Return to Work Programs Bureau of Workers Comp

Return to Work Programs Bureau of Workers Comp

Return to Work Programs Bureau of Workers Comp PA Training for Health & Safety (PATHS) Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act 57 PPT-064-01 1 Return to Work Program Defined: A program designed to restore injured workers to their former lifestyle in the safest and most effective manner possible. A planned and

coordinated program among workers, union reps, employers and health care providers. Return To Work PPT-064-01 2 Return to Work Program GOALS: - Return an employee to full time work - Reduce costs due to lost time

- Adopt best practices One program found, RTW programs save about 30% to 40% of Workers Compensation indemnity payments. PPT-064-01 3 RTW Programs An RTW Program Must Consider Applicable Regulations such as: Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act 57 where pertinent: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 1990

Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 and Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 with 2009 updates. PPT-064-01 4 PA Workers Comp PA Workers Compensation Act, Section 306(B) (2) indicates the employer has a method showing it has sought alternative work in their organization and having found such, has offered this work to the

employee or determined alternative work is not available PPT-064-01 5 ADA of 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 1990 Requires employers provide reasonable accommodation to qualified persons. ADA 1990 Defines Employer as: All private and public employers With 15 or more employees In each working day

In each of 20 or more calendar weeks In the current or preceding year PPT-064-01 6 Disability: ADA Defined ADA Defines a Disability as: - Physical or mental impairment that affects the performance of a major life activity, to include work

- A history of such impairment - Perceived as having such an impairment Does NOT include temporary condition or impairmentPPT-064-01 7 ADA Amendments Act ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) Retains the intent of ADA but changes interpretations: - Directed EEOC to revise regulations defining substantially limits - Expand major life activities

- Mitigating measures other than ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses shall not be considered in assessing if a person has a disability PPT-064-01 8 ADAAA - Episodic impairments or those in remission are a disability if they substantially limit a major life activity when active - Providing a person subjected to an action prohibited by ADA (e.g., failure to hire) due to an actual or perceived impairment will meet

the regarded as definition of disability unless impairment is transitory PPT-064-01 9 ADAAA Those under regarded as are not entitled to reasonable accommodation Definition of disability should be interpreted broadly Employers are required to follow the intent of ADA

SHRM, Society for Human Resource Management (www.shrm.org) PPT-064-01 10 ADAAA Compliance Steps - ADA training: supervisors & managers - Flexible accommodation process, consistent, reasonable - Review/modify policies and job descriptions Ensure essential job functions Procedures re: accommodation and treatment PPT-064-01

11 Family & Medical Leave Act 1993 FMLA addresses: - Needs of work force - Development of high performance organizations GOALS: - Recognize workplace demands and family needs - Preserve family integrity - Economic security and family stability

PPT-064-01 12 Why Return To Work Programs? To restore injured worker to former lifestyle Partnership between: - Workers - Union - Employers - Health care providers PPT-064-01

13 Full Potential Realized By: Reducing financial burdens to - Employers - Workers - Workers families Reducing negative effects due to time off work Unions protect rights of their members Specialized plans by health care provider Support primary care provider in RTW decision PPT-064-01 14

Effective RTW Plan - Supported by top management - Management recognizes plans value: - Tangible (cost containment) - Intangible (employee dedication) PPT-064-01 15 Costs of Absence

To Workforce: - Replacement workers - Increased benefit costs - Loss of potential income To Employer - Production recovery - Quality/hiring of replacement workers - Lower Morale PPT-064-01 16 Costs of Absence To Employer

Increased training costs Overtime Non-productive work time (accidents) Increased premiums Other non-recoverable costs PPT-064-01 17 Benefits of RTW Employer Injured Worker Co-Workers

Union Health Care Professional Family Support Networks: - Consultants - Community - Friends PPT-064-01 18 Safe Environment Creating a Safe Environment - Safety Inspection - Housekeeping Rules

- Hazard Identification PPT-064-01 19 General Safety Rules General Safety Rules Address: Behaviors Environment Hazards Equipment PPE Reporting of Accidents, incidents, conditions

PPT-064-01 20 Accident Investigation Determine direct cause Prevent similar future occurrences Document facts Provide cost data Reinforce joint labormanagement safety commitment Determine corrective actions PPT-064-01

21 Accident Investigation General Steps: Survey the scene Respond to emergency Secure the area Gather evidence: photos, interviews Analyze information-write report Recommend changes/implement corrective action Follow-up PPT-064-01

