A Workability Report is important to both the worker and employer. Workability reports have long been termed Work Restrictions. Given the title, these would appear to focus primarily on an employee’s inabilities instead of their abilities after an injury. While the updated name Workability Report may seem like an unimportant change, the difference between using negative vs. positive terms is significant. Restrictions can have a negative psychological connotation, causing an injured worker to focus on duties they can’t do because they are injured. Conversely, a workability Report may cause them to think positively about what they can do right now, so they can heal and return to their job sooner.
A Workability Report Benefits the Worker and Employer
The worker’s functional abilities are assessed by a skilled therapist and a medical provider. That data is translated into statements of work related abilities. The workability report can provide a clear direction for the employer regarding next steps. A worker returning to their job may require the employer to offer new job tasks that are in line with their workability. The report can recommend how tasks are completed, special equipment, or modifications for the task. For example, can the task be completed seated instead of standing? Maybe another employee can assist the injured worker? Should a tool be adjusted or modified to accommodate the worker? Can parts or items be moved closer to the injured worker?
The workability report can be reviewed by both the employer and worker to determine the job tasks the employee is able to perform to return to work safely. Offering these job tasks to the employee and moving toward increased physical work and return to full duty is crucial. It allows all parties an opportunity to collaborate, build trust, and develop a plan to return to full duty work.