1) Clarify Medical Status
Contact your claims examiner or the doctor to determine what exactly are the employee’s medical needs and medical restrictions. Does the employee have temporary restrictions that prevent performance of the regular work duties?
2) Evaluate Your Work Processes
“Think Task, Not Job” Although many of your current “jobs” may require tasks that exceed the employee’s temporary medical restrictions, he or she may be able to perform many of the required tasks, despite the injury. Analyze all of your work activities, not just those included in the employee’s regular job. This will help to identify alternative tasks that bring value to your operation. You want to allow your employee to to safely transition back to full duties as part of the recovery process.
3) Formalize the Transitional Work Assignment
Once you have identified suitable tasks within the employee’s temporary restrictions, it is important to formalize the transitional work offer process. It is usually desirable to prepare a summary of the work tasks and physical demands of the transitional work assignment. This may be submitted to the doctor for medical authorization. Documenting the offer of transitional work in writing to the employee will clarify expectations and eliminate confusion.
4) Work Within Restrictions
Make sure that you and your supervisors carefully monitor the employee’s work to ensure that the temporary medical restrictions are maintained. It is important that the supervisor understand why you are providing a transitional work assignment, how it benefits your company and the employee, and the exact nature of the temporary medical restrictions.
5) Follow-up for Transition Back to Full Duty
Maintain regular contact with your claims specialist, the doctor and the employee to review medical status for changes in restrictions and/or release to regular duty work. If the employee’s condition prevents a return to full duty on a long term or permanent basis, depending on your jurisdiction, it may be necessary to take other steps to meet state legal requirements.