22 RTW Program: (9 Steps) Developing a RTW Program Step 1: RTW Committee (or Disability Management Team) Step 2: Policy Statement Step 3: Develop Provider Panel Step 4: Job Task Analysis Step 5: Alternate Work Assignments Step 6: Provider Form Step 7: Communicate Policy to Workforce Step 8: Educate Workforce Step 9: Stakeholder Responsibilities PPT-064-01

23 Step 1: RTW Committee Or Disability Management Team (DMT) Establish workplace policy Guide/monitor program administration Case management Direct injured workers recovery to full time employment Evaluate job positions to improve loss prevention and safety Union shop = Rep on committee Confidentiality of employee information (HR rep only)

PPT-064-01 24 Step 1: RTW Committee Step 1: RTW Committee Transition-to-Work (TTW) is a joint effort with DMT Those for whom plan is designed should have input

1. Supervisor meets with injured party after injury and maintains contact with party or family until ready to return PPT-064-01 25 Step 1: RTW Committee Transition to Work 2. Ready to return: injured works with management to create a plan toward full time work 3. Time returned increases until party is

full time again PPT-064-01 26 Step 1: Management and workforce reps Develop strategy to communicate support and commitment Union requirements viewed if applicable PPT-064-01

27 Step 1: Employee Rep Provides information about union requirements of modified duties Monitors and assists in creating temporary accommodation positions Acts on behalf of the worker in matters of seniority and job assignments Acts as liaison to workforce by keeping co-workers

informed on committee progress PPT-064-01 28 Step 1: HR or Safety Staff Direct case activities Allocate resources to modify tasks or work sites Coordinates final arrangements for alternative work Monitors injured workers progress PPT-064-01

29 Step 1: Health Care Rep Provider or occupational health nurse Volunteer from company WC panel Direct medical rep would be good asset - Form format - Questions - Follow-up advice PPT-064-01

30 Step 2: RTW Policy Statement Philosophy based on: Workforce involvement of Management, supervisors, workers Establish joint employee/management committee Treat injured/ill with dignity, consideration and respect Commit to support injured workers medical treatment Focus on persons capabilities-not disabilities Commit to return worker to original job Mandatory participation by labor and management PPT-064-01 31

Step 3: Develop Provider Panel Provide written notice to injured of their rights (34 Pa. Code, Section 127.755) Employee free to choose any provider on list Emergency treatment not required from list After emergency, employee shall seek treatment from list No list? Employee can chose treatment from any provider PPT-064-01 32 Step 3: Step 3: Designated Health Care

Provider List Must contain at least six (6) providers Three (3) of the six (6) must be physicians No more than four (4) may be coordinated care organizations Each provider, on list, must include: - Name Address Telephone number Area of medical specialty PPT-064-01

33 Step 3: Health Care Provider List Step 3: Designated Health Care Provider List Listed providers must be: Geographically accessible Specialties appropriate for anticipated work-related medical problems of employees. PPT-064-01

34 Step 4: Job Task Analysis Assess workstation and job design functions: Loss prevention Identification of alternate work assignments Eliminate hazards Identify risky jobs and redesign Avoid accidents before they occur PPT-064-01 35

Step 4: Step 4: Identifying Alternate Work Assignments Managers and workers review existing job descriptions Perform Job Task Analysis (JTA)using task analysis checklist Checklist: Identify root cause of unsafe conditions Prioritize and address worst problems Make hazard prevention a priority Provide information to health care provider treating injured Determine job modifications PPT-064-01 36

Step 4: Questions During JTA Activities involved Physical functions required/ how frequently Duration Typical daily schedule Equipment and tools required/how used/ postures involved Skills required Weights lifted/how often PPT-064-01 37

Step 4: Questions Allow workers closest to activities to participate Conduct force/exertion tests for job JTA drafted, have employee sign off before injury occurs Keep JTA up to date, review often PPT-064-01 38 Step 5

Step 5: Alternate Work Assignments Designed to accommodate limitations; restrictions temporary or permanent Modify injured workers original job Reduce hours or combine other tasks Ask: What tasks could worker perform? What tasks now need to be done more frequently? What tasks could be assigned to others? Ensure prevention of re-injury

During recovery, emphasize capabilities PPT-064-01 39 Step 6: Provider Form Step 6: Provider Form So injured can inform treating provider of RTW program Identify information required for needs Consult medical reps on RTW committee PPT-064-01

40 Step 7: Communicate Policy To Workforce in writing Statement: signed/dated by employee and filed in personnel file If union, first confer with union before posting new policy Post in visible area of workplace PPT-064-01 41

Step 8: Educate Workforce Ensure all are aware of RTW principles & practices Educate supervisors and co-workers of returning injured workers needs Inform all employees of RTW benefits: Employee orientation to explain RTW program Provide continuing education

