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Injured workers in Texas returning to work faster


The average number of days away from work among injured employees in Texas has decreased over time, according to a new report by the Texas Department of Insurance's Workers' Compensation Research and Evaluation Group.

On average, injured employees in Texas returned to work after 37 days in 2013, down from an average of 47 days in 2012 and 51 days in 2011, 2010 and 2009, according to “Return to Work in the Texas Workers' Compensation System,” released by the department Tuesday.

Requiring the most days away from work were back, neck and shoulder injuries — with back injuries taking an average of 53 days, neck injuries taking 56, and shoulder injuries taking 57, the report states.

Injuries to the lower and upper extremities, on the other hand, required the fewest number of days away from work, at 45 and 43, respectively.

The report found that injured employees who are 60 and older returned to work faster than workers in any other age bracket.

While employees 60 and older returned to work within 38 days, the 40-to-49 age group returned to work within 46 days on average.

And female employees returned to work an average of nine days faster than male employees, according to the report.

The department studied 277,246 employees injured from 2009 through 2013 who received temporary income benefits.

A spokesman for the department said 2005 workers comp reforms, which include return to work guidelines, contributed to the improvements in return to work rates.

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