Prevention/Return to Work-Information for Supervisors
The University of Iowa is committed to providing a safe work environment. Prevention is the key to making this happen.
Preventing workplace injuries and illness is the responsibility of everyone at the workplace. When injuries and illness do occur, however, it is important for the supervisor/HR unit representative and injured worker to focus on getting the employee back to safe and productive work as soon as medically possible. Coordinated education and assistance is available to department supervisors, HR unit representatives and injured employees on how to effectively incorporate an injured employee into the workplace.
Accidents can occur even in the safest workplace, but what can be done to help prevent future workplace injuries?
- Management commitment/assignment of responsibilities
- Safety communications system with employees
- System for assuring employee compliance with safe work practices
- Accident investigation
- Procedures for correcting unsafe/ unhealthy conditions
- Safety and health training and instruction
What are the benefits of returning your employee to work in a timely manner?
- Less disruption to normal routine
- Controlled environment prevents re-injury
- Preserves leave time which may have been used to supplement
- Positive influence on peers during recuperation
- Realizes value to the organization
- Focuses on abilities instead of disability
- Productive uses of abilities promotes self-esteem
- Prevents secondary disability
- Retaining a trained and knowledgeable employee
- Displaying a commitment to the wellbeing of the workplace
- Saves money spent on hiring temporaries
- Promotes positive employee morale in the work place
- Utilize recovery period to maintain productivity
- Illustrates value of employee to the work place
- Promotes employee return to the work force
- Promotes cross-training
- Minimizes potential for adversarial relationship
- Lower medical costs
- Decrease costs for lost work days
- Maximizing productivity will promote positive feedback
- Minimizes case management
- Promotes communication vs. litigation
- Maximizes communication with injured employee
- Minimizes short- and long-term disability cases
- Promotes compliance with ADA View as addition to employee benefits package
What can you do to stay involved while your employee is out on a work related injury?
- Maintain ongoing communication with injured workers who are at home, show genuine concern.
- Set aside time to discuss the PSR’s when the employee brings them in.
- Stress return to work as an employee benefit.
What can you do as an employer to accommodate an employee with restrictions?
- Workstation modification
- Job redesign
- Flexible schedule
- Building modifications
Studies have shown that injured workers recover faster if they continue to work in some capacity instead of sitting at home.
Remember: Focus on what the employee can do rather than those tasks he or she cannot perform.
Organizational Information and Resources
The following resources can assist in promoting and supporting a healthy environment for employees.
- Safe Work Environment
- UI Wellness
- Faculty and Staff Services
- UI Ergonomics Program or OSHA Computer Workstations
Education and Training
Health Protection Office
- Ergonomic Training for Computer Work Stations
NOTE: Click on the above links to access ICON training courses through the Employee Self Service website; next click on “My Training” in the Learning and Development area; then click on “available ICON courses.”
UI Learning and Development
- Provides a variety of classes and resources for University faculty and staff, in addition to orientation for new employees.
Individual Information and Resources
Good health is vital for preventing injury and illness. UI Wellness is the faculty and staff wellness program at The University of Iowa that provides you with opportunities to improve your personal health and wellness.
UI Wellness has compiled the Employee Health and Wellness Resource Guide that provides you with information on the various internal resources available on the UI campus. Areas covered in the guide include nutrition and weight management, physical activity, stress management, personal safety and smoking cessation resources.