When an employee is returning to work after an injury, it is important that the injured worker returns safely to work, without feeling pressured to do so prematurely. It is the employer’s duty to ensure the worker should be given sufficient time to recover.
Upon return, injured employees should be tasked with appropriate duties and assistance while they recover. This often includes making reasonable adjustments to the workplace or employee’s workstation, however these should not place the business under any unjustifiable hardship.
The employer should also consult with you, the treating doctor and your insurer about effectively managing the injury, and monitor your progress until you have fully recovered and can return to your regular duties.
Employees who have an incapacity for work have responsibilities under the law to do what they can to return to work. These include;
- Making reasonable efforts to return to work in suitable or pre-injury employment conditions
- Actively participate in in planning for your return to work
- Attend any meetings arranged for your return to work
- Keep in regular contact with your employer, WorkSafe agent and occupational rehabilitation provider, whilst keeping them up to date on your progress and abilities to return to pre-injury employment
- Ask for help, more information or assistance if you need it
Prior to starting work, walk through the workplace with your employer and identify any potential hazards, whilst talking over any risk factors. Ensure you have a detailed outline from your treating doctor stating tasks that you can and cannot complete, and regularly monitor your injury or illness accordingly. If at any stage you feel your illness or injury is becoming worse as a result of your work or workplace, stop working immediately and notify both your employer and your treating doctor.