After being injured on the job, workers ideally should have time to heal their wounds and return to work as usual. But things are not simple when it comes to worker’s compensation cases. One individual’s ability to recover and return is not going to follow the same timeline as another’s. As a result, some employers will start finding excuses to prevent a worker’s return altogether and prevent further claims they fear the worker may file if they should become injured again.
Here are the top 4 excuses employers are using these days to stop a worker from coming back after being injured on the job:
Fresh Out of Light Duty
Employers most commonly use this excuse to keep injured workers from making a comeback. Since many may have been placed on medical restrictions that limit what they can do on the job, an employer is often quick to cite there is simply nothing for the worker to do. Depending on the industry and job type, not having light duty work is a possibility but employers should make the effort to find something light duty (administrative work, light cleaning) that is in line with their medical restrictions.
Employers will often admit their worry over an employee re-injuring him/herself on the job again. While the worry may be justifiable, the reality is the worker can be injured in other places outside of work too. Employers should have a focus on employee safety and protocol to start with so worrying about possible injuries is not a justifiable excuse.
Trigger New Injuries
Some employers will worry about the potential for new injuries to occur in the work environment. The reality is injuries can happen anywhere to anyone. The excuse is weak but the employer will need to have a strength when it comes to planning for accident prevention and employee safety.
Lack of Productivity
Some employers will concern themselves not with the safety of the returning worker but the productivity levels an injured worker can hold. In situations where an employee can not return to his/her specific job tasks due to the injury, there should be protocol in place to customize a more suitable job within the worker’s abilities. For instance, a person who injured their back should not be made to load heavy boxes into the trucks as they not only will be slow in productivity, they may also re-injure their backs. However, a person with back issues can still conceivably perform other job tasks just as productively as the rest of the staff.