Accidents and injuries can affect your productive life. And worse still, when they strike, you have to take a break from what earns you your daily bread. You have to be away for an undefined length of time, depending on the nature of your injury.
Furthermore, it is likely that this accident will affect your confidence level. It will make you worry about what might have happened when you were away. Some employers have been known to replace their employees immediately they become victims of serious injuries. Fortunately, others have been known to welcome their employees, and carry out some adjustments at work to accommodate the recovering employee. If you have suffered from an injury within the workplace, be sure to seek out a Personal Injury Solicitor who can give you the guidance and help you need.
Therefore, if you’re lucky to have an employer who understands your situation, there are certain things you can do to help you smoothly transition to work. Here some top tips for returning to employment after an accident at work:
1 Keep In Touch
In most cases, your employer will make some adjustments to compensate for your time off. They might assign your role to a new intern (who will be leaving when school re-opens), or they might even consider asking an existing employee to cover for your time.
While all this is happening, it’s a good idea to keep in touch occasionally so that you know what’s happening back at work. This will help you alleviate any fears or panic you might be having concerning your job. In addition to this, your employer will appreciate it when you’re making an effort to keep them updated on your health progress.
2 Meeting with Your Employer
It is standard procedure for your employer/supervisor to schedule a meeting with you the moment you return to work. Such meetings are usually considered standard procedures at work, and are designed to help your boss find out how you’re feeling, whether or not you need some workload adjustments, or just about any health-related issues you may still be suffering from.
If you’re experiencing mobility issues, or may be you’re permanently disabled, then there’s a good chance that your employer knows about this, so they will make adjustments based on your capabilities. In fact, a good boss/supervisor should carry out these changes in advance to aid in your smooth returning to work.
There’s no cause of panicking when you’re called in for these meetings. Instead, know that they are designed to welcome you back and give you an opportunity to speak concerning the current status of your health.
3 Other Changes that Can Be Considered
If you’re good enough, and your employer is an understanding person, they will always retain you because most of them appreciate the value of skills, personal qualities, and even your experience. They know that these are rare qualities to find and get hold of. Consequently, they will want to make this transition as stress-free as possible.
It is true that employers also have a part to play in your smooth transition to work. They can create an enabling environment to assist you cope and eventually overcome the prevailing situations.
Other changes they might incorporate include phased return to work formula, where you report to work 2 or 3 days a week to help you get back into the system without piling up too much pressure on you.
When you can cope with a full-day’s work, then the number of days in which you attend work can be slowly increased. But tasks should still be defined and done according to limits.
They could also consider structuring your working hours in such a way that you have ample time to attend to session therapy. In fact, some employers even have occupational therapies in place, to assist employees experiencing health issues get back on track as soon as possible.
4 Ongoing Injuries and Other Issues
If you can seat and talk to your supervisor, it is likely that they will understand your situation better. It is important that they understand any physical or psychological problems you might be having at the time.
If they are reasonable enough, they won’t expect you to immediately start performing the same way you used to do.
For some reason, people find themselves unable to carry out their previous duties at work, or they are simply disabled, so they can’t work as efficiently as before. In this case, your employer should be open to the possibility of finding another position for you.
5 Return-to-work plan
Your employer will most certainly be aware of your job description and associated tasks. A return-to-work plan can be structured in such a way that it lets you perform most of your tasks comfortably, while also keeping you ‘’work hardened’’.
Such a plan also protects you from injuries by cautioning against certain tasks, or parts of tasks that might cause pain or injury to the affected area.
The time-frame in which you’re supposed to be away from duty also depends on the employer, their work practice, workplace culture and good injury management practices. So for instance, if their injury management practices are good, you may feel valued and supported, hence contributing to your overall wellness.
Instead of specifying on certain tasks, it’s advised that you should talk to your employer about movements to avoid, as well as time restrictions for performing certain tasks – including how they will be improved within pain/mobility restrictions.
6 Follow Up Plan
An effective follow up plan is required during your recuperating period at work. In fact, insurance companies will expect frequent review rates of workers who are recovering from injuries.
If there are any setbacks, these can be compensated by reduction in hours, days worked per week, or better still – by reducing the amount of workload or even frequency of the said duties.
Each follow up visit should highlight the fact that the suitable duties (as highlighted in the return-to-work plan) are also applicable at home.
You see, it’s needless to restrict an employee from lifting 7kg at work while they lift 20Kgs at home, or even dig the garden when bending and twisting is not allowed.
There is no sure way of knowing when you’ll recover completely. Some medication or even rehabilitation treatment can affect employee stamina and mood at work. These are issues that your employer should be aware of so that they can give sufficient time to recover.