If you’re forced to miss work because of an injury, you’re probably wondering how to best transition back to your job once you’ve recovered. Regardless of whether you’re going to need special accommodations or you’re going to be able to hop right back into your old position, there are some things you’ll want to do while you’re awaiting your return to make this transition run smoothly. In today’s blog, we share some tips for what you should be doing while you’re recovering from a work injury to ensure your return to work runs smoothly.
While You’re Away
For the sake of this blog, we’re going to assume that you’ve already connected with a workers’ compensation lawyer and that they are proceeding forward with your benefit claim. If you haven’t called an attorney yet, click here to read why a workers’ compensation lawyer is so important for your case before proceeding onto the tips. These tips are more of a general guide for how to return to work as opposed to how to maximize your compensation award following an injury.
1. Keep Your Employer Up To Date – It’s always a good idea to keep your employer up to date on the extent of your injury and how you’re progressing towards a return. Don’t say that you’ll definitely be back by a certain date, because you simply never know how your body is going to heal, but you can give general timelines and increase communication as it becomes clear that you’re getting close to returning to work.
2. Connect With Human Resources – Also, be in contact with your human resources department, especially if you’re going to use sick days or vacation while you’re waiting on a compensation decision. You can also talk with HR about any accommodations you may need or work restrictions that need to be in place so that your company is ready for your return. If you’re going to need to be limited to carrying 20 pounds or less or not allowed to stand for more than an hour at a time, let HR know so that they have it documented that you told them and so that they can prepare work sites for your return to work.
3. Get Set Up With A QRC – A QRC is a qualified rehabilitation consultant, and their job is to help an injured employee return to work in the best possible manner. Every injured worker is entitled to a QRC after a work injury in Minnesota, and they can help in a number of ways. They can assist you in learning new techniques if your injury makes old tasks difficult, they can help retrain your or help modify your job site, and they can help train you for a new role or even help you find new employment if your injury won’t allow you to return to the same job in your old capacity. Learn more about QRCs in this previous blog post we wrote.
4. Ask About Accommodations – We touched on this in point two, but if you’re really interested in returning to work in some capacity, ask your employer about ways that you can return while still abiding by your doctor’s instructions. Instead of working eight hours operating heavy machinery, maybe you can drive supplies to and from the jobsite in the morning and afternoon in a part-time capacity. Be sure to stay within your doctor’s restrictions, but this can help get you back to earning an income, it can reduce payments that your employer’s insurance company needs to make, and still give your body time to heal until you can return in a larger capacity. It may not be available for all jobs, but odds are your employer wants you back, so if they can find a role in a limited capacity, they may be more than willing to accommodate your needs.
While these tips can help you return to work, we can’t stress enough how important it is not to rush back into work. Being sidelined with an injury can seem daunting, but you are entitled to benefits as an injured worker, so let us handle your compensation while you focus on your health and getting back to normalcy. To learn more about how we can help with that process, reach out to Hey Workers today.