Returning to Work After an Accident or Injury

If you are returning to work after a long lay-off due to an accident or injury you have suffered it can be a daunting experience. Your confidence may have taken a knock which might lead you to start worrying about whether or not you can still do the job, if your desk or space might now be occupied by somebody else, whether or not your old work colleagues will still be there or if there are new faces on the team.

However, a good boss will have usually be in touch from time to time whilst you’ve been recuperating and this will have enabled you to find out what’s been going on, any changes there might have been and just allows you to stay in touch so that most, if not all, of your fears will be allayed.

Once You Return to Work

Once you’re fit enough to go back to work, you’ll usually be asked to attend a meeting with your employer or supervisor. This need not be formal and shouldn’t cause you to panic. These meetings are standard procedure and are designed to welcome you back, to find out how you’re feeling and to discuss any health related issues you might still have and whether or not you require any workplace adjustments to be made e.g. if you’re experiencing physical mobility difficulties or have become Disabled. However, if your accident or injury has resulted in severe mobility problems, your employer will probably have known about this in advance and the necessary adjustments will have been made before your return in order to make the return less stressful for you.

Other Adjustments that Should be Considered

Most employers understand the importance of retaining the skills, personal qualities and experience of their workforce so they will want to do everything they can to make your return to work run as smoothly as possible.

As well as adjusting aspects of the environment to aid you with your mobility, it may well be that you have other issues of concern which they can also assist you with. This can include allowing you a phased return to work. Instead of working full-time, perhaps you might be able to come back one or two days a week for a few weeks to let you get settled back into your routine without being under too much pressure.

Your workload could be made lighter also. Your employer will also structure your Working Hours so that you can attend any rehabilitation programs you may be attending at hospital or elsewhere and many employers will also have an Occupational Therapist who can also offer you advice and assistance.

Other Issues

The most important thing is that you have a good dialogue with your supervisor or employer. It’s only by understanding the exact state of your health upon your return to work that they can do all they possibly can to help you so you need to feel able to talk quite openly with them about any physical or psychological problems you may be experiencing. They will not be expecting you to come back raring to go like Superman!

It may take some time before you feel you’re able to perform your role as you used to. In some instances, a disability may prevent you from doing exactly the same job as you were previously so, if you’re open to the idea, a good employer will often try to find a role which you can cope with and which suits you personally.

There is no time limit set on recovering from an accident or injury. Medication and ongoing rehabilitation treatment can affect stamina levels and induce mood swings and your employer should be made aware of that in order to give you as much time as possible to return to full-health.

Last Updated on 9 August 2021

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