Today, the benefits of having reliable return to work programs in an organisation cannot be understated. Getting workers back to work quickly after an injury may have a positive injury on their quality of life and reduces compensation claims. To help injured workers return to their jobs, employers should consider integrated programs that aim at improving employee health, modifying work and coordinating return to work activities.
Workplace based RTW programs are effective in reducing the time taken by employees to recover especially from pain related conditions. To achieve best results, your return to work practices should factor the following areas.
1. Treatment and Rehabilitation
Treatment and rehabilitation should incorporate medical assessments, physical therapy, psychological therapy and occupational therapy.
2. Return to Work Coordination
The RTW process should be well planned and should include all parties. Employers should ensure sufficient communication with both the injured workers and health care providers.
3. Work modifications
Generally, the longer injured employees are away, the less likely they are to return to the workplace. Employers can provide employees with modified work assignments within the worker’s physical abilities, knowledge and skills as well as other ergonomic or workplace adjustments.
A single program focusing on all these areas is far more effective than different stand-alone programs.
Integrating Workplace based cognitive behaviour therapy into RTW Programs:
In addition to medical treatment, integrating therapy can enhance rehabilitation and as a result, accelerate employees’ return to work. A work-focused cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) can effectively address the specific challenges workers with mental health conditions face in returning to work.
Through focusing more on the work-related aspects, the functional recovery of injured or ill workers can be quickened. As such, integrating work-related aspects into CBT is a fruitful approach with huge benefits for both employees and employers. The therapy helps avoid adverse effects and significantly improves mental health and employees with common mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety are able to effectively resume their duties.
At Recovery Partners, our team of experienced and certified physiotherapists, psychologists and occupational therapists can help you manage complex employee cases and complete physical and cognitive assessments.
Our services are available in multiple locations nationwide. For more information, you can make enquiries here.
Alternatively, our consultants love to have a chat, so go ahead and give us a call on 1300 OHS RTW (647 789).
Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au
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