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Ways To Improve Your Hotel's Return To Work Rehab Program

Ways To Improve Your Hotel's Return To Work Rehab Program

Updated June 9, 2021 Originally published August 20, 2015
Danny Sanchez, PT, CEAS

Ways To Improve Your Hotel's Return To Work Rehab Program http://blog.onsite-physio.com/workplace-wellness-programs/ways-to-improve-your-hotels-return-to-work-rehab-program @onsitephysioEmployees in the hotel industry are at a high risk of injury. In fact hotel workers are 51% more likely to be seriously injured enough to be away from work. The cost of workers compensation injuries can account for upwards to 48% of the cost of payroll!

Those kinds of costs need to be addressed. Your rehab program should focus on increasing return to work rates, and reducing reinjury rates.

A rehab program that focuses on improving return-to-work (RTW) rates will: 

  • Lower overall worker’s compensation costs 
  • Cut treatment times
  • Lower reinjury rates.

The main goal of RTW plans is Individualized Treatment Plans. Here's an outline of the elements of such a plan.

List the treatment goals

  • Once an injury occurs it’s vital that treatment begins as soon as possible.
  • The first step is to identify the goal of the treatment. 
  • On a basic level this goal starts from the question: What do we need to achieve to get the patient back to work?
Create a complete recovery or treatment plan
  • This should include specific patient goals and milestones for tracking progress.
Work demonstration
  • The therapist should research each employee's physical demands and daily tasks in order to tailor the treatment specifically for their job function.
Job specific treatment and retraining
  • Most jobs require a worker to move in a specific way. 
  • There should be exercises that improve and strengthen those areas.
Injury focused exercises
  • There should of course be a focus on the injured area to heal and prevent re-injury.
Special cases unrelated to the injury 
  • Some patients conditions are physical like advancing age, diabetes, or asthma. They may have other chronic issues or be on medication.
  • Some may have conditions that are environmental - like needing childcare during treatment, transportation, scheduling issues. Or they may have accessibility issues.

Each patient should be treated as an individual. These issues should be taken into account and accommodations should be made.

Training in body mechanics:

  • Body mechanics is how we move daily in home and professional life. 
  • Incorporate this training, so your employees are learning how to move in ways that reduce stress on their bodies at all times. This prevents injuries from happening.
Job changes
  • If an injury is common for a specific job, then take that as a sign. The way that job is being performed may be flawed.
  • Review how a job is being performed.  Make reasonable adjustments for workers who’ve already been injured, and prevent future injuries.

Return to work better than before

It’s easy to have a treatment plan that only focuses on the injured area. But what if the injury happened because of a weakness in another area of the body? Once the injury is getting better there should be a focus on strengthening the whole body. It should focus on conditioning the whole worker to return to work better than ever.

An ounce of prevention

Prevention is never 100% - especially not in a high risk industry. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Educate your workers about safety, about ergonomics and how to prevent injuring themselves in the course of their jobs. If you put injury prevention first your employees will too. It might seem like a lot of work, to focus on RTW. But look at the big picture.

Less injuries and faster recovery means lower WC costs, and happier workers. No one wants the job where they get injured all the time. If your workforce is happy, you and your business will be happy too.

Housekeeper in a hotel who is happy about her return-to-work rates

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