The Center of Occupational Health & Education (COHE) and the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) provide support for employers, medical providers and employees through the process of getting injured employees back to work. 

As an employer, one of the most valuable COHE resources available to you in the Health Services Coordinator (HSC).  The HSC work primarily with the injured employee and the provider to ensure that the employee receives the care required to resolve the injury with a focus on returning the injured employee to work as soon as possible.  In addition to their work with the injured employees and Providers, the HSCs can be invaluable to employers.

The HSCs are able to work with employers if there are return to work issues with an injured employee.  They are able to promptly and effectively communicate with the Provider and L&I to ensure that all issues are resolved quickly.  In addition, they can work with employers to identify light duty return to work opportunities.  In some situations, the HSCs can provide onsite coaching to employees performing light duty work to ensure success.

HSCs are available to you to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding workers' Compensation and returning employees to work.  Their depth of knowledge can provide answers or referral sources to get your questions answered.

L&I also provides tremendous support for employers.  Below is information and some links on L&I's programs for employers.

Employer Resources

Check the status of a claim

L&I offers medical providers, employers, employees and employee designees the ability to view L&I notes about a claim online, and send secure messages to update work status. Sign up to check the status of a claim. Employers can also complete the Employer’s Report of Accident online.  

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Helping Employees Return to Work

Job Modification

Returning to work speeds an injured employee's recovery and reduces the financial impact of a workers' compensation claim on the worker, the employer, and the workers' compensation system. Help an injured employee get back to work quickly, safely and, if necessary, with assistance.
Man on phone at desk
Return to work options include:

  • Working shorter hours.
  • Performing transitional work. For example, a worker might perform some of his original duties or different duties with lighter physical demands.
  • Performing a different job temporarily.
  • Working in a modified job. "Job modification" means making adjustments to the work site, changing the job to meet the worker's limitations or providing tools, equipment, or appliances that allow the worker to work within his limitations.

Learn more about Early Return to Work (ERTW)

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Stay at Work Program

Stay at Work is a financial incentive program that encourages employers to bring their injured workers quickly and safely back to light duty or transitional work by reimbursing them for some of their costs.

Eligible employers can be reimbursed for:

  • 50% of the base wages they pay to the injured worker.
  • Some of the cost of training, tools or clothing the worker needs to do the light-duty or transitional work.

icon-video  Watch videos about the benefits of Stay at Work

Download the Complete Stay at Work Guide for Employers

Stay at Work Forms

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