Work injuries can impact anyone regardless of the type of work they do. In Ohio, they can happen to office workers, people who have sedentary jobs and those who will generally not be at significant risk of injury from their work. However, many injuries happen to people in jobs that involve heavy lifting, placing themselves in harm’s way and in situations where there is potential risk.
Workers’ compensation benefits are available for any Ohio worker who is hurt, needs medical treatment and cannot do their current job. The objective is to help them to recover and get back to sufficient fitness so that they can do what they did previously. Unfortunately, there are some injuries that prevent a worker from returning even if they incrementally improve. It is imperative to know the options if a person can no longer do the job they did before.
What are the options with returning to work?
An example of a worker whose injuries prevent them from doing what they did before is a construction worker who suffered a back injury. Since most construction tasks require physical labor, this can stop them from performing all the duties inherent in the job. In situations like this, the worker can potentially be given other types of work.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation can accommodate people who cannot return to their old job right away. The plan will be specifically designed to address the person’s limited abilities whether that is for the short or long term. Based on their capacity, they can be given transitional work, modified work, light duty or alternative work.
Transitional work incrementally lets the worker get back on the job at a level they can withstand. The objective is to slowly let them increase their workload based on how they are progressing from their injuries.
Modified work removes the duties their injuries are preventing them from doing. For the construction worker example, perhaps the worker is trained in operating equipment but cannot do any heavy lifting. This could be beneficial to the employer while giving the worker the chance to get back on the job.
Light duty is given based on what the worker can do. For those whose physical capabilities are significantly diminished, this type of work could be given to them permanently, if it is available.
Alternative work is a different job entirely if the person cannot do their old job. Experienced construction workers could be placed in a supervisory role where they are no longer asked to do heavy lifting and arduous tasks.
Workers’ compensation can accommodate a worker’s abilities
People who were injured on the job or suffered a condition from their work need to be fully cognizant of their options with workers’ compensation benefits and how they can maximize their medical improvement. In cases where they cannot get back to any type of work, they might be able to get Social Security Disability income.
It is essential for those in this situation to have assistance with their case. Workers’ compensation might seem relatively clear when dealing with the employer and the insurer, but there is nuance, especially if there are areas of dispute. Consulting with professionals who have extensive experience, handle every case personally and will do whatever possible to maximize the benefits and protect the injured worker is key.