NSC Business and Industry Division news Return to work

Washington L&I publishes return-to-work toolkit for employers

Photo: Washington State Department of Labor & Industries

Tumwater, WA — A new toolkit from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries offers employers resources they can use to help injured employees return to work as soon as medically possible, aid worker recovery and prevent long-term disability while reducing the financial burden of workers’ compensation claims.

The Return to Work Toolkit is a collection of resources, forms and best practices that provide a step-by-step explanation for improving how workplace injuries and return-to-work opportunities are managed within an organization.

According to Washington L&I, the longer an employee remains off work, the more difficult it is for that person to return to their original job and income. A strong return-to-work program can help employees get back to work quickly and safely.

The toolkit features tips on what to do before and after an injury, addresses job modifications and pre-job accommodations, and provides examples of 11 different forms. Templates and samples provided include:

  • Return-to-work policy statement
  • Employee incident form
  • First five steps of return to work
  • Return-to-work checklist for supervisors
  • Supervisor incident investigation report
  • Sample letter for the attending provider
  • Sample light-duty and permanent-duty job offer letters
  • Claim contacts

Additionally, the toolkit includes a list of employee and owner/manager/supervisor responsibilities during the process, along with those of an organization’s return-to-work coordinator.

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