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Relationship, communication key to return-to-work success: Report


The relationship and communication between employers and their workers are at the heart of effective return-to-work programs, the National Council on Compensation Insurance said in a report issued Thursday.

Boca Raton, Florida-based NCCI surveyed employers in three business sectors — health care, education and construction — to gauge return-to-work best practices. The report is the second in a series on the subject; in April NCCI released a report on insurer perspectives when it comes to return to work, finding that, similarly, collaboration among stakeholders is key.    

Other commonalities include that “management commitment needs to be foundational within the employer’s culture” and that “communication of this commitment builds trust between employees and management,” according to Thursday’s report.

NCCI also found that setting clear expectations are key both before and after an injury occurs and that educating medical providers on occupational injuries and return-to-work programs is also vital.

It is also beneficial to have a single source of contact at the employer to coordinate the return-to-work program for the injured worker, medical providers and insurer. The employer should also create and maintain an inventory of light-duty or transitional tasks, according to the report.