Most injured workers want to return to work as quickly as they can. They have bills to pay, and believe it or not most people do actually enjoy going to work. However, returning to work after an injury can often mean working with limitations.
It is always important to follow your doctor’s advice about returning to work. Your doctor will be able to advise you what restrictions should be placed on your duties, for example a restriction on lifting of weights or requiring more frequent rest breaks.
WorkCover usually requires you to agree to a suitable duties program as a part of the return to work process. Provided your doctor agrees to the program, then you are reasonably obliged to participate in the return to work and to follow the doctor’s recommendations.
The law requires you to mitigate your loss. This means that you must do whatever you reasonably can to reduce your own losses. Failing to participate in a return to work program could result in WorkCover suspending payment of your benefit until you do. It may also negatively impact on any future common law claim for negligence.
If you are struggling with a return to work program you should:-
• Advise your supervisor, and maybe ask for alternative duties;
• Contact WorkCover and tell them about the difficulties you are having; and
• Go back to see your doctor and explain the problem you had during the attempt at returning to work.
So long as everybody is informed, a return to work program can be altered, or postponed until you are ready.
If you’re feeling pressure to return to work before you’re ready then feel free to telephone us on 1300 302 318 for some advice on how to handle it.