Accidents and injuries are difficult experiences to go through, especially if it interferes with your ability to work and earn money which can then lead to further mental health issues. This is something that employers need to be aware of and find ways to help staff to return to work when the time is right and provide the support that is required.
Concerns Over Work
Research from medical negligence specialists, National Accident Helpline found that as many as 57% of people that had been injured stated that they were worried about losing their job. 63% of people worried about their performance once they returned which is understandable when 60% found that they had been unable to do some tasks when they did return. Additionally, these concerns are likely to be greater if the accident happened at work.
Mental Health Issues
As you might expect, this has a knock-on effect and can lead to mental health issues. The same survey revealed that 72% of those that had been in an accident suffered a mental health issue as a direct result, such as stress (35%), anxiety (34%) and depression (18%). These mental health issues can make it much harder and take longer for employees to fully recover from the accident so it is clear that this is a side that cannot be ignored either.
As an employer, you will obviously want to get staff members back as quickly as possible but you must not rush them and you also need to reassure them which is why you need to maintain good communication throughout the recovery process and when they do return. You will want staff to come back when they are ready and to feel confident in doing so, but how can you go about doing this when accidents can take such a big toll both physically and mentally?
As mentioned, communication is key but there are also a few steps that you can take to ease them back into the office. One of the best steps to take is to ease them back in as opposed to coming in full time – this might involve coming in for just a few hours on a few days to start with and building them back up. During this period where they are eased back in, you could alter their workload so that they do not have to worry about tasks that they might struggle with initially and provide them with any equipment that they might need.
Accidents and injuries can have devastating impacts in more ways than one. As an employer, it is essential that you are aware of just how difficult it can be to return to work following an accident or injury and understand that it might take some time until they are fully settled.