Return to Work Program Development and Coordination
What is a Return to Work (RTW) Program?
A RTW program is based on the philosophy that many employees can safely perform meaningful and safe work as part of their recovery process. Ideally a RTW program will be developed cooperatively with workers, their union (when applicable), the employer, the worker’s healthcare provider, and when required, the WCB.
Having a well-developed RTW program in a workplace is a proactive approach to helping injured workers stay at work or return to safe and productive employment as soon as health permits following a workplace injury. The goal is to optimize recovery, facilitate safe and timely return to work, and to prevent further injuries. RTW strategies and policies should be in place prior to workplace injuries occurring.
Preventing workplace injuries is the most effective way to protect workers and control an employer’s workers compensation costs. When injuries do occur, an effective RTW program is the best way to minimize the impact of an injury, promote recovery, and manage associated costs.
Each workplace and worker is unique. Therefore, RTW programs must evolve and be customized to meet the specific needs of individual workers and workplaces. Key principles based on participation, communication, responsibility, and proactive early intervention will help ensure your program will be a success.
What we offer, at Moeger Resources Ltd, is the coordination of organized Return to Work Programs, working together with the necessary organisations and Management to facilitate a smooth transition from modified duty to full functional capacity for an injured worker.
Working together with WCB, and third party medical professionals, we assist in the coordination of various medical activities involved in a workplace injury, freeing Management of this time consuming responsibility. We investigate different job positions available to help find the perfect task for the employee to perform. This in turns allows the employee to continue working while they are undergoing treatment and assessment. This can prevent a loss time claim from occurring, or from being unnecessarily extended.
Why Have a RTW Program?
A timely and safe return to work can help injured workers recover more quickly. There are financial, legal, and moral reasons to have RTW programs in place to assist workers with recovery following an injury. RTW programs benefit workers, employers, unions and healthcare providers.
Who is involved in a RTW program?
A team approach to a RTW program works best. The team generally includes the worker, employer, healthcare provider and, when requested by the worker, their union representative or other worker representative.
RTW programs are workplace specific and workplace driven. The WCB is available to support the RTW process, and will become involved if there is a dispute regarding RTW issues, or if a worker or employer requires financial or technical supports for the RTW to be successful.
What is the role of the WCB?
- Provide assistance if the worker or employer requires financial or technical support to help the worker RTW
- Become involved when there is a dispute about a worker's capabilities or the work they are being asked to perform
- In certain cases facilitate and attend RTW meetings as a part of the RTW team
- Monitor RTW and assist with wage loss payments
- Become involved where concerns are raised regarding the RTW processes
- Determine if the employer has met re-employment obligations
Employer Benefits of a RTW Program
- Retains valued and experienced employees
- Reduces costs associated with training and recruiting replacement staff
- Helps maintain productivity and team dynamics
- Improves workplace morale
- Reduces the costs of injuries
- Helps employers meet legal requirements related to Human Rights and WCB re-employment legislation
What is the Role of the Employer in a RTW program?
- Offer workers meaningful and productive modified or alternate duties that are safe and within their capabilities
- Be flexible so that the RTW program can be tailored and adjusted to meet the individual needs of the workers and their recovery. There should be ongoing communication throughout the RTW process
- Communicate to workers that the workplace has a RTW program and what processes they should follow if they have to use the program
- Communicate with injured workers throughout the recovery process to show that they are valued and help them retain a connection to the workplace
- Ensure that supervisors and co-workers support injured workers during recovery and participation in the RTW process