Be prepared in the event of an injury, and identify these tasks when establishing your modified-duty program. Look for tasks currently being covered by employees or that need to be accomplished.
Answer these questions:
- What light-duty functions are part of our company’s daily tasks?
- What’s on our wish list of tasks to be accomplished?
Some examples may be light painting, light cleaning, sorting, packaging, filing, light delivery, light organizing, training new employees, inventory work, shredding and reception duties.
- Do we have any seasonal light-duty tasks?
- What light-duty tasks might be available for a few hours at a time?
- What light-duty tasks can be shared with other employees?
- Do we have any safety-related inspections that an injured employee could perform?
- As a result of their accident, could the injured employee recommend safety rules and guidelines?
Once you have a list of potential tasks, consider the physical requirements for each task. Then it will be easier to match the physical restrictions of an injured employee with the physical requirements of the modified-duty tasks. (Your claims adjuster can help you with any local regulatory requirements.)
The employee’s supervisor, human resources manager or workers’ compensation coordinator should make the modified-duty job offer to the employee. You may even want to make the offer in writing for documentation purposes. Most employees will be glad for the offer and will cooperate fully. If an employee is uncooperative or refuses the modified-duty job offer, contact your claims adjuster. A refusal to perform modified duty may be grounds for suspending the employee’s indemnity (wage replacement) benefits.