Manufacturing typically involves the transformation of raw materials into finished goods. Such finished goods may be sold to other manufacturers for the production of other, more complex products. As products are produced by a variety of means, including manual, machine, chemical or biological processing, there is strong strong potential for injury. As such, it is imperative to identify transitional duty and modified work tasks for injured workers.
When an injury occurs, it is in the best interest of both the worker and the company to return the injured individual to work as soon as possible. We have compiled a basic list of light duty tasks below that manufacturing companies can allocate to injured employees. Employers should make sure to get doctor approval and provide a job offer letter in writing to the injured employee before starting them on any light duty job.
- Sorting, organizing, and inventory of raw materials or parts
- Update MSDS manuals
- Inspect fire extinguishers and eye washes
- Labeling boxes or shelves
- Opening and sorting mail
- Shred documents
- Sort and deliver mail
- Watching safety videos
- Update safety bulletin board
- Updating safety and procedure manuals
- Answering phones
- Light office cleaning – empty trash, vacuum, or dust
- Updating computer records / database
- Sales or collection calls
When you just cannot think of anything for the injured worker to do, reach out to other managers in the office for suggestions. You can even ask the injured worker directly and see what ideas the employee has. The incentive for the worker is the chance to return to work, and earn their full normal pay instead of collecting reduced wages on Workers’ Compensation. Often times, great ideas are suggested. So keep an open mind, solicit some ideas, and then do what you can implement those light duty job ideas with physician prescribed restrictions.