Return-to-Work: Controlling the hidden costs of workplace injuries

Injured workers who are off work for six months have only a 50 percent chance of ever returning to full employment. That is bad news for them and their employers.

Employers must pay overtime to other workers or hire extra help to make up for lost production. Meanwhile, injured workers who are idle tend to get depressed, stressed and bored. Their job skills suffer, along with their income.

A return-to-work process can help reduce the costs of workplace accidents for employers and injured workers. The process defines how injured workers, employers and health care providers will work together to get injured workers back on the job.