NOSHA News October 2015

Job Accommodations for Return to Work

The goal of a return-to-work program, sometimes called a transitional duty program, is to make job changes or provide job accommodations that return individuals to work who are absent for workers' compensation or disability-related reasons.

Return-to-work programs help reduce workers' compensation costs and increase productivity by returning employees to work earlier. As part of a broader disability management program, a return-to-work program, including the provision of light duty, should also address the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), and state workers' compesnation disability-related laws.

The following is a quick overview of some of the job accommodations that might be useful when returning someone to work following an injury or illness.

Gross Motor Impairment:


- Modify the worksite to make it accessible

- Provide an accessible route of travel to other work areas used by the employee

- Modify the workstation to make it accessible

- Make sure materials and equipment are within reach range

- Move workstation close to other work areas and break rooms


- Provide overhead structure for lifting devices

- Place frequently used tools and supplies at or near waist height

- Provide low task chars, stand/lean stools, and anti-fatigue mats

- Make wheelchairs, scooters, industrial tricycles, or golf carts available

- Provide compact lifting devices to push and pull supplies and tools from storage

- Provide aerial lifts, rolling safety ladders, and work platforms

The preceding are just a few of the accommodation suggestions provided by Job Accommodation Network. Visit their websie for more information on accommodations at

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