The construction and trade contractors industry is extremely diverse, ranging from high risk roofing jobs to something relatively safe like indoor plumbing operations. Physically demanding work, dangerous tools, heavy equipment, and potentially hazardous working conditions can cause accidents and injuries can occur at any time; regardless of the estimated amount of risk. Some firms may refrain from assigning a light duty job because they think the work is unimportant or because no light duty work is available.
However, when a worker gets hurt on the job, it is always in the best interest of both the company and the employee to return the injured individual to work as soon as possible. Below is a list of light duty tasks construction companies or trade contractors can assign to injured employees. Employers should make sure to get physician approval and provide a written job offer letter to the injured employee before starting them on any light duty job.
- Review and update safety manuals and safety bulletin board
- Do online safety classes
- Watch safety videos
- Perform site safety audits
- Update MSDS library
- Monitor confined space entry
- Perform quality control inspections
- Create or re-write evacuation plans
- Train new employees
- Drop off/pickup plans and estimates
- Make telephone calls or answer telephones
- Order supplies
- File paperwork
- Shred documents
In addition to the suggested light duty tasks listed above, businesses may want to identify additional options. This can be done by scheduling a meeting of supervisors and employees to suggest transitional or modified work. Attendees should try to be creative and come up with as many suggestions as possible. The key is to suggest meaningful and productive tasks that need to be done in the workplace or on the job site. Be sure to list the physical activities for each task, as this will assist the physician in understanding the work.