Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Getting Injured Workers Back to Work

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Getting Injured Workers Back to Work

Article excerpt

Work-related injuries are very costly, both to the injured employee and the employer. The longer an injured worker is off the job, the more costly it becomes, monetarily, physically and emotionally.

It is to an employer's benefit to help injured employees get back to work as soon as possible, even if that means "light duty" assignments for a period.

An injured worker sitting at home doing nothing loses up to 30 percent of his or her body conditioning. However, the employee has perhaps even more responsibility to do everything possible to speed the healing process and prepare for return to work. A qualified occupational therapist can help you reduce the amount of time it takes an individual to heal and return to work. These are some suggestions for individuals who are recovering from various work-related injuries: * When injured, report it immediately. Don't assume you will get better without treatment. Often, that is not the case, and you may be causing more damage by working without protection, such as a splint. Also, your injury will be considered more credible if you report it at once, not a week later. * If you cannot work as a result of an injury, try not to eliminate activity completely. Discomfort is to be expected after an injury. Still, don't eliminate activities of daily living unless instructed to do so by your physician. * Avoid weight gain during recuperation. The pounds add up quickly when activity is reduced. Watch your diet and remain as active as possible. * Increase your water intake. This helps you avoid the weight gain, and also provides your body with essential fluids required for proper healing. Water is the main component in healing used by cells. * Perform diagnosis-specific stretches as given by your physical therapist. Be compliant with your exercise program on a regular basis. Continue these stretches after you return to work to avoid future injuries. …

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