For many people, a job is more than just a way to make money. Your job may provide a sense of stability. Any serious illness or injury that pulls you away from work can be jarring. You would like to return as soon as possible, but your condition may not allow it.
Studies show resuming work after surgery can be beneficial to the worker’s recuperation. The trickier side of that fact has to do with liabilities on the employer’s end. Damages could be inflicted upon the employer if an employee suffers a relapse from overexertion.
Time needs to be set aside to recover to a functioning state before even discussing a return to work. Within that period of time, you’ll need to make arrangements. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Issues regarding work-injury leave and return policies can be easily solved when the employer already has a good system in place. Participatory ergonomics is one such system.
The participatory ergonomics system is supported by several “stakeholders” within the company. Stakeholders can be anyone on and off your worksite who have a direct say in how long you can stay out of work. You are the primary stakeholder in your case followed by your immediate supervisors, human resource representative, health and safety managers, and any outside consultants.
Run Health Tests
Any job that involves heavy lifting is bound to wreak havoc on your joints and muscle tendons. When the pressure gets too much, you need to find out how much this sprain will set you back.
There are dozens of simple tests you can do at home that can determine the severity of your internal injury. If you think you pulled something while operating heavy machinery, then try doing a rotator cuff tear test. Choose from three simple “extend and hold” exercises. These will require the assistance of another person or, to be absolutely sure, your primary physician.
When an employee returns after a period of absence, there should be changes to their job function. A recuperating employee might be assigned a new role. Even then, you’ll still have work at a light pace.
Your doctor may suggest a list of light-duty restrictions. Make a copies of this list to keep with you and share with your shift supervisor. Document any actions from your employer that constitutes punishment or discrimination for your situation. Requests to exceed your light-duty responsibilities should be reported to a workers’ comp attorney.
Maintain Good Communication
Not all employee-employer relationships are created equal. Most employees are nervous about requesting their employers for medical leave. Chief among their concerns is the fear of being fired and replaced during their absence.
Without a strong line of communication, how will employers know how to adjust your work environment? Maintaining good communication supervisors and Human Resource personnel ensures your concerns will be handled fairly. If all goes well, you may be able to settle back in until you feel acclimated to your job again.
Take Safety Precautions
When you just came from a recent accident, going back to work can be challenging. This is because, in the workplace, one can be exposed to various hazards and slip and fall accidents. That’s why it’s crucial to take safety precautions when you’re in the workplace.
To better prepare yourself to get back to working full time, here are some safety tips to remember:
- Read your company policy on workplace safety precautions. Check existing guidelines, standard operating procedures, or safety protocols.
- Assess your workplace and make the necessary recommendations to your supervisor to ensure a safe working environment.
- Always wear protective gear, such as face mask and eyewear, most especially if you’re dealing with fluids or chemicals and exposed to a crowded workplace.
- Disinfect your desk and workstation, including your computer, and other devices you use in working.
- Keep enough supplies of alcohol, wipes, and toilet paper.
Now you know the impact of personal injury in your life. Regardless of the severity of your injuries, it’s vital to have open communication with your boss and colleagues. If possible, you can request an open forum or meeting to discuss how you can improve workplace safety.
A good employer will always accommodate such suggestions for the benefit of the employees and the company overall.
Protect Your Health
If you feel signs and symptoms of any medical condition, ensure you undergo a regular medical checkup and set an appointment with your doctor. Now more than ever, you must protect your health and make sure that you take all the necessary steps to keep your physical, mental, and emotional health in good condition.
By living a healthy lifestyle, you become more productive at work. Get enough rest and sleep, exercise regularly, and eat healthy foods. Also, you have less tardiness and absenteeism. This is a win-win situation for both employers and employees.
Revision 8.6.2020 – added content