Most Injured Employees Milk Their Time on Light Duty: Fact or Myth?

Do employees really try to stay out of work longer than necessary when they get injured on the job? To accurately answer this question, there are two key factors that need to be looked at – the employee’s personality and the conditions surrounding your return to work program.

In order to weed out the few who would take advantage of a more lenient return to work program, employers are forced to come up with programs that appropriately balance the day to day routine that employees crave with a job that is productive and meaningful, while still making the program a deterrent to prevent employees preferring the return to work program over their regular job.

Employees, in general, want to return to work as soon as possible for many reasons. Having friends in the workforce, the need for a steady daily routine, and the fear of becoming de-conditioned while not working, to name a few. However, every so often, you will come across an injured employee who does not worry about any of these things and would rather look at being injured as paid time off than an irritating interruption of their daily routine. Even though these employees make up a small percentage of the overall workforce, they are responsible for the strict conditions of many return to work programs.

At Proof:Positive, we solve this issue by implementing Health and Wellness Rooms for injured employees. The room mimics a classroom setting where the injured employees come in and complete workbooks, participate in class discussions, and occasionally watch movies regarding health and safety. The employee retains a daily routine with a destination to report to every day and is working towards bettering themselves by improving their knowledge of health and safety, reducing the likelihood of them sustaining another injury in the future.

In the Health and Wellness Room that I manage, the hours are 3:30pm – 12:00am every Thursday – Monday and from my experience most employees are very eager to return to work and their regular schedules as soon as they are physically able to do so.

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