After being hurt at work or developing chronic pain due to your position in the company, it can be difficult to return to work after recovery. The potential to have persistent pain even during the workday can prevent many from resuming their jobs.
Managing your pain so you can return to work begins with standing up for your rights. Use these tips to get started.
Talk to Your Employer
When you are ready to return to work, start by talking to your employer about your condition. Describe how the pain affects your everyday life and how it might affect your work duties.
For example, if you work in a factory as a machine operator, chronic pain may prevent you from completing your work in the same way you used to. The same is true if you are an order picker or work in an office setting.
If you are unable to sit or stand for long periods of time - and your current job title demands it, you may have to work out with your employer a new way to do your job. Your injury could also mean that you need to switch positions, have a standing desk installed, or receive other accommodations.
Talk to Your Doctor About Your Limitations
Your doctor will keep you informed on your recovery, but you need to talk to them about what your limitations are in regards to returning to work. Find out how much weight you can lift, how long you should sit for any given time, and how often you should take breaks. Ask your doctor if you should return to work full time or return on a part-time basis first.
If you are worried your employer might not make any accommodations due to your chronic pain, have your doctor write a recommendation and give this to your employer. This way, you can show them you are following professional health advice by requesting accommodations. You can also have a personal injury lawyer speak to your employer should they persist in denying you accommodations for your job.
If you were injured on the job, employers do not have to hold your job indefinitely. However, if your doctor has said you can return to work and your employer does have suitable positions open for you, they should offer one to you. Otherwise, your employer may have to pay you compensation.
Consider Changing Careers If Need Be
Your current employer may not have any suitable positions you can take if you are unable to perform your former duties due to chronic pain. In this instance, you could work with your lawyer and your employer to receive compensation for the injury suffered on the job and use those funds to change careers.
You could return to school to train for a job you can do from home or a career where your pain won't be detrimental to your career.
Start Out Slowly
Before you return to work, you might want to consider taking it slowly and getting out of the house by volunteering. Find a local charity, church, or senior's home to help out, and see if you are able to handle the physical aspects of the position.
This gets you out of the house and helps you gain strength both physically and emotionally. Volunteering can help you gauge whether you are ready to return to work or if you need to take longer to recover.
If you have been injured at work and are now suffering from chronic pain, you deserve compensation. Contact us at The Law Office of Meier, Wickhem, Lyons & Schulz, S.C., today for a consultation.