Display mission statement/policy Include information in employee newsletter Sensitivity training to aid co-workers understand Support/education to injured workers family RTW team: educate injured workers on new tasks or modified jobs PPT-064-01 42 Step 9 Step 9: Inform Stakeholder of Responsibilities After injury, develop and manage individual RTW plan

Responsibilities for: - Employer - Health Care Providers - Injured Worker - Union or Worker rep PPT-064-01 43 Step 9 Step 9: Employer Responsibilities Provide worker and family support Maintain fact-finding not

fault finding during investigation Review report and address job related issues Develop RTW plan Communicate return-to-work opportunities PPT-064-01 44 Step 9 Step 9: Employer Responsibilities Provide health care provider with accurate task list to assess workers suitability for a position Maintain communication with HCP and worker

about progress of individual Detailed job descriptions and make temporary and permanent accommodations Monitor injured workers progress during treatment and upon return PPT-064-01 45 Step 9 Step 9: Health Care Provider Team approach Treat all effects of injury; and possible psychological impact

Initially, identify appropriate treatment; make realistic prognosis when worker will be able to RTW PPT-064-01 46 Step 9 Step 9: Health Care Provider Focus on workers recovery; advise worker and employer

when a RTW is medically appropriate PPT-064-01 47 Step 9 Step 9: Health Care Provider Contribute medical knowledge to RTW plan Identify other inhibiting factors to workers return Communicate any potential

workplace risks effecting return to work; follow-up with prompt intervention Tailor each treatment plan to be medically appropriate PPT-064-01 48 Step 9 Step 9: Injured Worker Obtain medical treatment Influence design of the individual plan

Follow treatment plan Keep regular contact with employer to inform of progress and needs PPT-064-01 49 Step 9 Step 9: Union or Worker Rep Work with employer and worker to develop appropriate work plan Represent injured worker: - Job security

- Appropriate treatment - Re-employment assignments PPT-064-01 50 RTW Essential Elements Set up list of clear steps followed after an injury Set up communication lines with Health Care Provider, management and union Set up contact schedule to monitor progress with worker

PPT-064-01 51 RTW Essential Elements Evaluate/enhance RTW program regularly Have RTW as part of benefit package Identify some RTW opportunities before theyre needed

PPT-064-01 52 RTW Essential Elements Positive/flexible; focus on capabilities not disabilities Use accommodation methods: - Videos in job modification - Workplace redesign - Rehab efforts Promote cooperative environment Maintain contact with all partners Ensure RTW tasks appropriate to workers capabilities Injured worker assists in identifying suitable work PPT-064-01

53 Ability to Return to Work Notice of Ability to Return to Work The notice of ability to return to work must be given promptly upon receipt of medical evidence that the employee is able to return to work. (Form LIBC-757) FORM LIBC-757 PPT-064-01 54

Notice of Ability to Return to Work [27.40] section 306(b)(3), 77 P.S. 512(3), provides: If insurer receives medical evidence the employee is able to return to work in any capacity, then the insurer must provide prompt written notice, on a form prescribed by the Department, to the employee, that states all of the following: - Nature of employees physical condition or change of condition, PPT-064-01 55

Notice of Ability to Return to Work - That the employee has an obligation to look for available employment, - That proof of available employment opportunities may jeopardize the employees right to receipt of ongoing benefits, and - That the employee has the right to consult with an attorney in order to obtain evidence to challenge the insurers contentions. PPT-064-01 56

Summary A Return to Work Program is: A program designed to restore injured workers to their former lifestyle in the safest and most effective manner possible. A planned and coordinated program among workers, union reps, employers and health care providers. PPT-064-01 57 Program Success: (9 Steps)

RTW Program Success Depends on: Step 1: RTW Committee (or Team) Step 2: Policy Statement Step 3: Develop Provider Panel Step 4: Job Task Analysis Step 5: Alternate Work Assignments Step 6: Provider Form Step 7: Communicate Policy to Workforce Step 8: Educate Workforce Step 9: Stakeholder Responsibilities PPT-064-01 58 Contact Information

To contact a Health & Safety Training Specialist: Bureau of Workers Compensation 1171 South Cameron Street Room 324 Harrisburg, PA 17104-2501 717-772-1635 [email protected] Like us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/BWCPATHS PPT-064-01 59 Questions? PPT-064-01

60 Website To download the Return-to-Work Program, go to: http://www.dli.pa.gov/Businesses/Compensation/workplace -commsafety/ReturnToWork/Documents/return-to-work_full_version.pdf NOTE: RTW Program starts on Page 30 RTW al Manu PPT-064-01

RTW am Progr 61

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