RTW Step 1: Put it in Writing

If you want to make something official, put it in writing.

Your birth certificate proves you exist. Your car title proves you own that shiny Mustang in the driveway. The Constitution of the United States proves you were born with certain inalienable rights.

Similarly, a written rtw process will show your employees you are serious about return-to-work.

In last week’s blog post, we explained what rtw is and why you should invest in it. This week, let’s take the first step by learning how to document the process. Start with a policy statement that:

  • Confirms your commitment to rtw
  • Explains your company’s rtw philosophy
  • Stresses the importance of safe operations, immediate medical care and returning injured employees to work

Share the policy statement with new hires, and post it on the bulletin board and other high-traffic areas as a reminder to current employees. Everyone should understand that if they get injured on the job, the company will do everything it can to help them get well and return to the team. Spell out every step in the process, from the time the injury happens to the time the employee returns to the job at full or modified duty. More on that in a future blog post.

For now, remember that rtw works best as a collaborative effort. Don’t dictate your program from the top down. Ask employees to help you develop the program and continuously improve it. If they feel a sense of ownership in rtw, they are more likely to embrace it.

Sample Policy Statement for the

Return-to-Work Process

(Company name) is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for our employees. Preventing injuries and illnesses is our primary objective.

If an employee is injured, we will use our return-to-work process to provide assistance. We will get immediate, appropriate medical attention for employees who are injured on the job, and we will attempt to create opportunities for them to return to safe, productive work as soon as medically reasonable.

Our ultimate goal is to return injured employees to their original jobs. If an injured employee is unable to perform all the tasks of the original job, we will make every effort to provide alternative productive work that meets the injured employee’s capabilities.

The support and participation of management and all employees are essential for the success of our return-to-work process.


2 Responses to RTW Step 1: Put it in Writing

  1. Good advice for large and small businesses.


  2. Pingback: RTW Step 2: Assess Job Tasks | Texas Mutual Insurance Company blog

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