ACCforum: Early return to work pitfalls ignored by ACC? - ACCforum

Jump to content

Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

Early return to work pitfalls ignored by ACC? Relevant research from UK

#1 User is offline   MG 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 503
  • Joined: 05-February 04

Posted 24 June 2009 - 03:07 PM

A deliberation on 'hurt versus harm' logic in early-return-to-work policy

Authors: MacEachen, Ellen; Ferrier, Sue; Kosny, Agnieszka; Chambers, Lori

Source: Policy and Practice in Health and Safety, Issue 2 , pp. 41-62(22)

Publisher: Institution of Occupational Safety and Health

Abstract:
The practice of 'early return to work' before full recovery is put foward in many countries as a sensible and unproblematic approach to work injuries. However, there has been a limited appraisal of its effectiveness. Questions remain about what counts as 'effective', how early-return-to-work policy is experienced by workers, and the internal logic of this policy. In this paper, we consider these issues as they relate to the dependence of early return to work on the concept of 'hurt versus harm'; that is, the assumption that 'hurt' is pain experienced during recovery and that hurt does not necessarily impede recovery and, indeed, can improve it. Taking the case of workers' compensation policy in Ontario, Canada, we review research and documents that justify and explain the disassociation of hurt from harm in early return to work. We argue that this concept has been applied too broadly: to situations not supported by research evidence. We contrast this with qualitative interview data from a study of return-to-work problems faced by injured workers with long term workers' compensation claims. We find a lack of recognition of the nature of hurts and harms affecting these workers and suggest that a discourse about 'hurt versus harm' affects the handling of workers' compensation claims in a way that can hinder workers' ability to return to sustainable work. We propose that some long term workers' compensation claims may exist, in part, because of a framework for understanding workplace injury which under-recognises the nature, extent and impact of hurts on workers.

Keywords: INJURED WORKERS; LONG TERM CLAIMS; OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH; QUALITATIVE EVIDENCE; RETURN TO WORK; WORKERS' COMPENSATION POLICY

Document Type: Research article
1

#2 User is offline   hukildaspida 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Member
  • Posts: 3353
  • Joined: 24-August 07

Posted 26 June 2012 - 01:32 AM

Refresh
0

#3 User is offline   doppelganger 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 1706
  • Joined: 19-September 03

Posted 26 June 2012 - 03:37 PM

A deliberation on 'hurt versus harm' logic in early-return-to-work policy

Take a good read.

Extract on the article

Research Update
A deliberation on ‘hurt versus harm’ logic in early-return-to-work policy
Ellen MacEachen, an academic researcher in the RAACWI initiative, recently completed a study with two of her colleagues at the Institute for Work & Health. The study is based on interviews with injured workers who had longstanding workers’ compensation claims. The following is a summary of the study findings.
The practice of early return to work (ERTW) before full recovery is put forth in many jurisdictions as a sensible and unproblematic approach to work injury. However, there has been a limited appraisal of its effectiveness. Questions remain about what counts as ‘effective,’ how the ERTW policy is experienced by workers, and the internal logic of ERTW itself.
In this study, Ellen and her colleagues consider these issues as they relate to ERTW’s dependence on the concept of hurt versus harm; that is, the assumption that ‘hurt’ or pain experienced during recovery does not necessarily impede and indeed can improve recovery. Taking the case of workers’ compensation policy in Ontario, Canada, they review research and documents that support and explain how hurt can be disassociated from harm in ERTW. They argue that this concept has been applied to situations which range beyond evidence and logic and that it has become a discourse, or a type of belief system based on a particular assembly of truths. They contrast this with qualitative interview data from a study of injured workers who have failed to return to work as expected. They find a lack of recognition of harms incurred by workers and suggest that a discourse about hurt versus harm can have a paralyzing effect on workers’ ability to return to sustainable work. They propose that current workers’ compensation problems with ‘claims persistence’ may exist in part because of a framework for understanding workplace injury which under-recognizes the nature, extent and impact of hurts affecting workers.
The citation for this study is as follows: MacEachen E, Ferrier S, Kosny A, and Chambers L. (2007). A deliberation on ‘hurt versus harm’ logic in early-return-to-work policy. Policy and Practice in Health and Safety, 5(2), 41-62.

www.consequencesofworkinjury.ca
0

#4 User is offline   doppelganger 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 1706
  • Joined: 19-September 03

Posted 26 June 2012 - 05:31 PM

here is a guide with Red Flags.

May be ACC should do a bit of research on early return to work

Red Flags/Green Lights RTW Problems Guide

Red flags Immediate RTWIs the worker expected to return immediately after injury?
Although a next-day return to work is not unusual for a worker with a minor or simple injury, a quick return can be too early for a worker with a complicated injury (e.g. that involves an inconclusive diagnosis or additional surgery). However, if a worker does not return, he or she may be viewed as non-compliant and could lose or face a reduction in compensation benefits.

RTW with unclear injury
Is the worker expected to return before physicians have arrived at a full understanding of the impairment?
In some cases, a worker experiences pain and health problems beyond the usual symptoms. In these situations, the compensation decision-maker might prompt the worker to return to work before the injury is fully understood, which can contribute to delayed healing or re-injury.

Work absences after RTW

Is the worker taking time off after returning to work?
Work absences after an initial return to work might signal pain or worsening injury. Absences might also indicate that the worker could benefit from additional recovery time or treatment.
0

Share this topic:


Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users