It has been a long road to recovery, but you are finally ready to return to work. You have been through physical therapy, occupational therapy, and countless doctor appointments, but you feel good and ready to get back on your feet. Returning to work after an injury can be difficult, but with these five tips, you can make the transition as smooth as possible and reduce your chances of re-injury.
1. Talk With Your Doctor
Before going back to work, check in with your doctor or doctors to ensure that you are healing on track and are cleared to go back to work. While most individuals will have a straightforward recovery, you want to ensure that you do not prematurely return to work and increase your chances of reinjury on the job.
When checking in with your doctor, ask about any aftercare that requires in-person check-ins, such as further testing, routine follow-ups, and continued treatments. You will want to note the dates for these check-ins so that you can inform your employer ahead of time and adjust your schedule as needed.
2. Implement Necessary Accommodations
Talk with your doctors and employer about necessary accommodations before returning to work. Some workplace accommodations may include scheduling shorter weeks to allow for recovery, switching job responsibilities to minimize time spent on your feet or doing hard manual labor, maximizing time spent sitting or stationary, or adjusting work duties to prevent overworking.
Once accommodations have been made, document whether or not the agreed-upon accommodations are implemented in your workplace. If they have not, and your employer fails to correct the issue, speaking with an attorney may be your best next step to ensure your safety and recovery.
3. Communicate With Your Employer
Keep an open line of communication with your employer to ensure they are informed on how you are doing, what your recovery timeline looks like, and any sudden changes they need to account for. While it might be challenging to tell your employer that you need more time to heal or that you are struggling through the physical demands of your job, there is no shame in advocating for your health and safe recovery.
4. Know Your Limits
Once you return to work, make sure you listen to your body and take breaks as needed. Avoid overworking to compensate for your injury or “working through the pain.” Overworking can lead to reinjury, resulting in more severe injuries and often more lengthy recovery periods. Ease back into your work duties, and understand that you will likely need more time to complete your tasks than before your injury.
5. Be Aware of Work-Injury-Related PTSD
Returning to a location where you were severely injured and experienced emotional distress can be challenging and overwhelming. Work-injury-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is not uncommon and can cause various emotional, mental, and physical symptoms. Make sure that you are mindful of your mental health and any new or worsening symptoms.
Injured at Work? We Can Help.
An estimated 1.8 million workers sustained work-related injuries and were treated in emergency departments in 2020 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While work-related injuries are relatively common, cases can be complex and tricky to navigate. Having an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on your side can make a crucial difference in getting the justice you deserve. No matter your needs, you can rely on Glauber Berenson Vego to take care of you.
Contact us today at (626) 605-2450 for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Glendale workers’ compensation lawyers, or fill out this short form.