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PROPERTY & CASUALTY
JUN 26, 2019
How to Prevent and Manage Workplace Injuries
The National Safety Council estimates that a worker is injured on the job every seven seconds and, in 2017 alone, 104 million work days were lost due to work-related injuries.
Injury prevention is key
Today’s workplace safety programs offer a variety of tips and strategies for keeping your workers injury-free. In fact, many employers are shifting from reactive risk mitigation to creating a culture of workplace safety that proactively prevents accidents and injury.
Companies also are using data captured in permitted pre-employment physicals to tailor their wellness programs to the specific needs of the employees.
Some companies are investing in wearable technology to monitor and track their workers’ activity. For example, a device on a worker’s tool belt can monitor movement and alert the worker if unsafe ergonomic activity occurs. The data from these wearables is available to management at all times via a dashboard. Workers can be trained on proper behavior to prevent injury, based on this data.
After-injury strategies can help
Even with proactive measures in place, injuries and accidents can still occur. Job-related injuries are costly for both the employer and the employee. That’s why companies are looking into additional strategies that have the added benefit of getting injured employees back to work sooner.
After an injury, workers may need physical therapy, occupational therapy or other rehabilitation before they are able to fully function in their jobs again. But rather than not working at all, they may be able to perform light-duty work for several weeks or months until they can return to their full job demands.
Early return-to-work programs provide opportunities for all parties — the employer, employee and medical providers — to coordinate and identify accommodations, modifications or light-duty work, and place workers in these modified assignments. This helps workers be productive while completing their treatment plans. Workers who perform light-duty work while recovering are generally more optimistic about their injury and are less likely to develop further injury from lack of use.
Case management is another strategy to help employees return to work sooner. For example, Amerisure uses nurse case managers to coordinate the claims process between the insured company and its injured workers, which helps expedite the treatment process. A nurse case manager also creates a direct, open line of communication between all parties.
Case managers review the injured worker’s job description and connect with the doctors to evaluate the worker’s capabilities. They stay in touch with the worker during treatment, and can connect the worker to necessary transportation, pharmacy and therapy programs.
Return-to-work and case management programs can be advantageous to a company’s business insurance plan. Talk with an
about your options.