After conducting an extensive two-year trial program, a major urban hospital discovered that early intervention drastically reduced the costs associated with workplace injuries. The findings were striking: early intervention slashed cumulative costs by 56%, lowered the number of compensation claims by 43% and decreased the number of absentee days from 1,600 to 200.
There are several proven strategies that employers can implement if they wish to achieve similar results:
- Establishing an arrangement that allows sick employees to return to working life incrementally, adding additional tasks as allowed by the worker’s medical treatment plan
- Removing any risks that could lead to harm, and urging employees to report injuries early
- Developing any workplace accommodations needed upon the employee’s return
- Fostering a relationship with injured workers, to ensure they maintain a desire to come back to the workplace
- Creating an understanding that rehabilitation is an organizational priority, and will be pursued regardless of the claims process outcome
While these initiatives can be costly, the return on investment is substantial. The hospital spent $22,500 in two years, but prevented over $500,000 in claims during the same time period.
“By saving this money, we have been able to invest in the core function of the business,” hospital CEO Martin Day said. “The result of the program has been quite profound.”
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An employee who misses a mere 20 days due to illness or injury only has a 70% chance of ever returning to work.