Worker recovery and return to work
Work-related disability is associated with many negative health and social outcomes including reduced quality of life, job loss, reduced lifetime income, injuries among family caregivers, and premature death. For example, a recent National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-funded study found that workers who suffer serious injuries requiring days away from work are more likely to die sooner than workers with injuries requiring only medical treatment.
Other studies have shown that the chances of returning to work drop dramatically the longer the worker remains away from work. While more serious diagnoses are associated with longer periods off work, minor diagnoses can also lead to disability if the recovery and return-to-work processes are not properly managed.
We are interested in learning from you about resources related to worker recovery and helping them return-to-work. To start the discussion, we have listed some resources below and we welcome your suggestions, as well as input on the following questions.
- What evidence-based resources exist?
- How can best practices be shared?
- What specific research is needed?
Worker Recovery Resources:
Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation (DFEC) POWER Initiative: The Protecting Our Workers and Ensuring Reemployment (POWER) Initiative collected and analyzed data on the causes and consequences of frequent or severe injury and illness among Federal employees, and identified effective safety and health management programs. This includes resources on achieving successful return-to-work of injured employees: