Workplace injuries and illnesses significantly impact both workers and employers. There are two ways to reduce those impacts:
- Investing in prevention: an effective safety and health program can help workers avoid sustaining an injury during the course of their workday.
- Developing a practical and comprehensive return to work program: these programs can help your business maintain productivity, reduce days lost and provide your worker with the support they need for a safe and healthy recovery.
What is a Return to Work Program?
A return to work program is a proactive approach to helping injured workers stay at work or return to safe and suitable employment as soon as health permits following a workplace injury. A return to work program provides modified or alternate duties and sometimes graduated work schedules as needed to help injured workers come back to work while they are recovering from their injury or illness.
The goal is to facilitate a safe and timely return to work, prevent further injuries and optimize the worker’s recovery. The best approach is to have your return to work program and policies in place before a workplace injury occurs – but it’s never too late to start.
Why Have a Return to Work Program?
A return to work program helps you:
- Keep experienced workers connected to the workplace
- Reduce the costs of recruiting and training replacement staff
- Maintain productivity and team dynamics
- Improve workplace morale
- Reduce direct costs related to workplace injuries
- Meet the legal requirements related to Human Rights and WCB re-employment legislation.
A return to work program helps injured workers:
- Recover more rapidly from their injuries
- Maintain their full rate of pay and benefits
- Continue to earn pension benefits and vacation days (in some cases)
- Get back on track sooner with less uncertainty about the future
- Maintain social contact with co-workers.
Learn about your role in return to work and how to get started.
Sign up for a free WCB workshop!
Learn how the WCB’s team can help you build a successful return to work program.
Browse WCB publications and videos to help you and your team learn about return to work.
Take our quick and easy return to work self-evaluator quiz to assess your program and get direction on next steps!
Does your company have an excellent return to work program? Apply for the WCB Return to Work Award!