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Easing injured workers back into their jobs

Employers are always eager to save money, but many are missing out on opportunities to do so, experts say. Employers who give injured workers light duties to help ease them back into their jobs after injuries can find their related costs reduced. They can save in workers' compensation expenses and training, while keeping their workforce productive.

Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that employees who miss six months of work due to injury are 50 percent likely to return to the same position, while an employee who has missed a year because of injury is 25 percent likely to return to their former position.

And when a worker has missed two years due to injury, the odds of him or her returning to their former position are nearly at zero, statistics indicate.

But light, return-to-work duties can help workers make that transition, says an assistant vice president of claims for a workers' comp insurer. “Every time I talk to an adjuster or an employer, they say, ‘This is what the person can’t do or this is what the restriction is,'" the VP said. "We want to have everyone focus on what they can do."

The director of risk management for a natural gas utility said that for some, “It’s hard to remember that most people don’t fake injuries.”

After an injury and recovery, some employees are eager to return to work but find that their employers don't have positions with modified duties.

Of course, it should be stated that these modified duties programs should not be used to compel workers to return before they are ready.

Injured employees find out far too often that their workers' compensation claim has been denied. An experienced workers' comp lawyer can help you fight for full and fair benefits.

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