Employers are responsible for providing Temporary Alternative Duty (TAD) for all employees injured on the job.
Modified work needs to be established in accordance with the attending health-care provider's Workers' Compensation Medical Form as completed on each visit.
Temporary Alternative Duty is not only a statutory requirement, but it is an effective way to control workers’ compensation costs. By returning injured employees to work, it speeds up their recovery; therefore, requiring less medical treatment and returning them to their pre-injury position and earning potential sooner than requiring them to stay out of work. National studies have determined the longer and employee is out of work, the less likely they are to return.
All employers with 5 or more employees shall develop temporary alternative work opportunities for their injured employees. The Commissioner shall adopt rules under RSA 541-A relative to the administration of this section."
Development of Temporary Alternative Work
a. All employers with five or more full-time employees shall develop temporary alternative work programs to bring injured employees back to work.
b. Temporary alternative work shall be limited and transitional in nature.
c. The employer shall advise employees that there is a written alternative work program in place and advise employees of the established procedures to obtain alternative work in the event of an on-the-job injury.
d. The employer shall develop an outline of each position that details present requirements and essential functions of each job within the organization at the time of injury if lost time or restrictions are involved.
e. The employer shall review each position outline in conjunction with its joint loss management committees as described in Lab 603. This review shall begin with those positions which experience the most workplace injuries. Together they shall develop and describe a policy or process that facilitates return to work.
f. The employer shall provide the treating physician with an appropriate outline of the present position with an essential task analysis as soon as possible after the injury occurs if lost time or restrictions are involved.
g. The employer and employee shall have the joint responsibility to obtain needed medical information that will enable the employee to gradually increase their duties to bring the employee back to their original position.
Preparedness is one key to a successful TAD program. Why recreate the wheel every time an employee returns to work with an alternate duty release? With some proactive steps, returning injured employees to work could be easier than you think.