REDUCE THE IMPACT OF INJURIES IN YOUR WORKPLACE

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YOUR ORGANIZATION HAS A DEFINED RETURN-TO-WORK PROGRAM

Does your workplace have a return-to-work program?

 

  • Provide strong leadership and guidance, coupled with a positive collaboration between your employee and all the return-to-work partners.
  • Develop a return-to-work policy, as the first step to establishing your program.
  • Create a policy that is easily understood, outlines expectations and states commitments of both management and employees, and is signed by a senior leader .
  • Assign a return-to-work point person 
     

How do you let your employees know about the return-to-work program?

 

  • Involve them in the development
  • Include in orientation for new hires
  • Post policy on your intranet or bulletin board
  • Add topic to regularly scheduled safety talks
  • Discuss with a worker when injured
  • Order a return-to-work kit for your workplace

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YOU HAVE SUPPORTIVE AND ENGAGED MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS

Do managers and supervisors build a climate of trust, respect and compassion?

 

  • Provide training to supervisors and managers
  • Create a supportive work environment for employees
     

Are they supportive and engaged?

 

  • Educate them on process and roles
  • Promptly initiate the return-to-work process when an injury occurs
  • Call your employee to follow up after an injury and stay connected throughout their treatment process
  • Investigate the cause of the injury and take steps to ensure others aren’t at risk

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YOU USE DIRECT ACCESS TO HEALTH-CARE PROVIDERS

  • Encourage your employee to go directly to a physiotherapy or chiropractic assessment if you suspect a sprain or strain injury, so the healing process can begin right away.
  • Identify the nearest WCB-approved health-care provider and arrange for transportation, when appropriate, for the employee.

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FUNCTIONAL JOB DESCRIPTIONS ARE PROVIDED FOR ALL POSITIONS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION

  • A functional job description includes a physical demands analysis.
  • Provide copies to your health care provider. This will make it easier for them to match the worker’s abilities to job duties when considering their treatment plan.
  • Your WCB case worker or local health care provider can help you source an appropriate template or service to help you develop your functional job descriptions.

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YOUR CLAIMS SUBMISSIONS ARE ACCURATE AND TIMELY

  • Submiting claims fast and online through MyAccount means you and your employee can access the right service at the right time, so recovery can begin sooner. You can also send and receive messages and documents securely using secure messaging.
  • Monitor your company’s claim costs and progress in real-time at my-account.ns.ca.
  • Encourage your employee to sign up for WCB Online so they can monitor their claim process and payments, submit forms, send secure messages to their case worker, sign-up for direct deposit, and more.

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WHEN A WORKPLACE INJURY OCCURS, YOU REPORT IT IMMEDIATELY TO WCB NOVA SCOTIA

  • Communicate with them regularly about transitional duties, payroll, and return-to-work plans.
  • Get to know your WCB case management team. We want what’s best for both you and your worker and can support you in the return-to-work process.
  • If your employee misses time due to a workplace injury, providing payroll information through the WCB Injury Report will mean we can begin a worker’s claim and move  forward faster to support their return to your workplace.

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EVERY EMPLOYEE WITH A WORKPLACE INJURY HAS A PERSONALIZED RETURN-TO-WORK PLAN

  • Get your employee back to the work they did before their injury - that is the goal. A custom plan for your employee is the most important aspect of their safe and timely return-to-work.
  • The plan will be developed in close consultation with the health care provider, the WCB case worker, your employee, and you, the employer.
  • Keep your employee actively engaged in these discussions so they understand and take ownership of the plan.

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YOU UNDERSTAND THE CLAIMS APPEALS PROCESS

  • At any point, if you have questions or concerns about a claims decision or assessment matter, talk to us. If you still disagree with a decision after discussing it with your case worker, you may file an appeal.
  • The appeals process is not intended as a reconsideration of the entire claim. It exists to review specific errors or oversights in the claim decision, and appeals should be as specific as possible.
  • If at any time you receive new information regarding your claim decision or assessment matter, you may present this information to us.

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YOU IMMEDIATELY OFFER TRANSITIONAL DUTIES TO EMPLOYEES WITH WORKPLACE INJURIES

  • Transitional duties are temporary changes to a worker’s job tasks that match what a worker is functionally able to do.
  • The health care provider and worker should discuss transitional duties at the beginning of a treatment plan.
  • For workers unable to immediately return to their original job, transitional duties are critical to recovery. They contribute to valuable work, keep employees connected, and reduce the claims costs associated with lost time from work.
  • Transitional duties must be meaningful, productive and within the worker’s skills and abilities. When a worker returns to transitional duties, it’s your responsibility to work with them, in consultation with their health care provider and WCB case worker, to progressively increase duties as their ability improves.
  • Transitional duties should be as closely related to the original job as possible given the worker’s restrictions, and the transitional assignment should be short-term.
  • At the outset, the employee’s health care provider and WCB case worker will determine a date to return to regular duties. This is based on the injury and when the worker is physically able to return to their original job, and information from you, the employer, on what supports are available in the workplace during recovery.
     

Learn more about transitional duties.

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YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR DUTIES AS AN EMPLOYER TO OFFER ACCOMMODATION AND RE-EMPLOYMENT, AND THE PROGRAMS AVAILABLE FOR ASSISTANCE

  • If your workplace employs 20+ people, and an employee has a permanent injury or impairment, you must alter the work or the workplace to their needs, as long as it doesn’t cause you undue hardship. This is known as “Accommodation” and is a provision under the Workers’ Compensation Act of Nova Scotia. Not all workers with a permanent impairment require accommodation. Be sure to ask your WCB case worker for clarity.
  • If your workplace employs 20+ people, you must offer re-employment to an employee if they have been unable to work as a result of the injury and if they had been employed for 12 continuous months prior to the injury.
  • Vocational rehabilitation services are available for workers who may not be able to return to their previous occupation after an injury. Talk to your WCB case worker to learn about program requirements.
  • Ask your WCB case worker for advice about the best approach to re-employ and accommodate a worker in your company.