By establishing a successful return to work (RTW) program, the University of Miami can reduce workers’ compensation costs, avoid rehire and retraining costs associated with employee turnover, reduce fraud, and promote employee health, morale, and well-being after an injury or occupational illness occurs. The RTW program also improves overall University departmental productivity and image.
The goal of the RTW program is to rehabilitate employees who experience a work related injury or occupational illness so that he/she can safely RTW as soon as possible. The success of the program promotes an employee’s return to employability and ultimately regular employment.
Some objectives of the RTW program are to preserve am employee’s pre-injury earning capacity, reduce the period of disability, avoid the negative effects of long term absences from work, and to improve the physical, social, and psychological well being of the employee affected by the University’s workers’ compensation program. These all help to maintain the employee’s dignity and self-esteem.
Some work/employment options that administrators/supervisors have within the RTW program can include:
1. Graduated return to work: permits an employee to gradually and safely resume employment through a steady progression of hours and/or duties tailored to the needs of the individual.
2. Modified duty: the modification of a job, task, function, or combination of tasks or functions, and the alteration in duties, hours, or expectations related to a certain position or job so that the employee may reasonably be able to perform the duties.
3. Work site modification: any and all modifications to a work site, job, or tasks that will accommodate an employee’s abilities and/or functional limitations.
¨ Try to be flexible so that the department can accommodate a variety of different work situations.
¨ Ensure that the work is meaningful and of value to the University’s function, yet still falls within the medical restrictions and physical limitations.
¨ Ensure that the employee knows that he/she is expected to participate in the RTW program and that the University will do everything possible to assist with the process.
¨ Get feedback from everyone involved in the RTW process.