the Washington Stay at Work Program to get reimbursed for up to $10,000 to support light-duty wages.
Use L&I’s Washington Stay at Work Program Incentives
Washington’s Stay at Work Program can reimburse employers for a significant portion of the costs to support medically-approved light duty.
The Stay at Work Program can reimburse:
- Fifty-percent of the base wages you pay to the injured worker (up to $10,000 or 66 days of light duty, whichever comes first).
- Some of the cost of training, tools or clothing the worker needs to do the light-duty or transitional work (up to $2,500 for equipment; $1,000 for training; and $400 for clothing per claim)
To date, L&I has reimbursed over $42 Million to keep over 16,000 workers working and receiving wages.
For more information, go to www.lni.wa.gov/StayAtWork
Changing weather means new safety hazards
Spring can be a time to celebrate warmer temperatures and sunshine. Remind your workers to be aware of new hazards that come with Spring weather, such as more pedestrian traffic and storm-related hazards like flooding and dangerous driving conditions. Discussing safety-related topics about spring hazards is a great way to help everyone stay safe and working.
For more information, go to L&I’s website at www.lni.wa.gov/Safety and check out these topics: