Owner/Operator, DO, and other Top Management

Senior managements commitment to return to work is the key to the overall success of the disability management program.

  1. Develop a written policy, signed by top management, with clearly defined procedures that communicate management’s philosophy.
  2. Assign the responsibility for coordinating and evaluating the managed disability program by designating an RTW coordinator.
  3. Hold all managers/supervisors/employees accountable for their participation in the program by establishing roles and responsibilities for each.
  4. Provide training for all managers/supervisors/employees on disability issues and their roles and responsibilities in achieving a successful RTW program.
  5. Inform provider that our organization has an RTW program and that the intent is to bring employees back to work as soon as possible.

RTW Coordinator

The RTW coordinator shall be responsible for oversight and implementation of the RTW program, and will provide, with management’s support, high-level direction and promotion of the RTW program consistent with our goals and commitment to our workforce.

  1. Understand and promote the RTW program.
  2. Monitor progress of returning injured/ill employees to work and problems that may occur.
  3. Record and report progress to management __________ (time frame inserted here).
  4. If the employee is released to work with restrictions that prohibit a return to regular job duties, determine whether job modifications or alternative work can be provided within the physician’s restrictions.
  5. Notify the employee if modified work is available, and send a copy of the job offer to the employee as well as the claims adjuster.
  6. Review accommodations with the employee and supervisor prior to his or her return to work, to ensure everyone understands the restrictions.
  7. Monitor the job to determine compliance with the restrictions and the feasibility of continuing the position once the pre-determined time frame has been reached.
  8. Maintain employee contact on a regular basis to determine whether or not employee can or cannot return to regular work or modified/alternative work.

Manager/Supervisor Responsibilities

Managers and supervisors provide critical support, in that how they respond to the work injury can directly influence the duration of disability.

  1. Understand and support the company’s written policies/procedures by providing written protocol and conducting training.
  2. Complete an accident investigation as soon as possible after the injury and forward report to coordinator to ensure that accurate information is reported to claims.
  3. Be sure that employee does not exceed restrictions or limitations, and communicate to the RTW Coordinator if there are any issues.
  4. Communicate, not less than weekly, with the RTW Coordinator, and immediately report any problems or concerns regarding the transitional work assignment.

Employee/Crew Responsibilities

Employees should understand the program, expectations and how their role impacts results. An employee can positively impact outcomes by reporting injuries immediately, cooperating with claims and health care provider staff, staying in touch with appropriate parties and being available for modified or transitional job assignments during their recovery.

  1. Follow procedures for reporting all injuries and illnesses immediately.
  2. Communicate/cooperate with manager’s/supervisor’s regarding ability to return to work.
  3. Cooperate with the health care provider regarding ability to return to work.
  4. Work within the physical capabilities outlined in the transitional duty plan by the health care provider.
  5. Abide by the work/safety rules.

Medical Provider Responsibilities

  1. Become familiar with the your operations, job demands and the transitional/light work duty program.
  2. Communicate both willingly and verbally, in writing, with RTW coordinator, Claims or manager/supervisor regarding employee status.
  3. Promote early return to work with injured employees by determining what the employee “CAN” do.
  4. Utilize organization’s forms provided to communicate status of employee so that the company can facilitate modifying or finding transitional work.
  5. Health care provider or staff provides the RTW Coordinator with a medical status update after each medical appointment and at the conclusion of the transitional work assignment period.