Work is, unquestionably, good for our health. It not only provides us with income to support our families, it also gives us a sense of purpose and meaning. Research as shown that despite being injured, returning to work in some sort of capacity (modified duties) is often better for recovery than long periods away. Injured employees off work longer than six months have only a 50% chance of ever returning to their job. If this time exceeds one year, the chances of returning to employment fall to 10%.₁ Not only does the country as a whole benefit from a healthy workforce that is productive and competitive, but the quality of life for the working person is also enhanced.
The Ontario Network of Injured Workers Group (ONIWG) released an Injured Workers and Poverty survey in 2010 that highlighted the hardships injured workers and their families endure post injury. Aside from depression and feelings of isolation, below are some of the key facts ONIWG reported:₂
Before Injury, 89% were employed full time, after injury 9%
Nearly one in five injured workers lost their home after injury
One in five injured workers can no longer afford a vehicle
20% of workers are living in extreme poverty post injury (less than $10,000/year)
Numerous studies have shown that just because and injury is compensable, doesn’t always make the circumstances for the injured worker comfortable. WCB has a cap on compensation benefits paid to the injured worker As a result of this differential workers have lost their home, retirement savings, and risk permanent health problems by going to work too soon because they cannot afford to live on WCB capped benefits
Often we look at the financial impact that injuries have on employers and neglect to acknowledge the hardships the employees and their families endure while away from work.
SureHire’s Occupational Health Programs are creating a Safe, Healthy and Productive Workforce.
Return to Work Matters August 2007: Managing Work Supervisor Training
- Ontario Network of Injured Workers Group: Injured Workers and Poverty Survey 2010 http://www.injuredworkersonline.org/Documents/2010_Injured_Worker_Survey_Fact_Sheet.pdf
Written by: Pooja Gandhi