Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Study: Post-Injury Outreach Shortens Length of Absences

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Study: Post-Injury Outreach Shortens Length of Absences

Article excerpt

When it comes to driving down the costs associated with workers' compensation claims, close contact with supervisors and timely intervention strategies play a crucial role in getting injured and ill employees back on the job without a drop-off in morale.

According to a study presented at the 39th annual Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) conference last month in Atlanta, while workers report that employers have increased the number of prevention and return-to-work programs, outreach to injured workers is declining.

The study, co-sponsored by Intracorp, a national health care and disability management solutions provider in Philadelphia, and the Gallup Organization, polled more than 500 workers in 10 states who had experienced job-related injuries in the past three years. The findings concluded that the longer injured workers are away from work, the less likely they are to be contacted by a company representative. Contact such as visits, telephone calls, flowers and other personal contacts are interpreted by injured or ill workers as employers' genuine signs of concern.

According to Fred Scardellette, vice president of disability management product development and marketing for Intracorp, repercussions of neglect can be devastating. Employees who feel their needs have not been met or are not satisfied with their employer's treatment of them during their disability tend to have longer absences - in some cases twice as long as their more-satisfied counterparts.

Simple acts of concern, such as visiting injured workers or sending a card, have a significant positive impact on injured workers. …

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