Balancing Employee Health and Safety with Company Goals

06.07.2012
HR & Safety

Michael Erdil, MD, FACOEM, medical director, OEHN Occupational Disability Solutions and Johnson Occupational Medicine Center

Establishing positive relationships between management, workers, and occupational health professionals is a critical but delicate workplace safety issue, mainly because of opportunities for suspicion and distrust. So what can your company do to avoid the miscommunications and frustrations that often impede an injured employee’s timely return to work?

According to Michael Erdil, MD, FACOEM, medical director, OEHN Occupational Disability Solutions and Johnson Occupational Medicine Center, and recent speaker at CBIA’s recent Annual Health and Safety Conference, you can:

  • Make your employees aware of your company’s commitment to their safety. Active health and safety committees show you take workplace safety seriously. So does considering all injuries and near misses as opportunities for improvement.
  • Meet with occupational health providers. Get an understanding of each other’s needs and discuss treatment plans, so communication breakdowns don’t occur.
  • Train your supervisors on how to respond to injured workers. You’ll avoid delays in injury reporting and reduce associated blame.
  • Develop temporary alternative work options. Getting an employee back to work: whether in their own position or a modified one: is best for re-establishing his or her routine and lowering your claim costs.
  • Let your injured employees participate in addressing barriers to returning to work. Help them overcome their fears with additional support from the company or medical professionals.

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