The first objective of transition light-duty positions is to return an injured employee to work quickly and safely. When implemented correctly, light-duty jobs enable injured employees to work while they continue to recover.

Light duty can also be used as an alternative form of rehabilitation therapy that provides the strengthening needed to return employees to their full-time jobs within a matter of weeks or months. Transitional jobs, and placement in them, should be done with care.

Did you know...workers who return to work faster, even in a job that is different from the one they usually perform, tend to recover more quickly and more fully than those that stay at home to recover. Workers often feel isolated at home, and typically the longer they remain out of the workplace, the harder it is for them to return at all.

Return to Work programs control claims costs:

  • Employers have effective tools for managing costs related to lost time.
  • Controls costs directly related to the injury.
  • Reduces the potential impact on the employer and the injured worker.
  • Employer attitude, motivation and cooperation have a great effect on controlling costs.
  • Prepares everyone ahead of time in the event of an injury.
  • Early return to work becomes an expectation for both employers and employees.

Return to Work Job Offers
When an employer receives a DWC73 (Work Status Report Form) notifying them that the employee's status has changed, a bona fide job offer can be extended to the employee matching the restrictions set by the doctor. The DWC is very particular about how this should be done; any deviation at all and the DWC will rule that an offer was not extended. Contact your claims representative for detailed rules and regulations.

A bona fide offer lets the employee know there is a job available within their medical restrictions. If the employee accepts the job, he/she will return to work and everyone wins. If the employee does not accept the job, then the employer is entitled to take credit for what would have been paid to the employee had he/she returned.