Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hold Your Tongue Around Recovering Injured Workers on Light Duty

Never assume an employee under your supervision who is recovering from an injury is faking his or her need for light duty. In fact, better not to even think it. Many injured people in their initial recovery period may demonstrate few signs of distress others can see. The injured worker may even have little or no pain. Your frustration at performing laborious tasks for your employee or even comments you make to coworkers may prompt you to question the legitimacy of light duty or for them to taunt or hassle the injured worker into performing essential duties that are temporarily prohibited. This can lead to re-injury. Recovering workers are vulnerable to these peer confrontations, even if non-verbally communicated by huffs and puffs, sighs, and side comments. Risk of another injury is high, together with an even longer recovery period and the costs associated with them.