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Return-to-work programs are based on the philosophy that many employees can safely perform productive work during the recovery process. Return to work options can involve transitional duties (temporary work tasks that are meaningful and productive) and or a gradual return to work.
Until recently, health care providers in British Columbia had limited options when it came to helping patients get back to work. Injured workers could either return to full duty or not return to full duty there was no in-between. Today there are significant changes in return to work thinking. Return-to-work programs are now recognized as an important part of an injured worker's medical treatment plan and rehabilitative process.
Return-to-work programs benefit everyone in the workers' compensation system.
The return to work process may be initiated at the request of the employer, the injured worker, WorkSafeBC staff, or the injured worker's attending physician, any of whom can identify an opportunity for work as a part of recovery. Many individuals are available to assist the employer in developing an appropriate individual plan for their employee. The attending physician is available to consult with the employer regarding the restrictions and capabilities of their injured employee.
A safe and durable return-to-work plan is designed to accommodate the worker's capabilities. Staff at WorkSafeBC are available to work closely with the physician and the employer to assist in the planning, coordination, and monitoring of a return-to-work plan.
To find out more about return-to-work programs:
Preventing Needless Work Disability by Helping People Stay Employed (PDF 263kb)
Return to Work is Good Medicine (PDF 530kb)
Return to Work is Good Business (PDF 546kb)
Return to Work is Good Therapy (PDF 439kb)
The Physician's Role in Helping Patients Return to Work After an Illness or Injury (Update 2000) (PDF 39kb)
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