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Case Manage a Return to Work Plan

City Building Inspector

Our organization has a progressive Disability Management Program and is able to provide alternate or modified duties to assist in the safe and timely return to work for this employee.  Please indicate limitations and restrictions below.

Project : Case Manage a Return to Work Plan

Stories of the Injured Workers

Don is a building inspector for the City.  He was taking down Christmas lights from the roof of his office building and fell off the ladder incurring a serious brain injury.  He was in the hospital for several weeks and then in a rehab facility for 4 more months where he had to relearn many of the basic activities of daily living.  Don has worked very hard on his rehabilitation and the medical people are delighted with how much function he has been able to regain.

The Doctors advised that Don has 96% functional mental ability and that he fully understands all of his work requirement.  There is no reason he can’t return to his normal duties.  However, because of the injury he will tire easily for the rest of his life because he has to work so hard to order his thought processes.  At best he will be able to work 60% of a normal work week in his old job.  Don will be ready to return to try a graduated return to work in 2 weeks.

Parm is male, 53 years old and drives a tow truck in which he provides assistance to drivers who have broken down vehicles.  He works for a large firm that operates tow trucks and an impound lot.  The company provides “roadside service” on a contract basis to major car manufacturers who include this service with the new cars they sell. The job involves changing tires, boosting or replacing dead batteries and hooking up and towing the vehicle to a repair shop.  There is a lot of time sitting in the truck waiting for calls.  When calls happen there is much bending, lifting and pulling.  Tires and batteries can weigh over 50 pounds each.

He was bending over into a customer’s trunk to get the spare tire out and had to hold some other things out of the way.  When he lifted the spare tire which was quite heavy he injured his right shoulder.  After the injury he was unable to even lift his arm.  Parm had a previous shoulder injury but to his other arm.

Injured Tow Truck Driver

WorksafeBC worked with him for several weeks to rehabilitate the injury.  The injury prevents Parm from taking on the full duties of his job early in the return to work process but a full recovery is expected eventually.  This means that he can’t be assigned as a tow truck driver during the early part of the rehab process.  He is able to stand and sit but cannot lift with his right arm beyond shoulder height and he is right handed.  A normal shift would be 8 hours for this employee.  WorksafeBC wants him to begin a graduated return to work in one week’s time.

Angelo is a Phys-Ed teacher in the local high school and is injured in a car accident.  While driving home from work he was rear-ended at a stop light and suffers severe “soft tissue” back injuries.  He has torn muscles in his low back and a whiplash injury to his neck.  

He will has been off work for nearly 10 weeks.  For the first 3 weeks Angelo wore a neck brace full-time and a back brace whenever he is out of bed.  He was gradually weaned off the two braces and has since engaged in intensive physiotherapy.  At the end of the 10 weeks he is close to being able to try to return to work.  His doctor says he can commence a graduated return to work in 2 weeks.

At first Angelo will not be able to undertake his full duties and it will be at least another 12 weeks until he is able to do so.  He will be able to walk, sit and jog very slowly but will not be able to lift or throw anything and cannot engage in any sports.

HINT: this is not a WSBC case. There will be some insurance carrier (ie Sun Life, Great West Life, Pacific Blue Cross, Manulife) who is paying his short term and long term disability benefits.

Amy is a new mother who has been a nurse at the General Hospital for the last 5 years.  She took 6 months off following the birth of her baby and her husband took the rest of the “parental leave”.  Upon her return to work Amy’s coworkers and supervisor noted a drastic change in her demeanor. They saw a previously bright and cheery person become withdrawn, down and uncommunicative.  

The supervisor referred Amy to the Employee and Family Assistance Program for counselling.  The EFAP counsellor has diagnosed Amy with a severe form of post-partum depression.  In conjunction with her family doctor the counsellor recommended that Amy take 2 months off work and enter into an intensive program of counselling to assist her in her recovery.  

Amy’s doctor has notified the Hospital that she has nearly completed her counselling and should be able to come back to work in 2 weeks. Initially the doctor wants Amy not to work evenings or night shifts and to start work only at 50% i.e. every other day only on short [8-hour] day shifts.  Amy’s regular position is on a medical floor where she works 12-hour shifts rotating between days and nights in 4-shift blocks [i.e. four 12-hour day shifts, then days off, followed by four 12-hour night shifts, then days off etc.].

HINT: this is not a WSBC case. There will be some insurance carrier (ie Sun Life, Great West Life, Pacific Blue Cross, Manulife) who is paying her short term disability benefits.

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