Getting hurt while working comes with a lot to deal with beyond just simply healing. Getting back to work is one such situation that can be difficult. You need to work, but you certainly don’t want to go back too soon or do something that will cause you to re-injure yourself. A doctor should be outlining when you can go back to work, and what type of work you can do. Here’s what you need to know about work restrictions.
What Your Employer Must do
Upon your return to work, your employer is supposed to follow any work restrictions provided by your doctor. They are also supposed to make sure you do not work outside those restrictions, or provide you with alternate duties that will not cause a re-injury. That doesn't mean they always will, or do. You have to remember that you have to look out for you. Often times, that's why you need an attorney. You need someone to stand with you.
What Injured Workers Must Do
First off, you must get medical attention right away after you are injured. At the doctor’s make sure to advise them that you were hurt at work, and tell them exactly how it happened. Make sure your explanation never changes, as the insurance company can reject your claim if they can prove you were untruthful.
You must also follow all the restrictions provided by the doctor. Make sure to give these restrictions to your employer and to the appropriate HR or other work injury department. You must attempt to work under the restrictions put in place by the doctor. If you are unable to do the work after trying it out, then let your employer know right away and talk to your doctor as soon as possible to get new work restrictions. At this point, if your employer will not agree to your work restrictions, then you may have to contact an attorney.
A Doctor’s Responsibilities
On top of providing work restrictions at the time of returning to work, the doctor should also update those restrictions as necessary at each appointment. The doctor should provide restrictions that make sense for the job being performed, and take everything into account.
When it comes to work restrictions, the responsibility lies with the injured worker, the employer, and the doctor to communicate and be fair with everyone involved. Make sure you know your rights if you get hurt on the job.