When considering Safety Professionals and the work we do, what most often comes to mind is prevention; hazard assessment, audits, safety meetings training, plans, and other actions that are designed to prevent incidents. There is, however, another side to what we do and that is to reduce the impact of an injury incident once it has occurred. The generic title for this is Post Injury Loss Reduction (PILR).
How to mitigate an incident after it has happened
There are quite a few ways that an organization can reduce the impact of an injury after it has occurred. The goals of PILR are as follows:
- Get a rapid diagnosis and accelerate the recovery of the injured worker
- Reduce or eliminate lost work-days
- Reduce or eliminate WCB Claims Costs
When PILR is done well, the company benefits from improved statistics (which can have an impact on procuring work) and reduced WCB costs. The worker benefits from quick access to high-quality medical care and support on the road to recovery. Truly a win-win situation!
How do Safety Professionals Help?
A good safety professional should be able to develop, launch and maintain a quality modified work program.
A modified work program allows a worker to return to their duties quickly with a plan that has been vetted and approved by a physician. This reduces or eliminates lost time days and can accelerate recovery.
For example, a worker with a leg injury might require seated work where they can elevate their leg. There might be clerical and training opportunities for them. The worker gets back to work quickly, allowing no interruption in pay, and may even learn some new marketable skills!
Professionals and Services to support Post Injury Loss Reduction
Safety Professionals are often a jack of all trades and can do a little of everything needed on a site. However, at times, it is important to seek out a specialist. Below is a list of professionals and services that provide support towards the goals of PILR:
Occupational Specialist Physician
Find a good Occupational Specialist Physician! A good occupational physician should be able to expedite tests and referrals to surgeons and other related health care. Having a go-to Physician that understands the type of work Safety Professionals does, can be of great benefit.
For example, the general public (physicians included) tends to associate construction with heavy work. The first tendency would be to say something like, “Well, you are a laborer, your job demands are significant and therefore I am putting you off work for several days”. On the other hand, if you have a physician that you have a relationship with, they can better understand your scope of work, including the modified work program you may have in place and the opportunities available for modified work.
Instead of immediately prescribing lost days, the physician works with the employee, employer, and the Safety Professional to design limitations and restrictions for work.
in some jurisdictions, you have the ability to book an MRI through a private clinic. MRI services are relatively inexpensive considering their benefits and can expedite treatment and recovery. An MRI quickly analyzes if the worker requires surgery or simply needs time to recover.
This benefits the worker, as surgical care can be booked quickly or, alternatively, the worker will be assured that the injury will heal with physiotherapy or minimal intervention other than time.
Having a physiotherapy provider that understands the work Safety Professionals provide is a benefit. Having someone that understands your scope of work gives trust that they will look after the best interests of the worker and provide a speedy recovery.
In addition, they may be able to recommend tasks that provide Physiotherapy while working! Having a good physiotherapist is a win for both employer and worker; good treatment means a reduction in pain, an increase in mobility, and an early return to work!
A WCB Consultant is often called in when there is:
- Disagreement with the WCB on the claim
- Claim cost
- Unusual circumstances or an extended recovery time.
A WCB consultant generally knows WCB policies in greater detail than the average safety professional and can help with applications for cost relief and appeals to the WCB or to the WCB Appeals Commission. A good WCB Consultant can reduce your claim costs and associated WCB premiums
We can help your Post Injury Loss Reduction treatment
As you can see, Post Injury Loss Reduction can be a complicated process for the uninitiated, however, there are huge benefits to it in terms of savings in WCB premiums, the better statistical outcome of injuries and reduction of pain, and the suffering and anxiety on the part of the injured worker.
Over the next four weeks, we will be running a series of blogs about Post Injury Loss Reduction. We have invited three industry professionals as guest bloggers to give us additional expertise and perspective. Dave Ferro Safety Ltd would like to thank them for their time and effort and we ask you to stay tuned to their expertise!
If you are in need of assistance with your Modified Work of other PILR initiatives you can certainly contact DF Safety for any of your safety or Post Injury Loss Reduction needs. We have the knowledge, experience, and allied professionals necessary to provide you with an effective program.