Ohio employers are faced with difficult tasks in their Ohio workers’ compensation programs, especially when it comes to getting an injured worker back to work. Studies show that the longer an injured employee is off work, the harder it is to return. That’s why developing and utilizing a Return to Work program is so crucial. Not to mention the impact lost days has on a business’s premiums and production.

Here are the top 5 elements to include in a Return to Work Program:

1. Purpose
-For an employee who have suffers a work related injury and have restrictions preventing him/her from performing his/her full duty job.

2. Objective/Goals
-Facilitate a safe and timely return to work
-Minimize the number of lost work days

3. Eligibility
-You should spell out of all employees are eligible or only specific departments.

4. Procedure/Guidelines
-Include your step-by-step procedure or guidelines in your program.

5. Responsibilities
-Include the responsibilities for each party involved (i.e., employee, employer – manager, HR, supervisor…).

Other areas to consider:
– Benefits for the employer and employee
– Training
– Wages
– Scheduling Medical Appointments
– Refusal to participate
– Forms

Lost time/days is the one factor that has the most impact on Ohio workers’ compensation premiums. Therefore, it is essential that you have a Return to Work Program in place. Work with the experts, your Ohio Managed Care Organization, to develop and/or review your Return to Work Program to ensure you are utilizing all the options available to your injured employees for a safe and timely return to work.