Supervisors play an important role at the time of injury and when an injured employee returns to work. Generally, they are first to be notified of an injury. How they react can set the tone for the entire injury claim process. They also deal directly with the injured employee when they return to work.
When a supervisor receives an injury report, he/she should always respond positively and follow company reporting procedures. If possible, they should assist the injured employee to medical treatment. Their role at this time is to solve the problem and not to assign blame.
During the recovery process, the supervisor should maintain communication with the injured employee and keep informed about the employee’s progress. It is always important to separate personnel problems from the worker’s compensation incident. A supervisor should reassure the employee about their recovery and return to work and make sure to refer any employee questions about benefits to the company worker’s compensation liaison.
When the injured employee is released with a partial work capacity, the supervisor should be fully informed of the employee’s restrictions. Modified duties should be fully explained to the employee, with an emphasis on progression to full duty and hours. The supervisor can help the employee develop a commitment to this process. It is important to make sure the employee complies with medical restrictions and notifies the personnel manager of any change in duties. Supervisors should welcome injured employees back to work.
With the help of well-trained supervisors, return to work will be a positive situation and this will help to develop a culture of timely return to modified and full duty work. In this way supervisors can help reduce job loss due to injury.