Absence Prevention

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Preventing Workplace Absence FAQs

What are some of the common causes of disability?

Injuries can occur at home or at the workplace. Most are not work-related, and therefore not covered by workers' compensation. Some of the most common causes include:1

  • Musculoskeletal disorders are the #1 cause of disabilities. Examples include arthritis, back pain, spine/joint disorders, fibromyitis.
  • Illnesses like cancer, heart attacks, and diabetes cause the majority of long-term disabilities. Back pain, injuries, and arthritis are also significant causes.
  • Lifestyle choices and personal behavior that lead to obesity are becoming major contributing factors.

Common terms and examples of disability claim diagnoses can be found on the Council for Disability Awareness website.

What can I do to help prevent a future disability from occurring? 

One of the best ways to reduce disability=related absences is to prevent them from happening in the first place. People with medical conditions who do not lose time from work have better health outcomes than people who do lose time.

One of the keys to reducing the incidence of disability absences is early intervention—ideally before your employee needs to file a disability claim.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is just one of the ways to help prevent a future disability. By focusing on health and prevention, you can empower your employees to make better choices that can lead to improved health.

Are there any resources I can provide to my employees to educate or prepare them for a disability? 

The Council for Disability awareness offers an employee disability awareness toolkit that provides resources to engage your employees in disability awareness, prevention, and financial planning: Click here.

What is a stay-at-work program, and how does is differ from a return-to-work program? 

While not all disabilities can be predicted or averted, managers who focus accommodation efforts solely on employees who are returning to work after a disability can miss a key opportunity to have a positive impact on reducing disabilities and maintaining a productive workforce. That opportunity is through a stay-at-work program.

Stay-at-work programs involve many of the same activities as return-to-work programs, with the biggest difference being the timing of those activities. Stay-at-work interventions are designed to help employees avoid being absent from work in the first place, whereas return-to-work interventions help ease employees back to work after a disability absence.

1 "Chances of Disability", Council for Disability Awareness.

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