Return to work

More injured employees returning to work in Texas: report

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Photo: Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation

Austin, TX — The percentage of injured workers who returned to work within six months of an injury steadily rose about 5 points in Texas during a recent 11-year period, according to a recent report from the Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation.

Published in March, the report examines return-to-work outcomes in the state from 2007 to 2017, and includes percentages of workers who returned to work initially after an injury and who remained at work, as well as the average number of days away from work.

In 2017, 83% of injured workers returned to work within six months – up from 78% in 2007. The percentage held steady at 79 from 2008 to 2015 before rising to 80 in 2016. A similar percentage-point increase in return to work was found after one year post-injury, climbing to 91% from 87% over the course of the study.

Other key findings:

  • The agriculture industry experienced the largest percentage-point increase for workers returning after six months post-injury – to 80% in 2017 from 69% in 2007.
  • The largest gain among employers by size was found among those with 500 or more employees – increasing to 85% from 80% over the 11-year period.
  • Public administration workers (88%) had the highest current return-to-work percentage after six months.
  • Companies with 50-99 employees made no gain over the study period, while the arts/accommodation industry also showed no improvement.
  • The mining/utilities/construction industry (79%) had the lowest current return-to-work percentage after six months.

The percentage of workers who returned to work and remained for at least nine months – classified as sustained return to work – rose to 65% in 2016 from 60% in 2007. Agriculture workers (56%) had the lowest current sustained return-to-work percentage, while public administration employees (75%) ranked highest.

 

The median number of days away from work for injured workers dropped to 24 in 2017 from 27 in 2007, falling as low as 20 in 2009 and 2013.

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