Suffering a work injury that involves missed time from work can be challenging in many ways. Besides the physical injury, there is often an emotional component. Many feel isolated from co-workers, frustrated at having to stay home and embarrassed because they were hurt on the job. After you have an injury and are ready to return to work, here are some tips to avoid re-injury.
- Determine the root cause of the injury and put practices in place to make sure the incident doesn’t happen again.
- Encourage your employer to establish a light duty return to work program if one is not already in place. A return to work program is designed to help injured employees get back to work in a safe and timely manner and eventually become fully productive at their job of injury. Prolonged absences from work can increase the risk for additional injury.
- Work within your limitations. Don’t perform activities or work longer hours than those described in your work restrictions.
- Speak with your employer if you are concerned about re-injury. Request assistance from your employer and medical providers with goal setting for a safe and healthy return to work plan.
- Request an ergonomics evaluation. An in-depth job site evaluation can minimize or prevent re-injury to the individual and promote efficiency through the application of ergonomics.
- Keep an orderly workplace. Poor housekeeping can cause serious health and safety hazards.
- Participate in safety trainings. Fewer accidents are likely to occur if you have knowledge and skills required for doing a particular job.
- Adopt healthy habits such as adequate sleep and regular exercise.
- Accidents can happen when you take shortcuts. Make sure all instructions are clear and organized and avoid skipping steps.
- Apply the principles of accident prevention in your daily work and use proper safety devices and protective equipment.
The ultimate goal is to get you healthy and back on the job, restore your sense of purpose, and give you tools to avoid re-injury.