What Is Injury Management and How Does It Benefit Workers?
In 2020, there were 2.7 million work-related injuries in the US. Private industry employers in Nevada reported 29,800 of these incidents.
This represents a rate of 3.2 cases per 100 full-time employees. Unfortunately, the state was one of 20 with a rate considerably higher than the national rate of 2.7.
Covid-related illnesses contributed greatly to this. It was the top reason for the year’s work-related illnesses. Overexertion, as well as trips, slips, and falls, followed closely. There are also several other causes of work-related injuries.
If you’re injured at work, injury management can help with your treatment and recovery. It aims to provide you with the healthcare services you need to get back to work. It even facilitates you safely performing work while you recover.
Read on to learn more about what it is and how you can benefit.
What is Injury Management?
Injury management is a well-organized, integrated process of activities and procedures. Each assist in getting injured workers what they need to return to work in a timely and safe manner. It includes the management of:
- Medical treatment
- Recovery and rehabilitation
- Resumption of work duties
- The relationships of the parties involved
The main philosophy of injury management is an effective recovery process. Crucial to this is the injured worker’s ability to perform tasks safely.
It also emphasizes the importance of them staying connected to the workplace. Both take place simultaneously during recovery.
Early intervention is important in facilitating faster recovery. It also helps with managing the claim in the most cost-effective manner.
Employers should have planned responses in place. These should be immediately initiated after an injury occurs.
An employer can then determine the extent of the worker’s injury. A proper assessment can also indicate if they can continue performing their duties.
If not, alternatives may include modified or different duties until complete recovery. The worker’s abilities, medical restrictions, and physical limitations are also considered.
Appropriate programs are also put in place for workers unable to perform any duties. These help to facilitate their return as soon as possible to safe and productive work.
A successful injury management program is interpersonal, dynamic, and collaborative. It should focus on the people involved and encourage positivity. It should also provide support at the workplace and facilitate open communication among stakeholders.
Benefits of Injury Management
Once effectively done, injury management has many benefits to all parties involved. These benefits include:
There’s open communication among all parties involved. This helps to ensure that everyone is up-to-date.
They’ll have a clear idea of the status of the worker’s injury, treatment, and ability to work. This facilitates better relations between the employer and employee.
Work injuries in 2020 cost the US over $160 billion. Almost $45 billion of it was a result of productivity losses and wages. The less time employees are away from work the lower this figure will be. Lower claim costs also have a positive effect on premiums.
If an employee is away from work for a shorter period, it reduces the length of time a replacement worker is needed. A replacement would also need training which can be costly.
Immediate treatment of a work injury can impact healing time. Injury management allows prompt treatment of injuries soon after they occur.
This also ensures treatment for all injured employees is consistent and fair. It also helps to facilitate speedier and total recovery.
Injury management also helps injured workers stay connected to the workplace. This allows them to maintain relationships with co-workers. It also means that there’s less disruption to their normal routine.
Being away from work for significant periods can have a negative effect. Staying in touch reduces this.
Who Should Be Involved?
As mentioned, injury management is a well-organized process. There are several key players involved to ensure this process runs smoothly.
It’s one of the reasons open communication is essential throughout the process. Each of the following has an important role to play and must be willing to take a collaborative approach to achieve success:
As an injured employee, you should be the central focus of the process. It helps when you take an active role in your recovery. The goal for all involved is for you take to get back to work as soon as possible.
Working towards this can boost your morale. It will help to motivate you through an otherwise stressful period.
However, you will ultimately know how you feel and your capabilities. Based on this, consider all the options available for you to return to work. It’s important to work with your employer and medical practitioner as you get to this stage.
In the event you can’t work, stay in contact with your employer. This will help them to know how your recovery is going.
Your employer should have regular communication with you. They will also liaise with your medical practitioner ensuring they have all the relevant information about your injury. This includes information about tasks and equipment at the workplace.
They should be willing to listen to your views. The most important of which is how you feel about your recovery and return to work.
Treating Medical Practitioner
Your medical practitioner should provide you with a diagnosis and a treatment plan. This will also involve pain management where needed. They will also guide you throughout the process and should provide whatever support you may need.
They should let you know what work tasks, if any, are strictly prohibited. This will assist your employer in identifying appropriate tasks. Your practitioner will continue to monitor your progress throughout the process and review your work activities.
The three roles above are the main parties involved. However, there are many other ancillary roles involved in the process. They include:
- Return to Work Coordinator
- Injury Management Coordinator
- Workplace Rehabilitation Provider
Each should have a clear understanding of their role. This can help them to fully participate in the injury management process.
Getting Back to Work Quickly and Safely
When a work accident occurs it can be painful and traumatic. It’s important to have as much support as possible as you recover. An injury management program can provide you with the support you need as well as help you manage an injury.
It involves a collaborative approach among various parties. The key is open communication so everyone is fully apprised of your progress. This helps get you back to work as quickly and as safely as possible.
Many facilities specialize in injury management for workers. Complete Injury Management is one of them. We have years of experience helping our patients recover. We can do the same for you too. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!