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Advice for employers after a worker is injured on the job

There's an old saying that first impressions are the most lasting. That might well be true when it comes to meeting new people as well as when an employer makes an impression on a worker who has been injured on the job.

Experts say it is important for employers to show that they care about their employees' well-being and that doing so can help workers return to their jobs after they have suffered workplace injuries.

"Showing that you care about your employee's well-being, letting the individual know you are sorry that the injury happened, checking in frequently, and showing that you are there for them throughout the process will go a long way towards establishing trust," said a senior vice president in medical management.

Employers who demonstrate a lack of trust in an injured employee -- someone who is worried about being laid off or fired -- can expect worse outcomes, says the Workers Compensation Research Institute.

Those workers are more likely than employees who feel secure about their job status to hire attorneys to help them fight for full and fair workers' compensation benefits, the research shows. Of course, another way of looking at this is to consider that employees who feel secure about their jobs might well be working for companies less likely to fight workers' comp claims.

The director of the Center for Disability Research with an insurer notes that negative responses by supervisors to on-the-job injuries tend to lead to negative outcomes for employers.

"A lot of this comes down to how people perceive they're being treated and how they perceive they are being valued by the organizations," the director said.

Perhaps most important is that workers who are injured are able to receive the workers' comp benefits to which they are entitled. For those who are denied those benefits, a conversation with an experienced attorney can help make legal options clear.

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