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Canadian union CAW has produced a Return to work or modified work checklist. It says:
The union should be involved in a "joint return to work (modified work) committee, playing a meaningful role" in: developing comprehensive job descriptions; job design; analysing and identifying appropriate preventive measures; consulting the worker; and defining the individual return to work plan.
The union should receive relevant documentation relating to industrial injuries payments and assessments of "functional abilities."
The programme should treat employees with work-related and non work-related disabilities in the same way.
The programme should include employees with permanent disabilities as well as temporary disabilities.
The return to work plan should be based on, and tailored to, the individual workers needs. It should last as long as required.
The programme must respect the medical confidentiality of the employee and the advice of the employee's medical practitioner.
The work that the employee returns to should: Be constructive; be rehabilitative; be at a point where the worker is ready for it and will benefit from it and will assist the worker in re-integration into the work force.
Negotiated workplace agreements should apply equally to the injured worker.
Any layoff provisions for the injured worker should be the same as if he or she was not injured.
The wages of the injured employee should
be the same as if he or she had not been injured.
Summarised from a checklist in CAW Health, safety and environment newsletter, May/June 2002.
To see CAW's Health, safety and Environment Newsletter go here
HAZARDS MAGAZINE WORKERS' HEALTH INTERNATIONAL NEWS