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Montana State Fund Launches Return to Work Campaign - "Work Heals"

November 1, 2011View for printing

"Work Heals" campaign encourages programs to help get injured workers back to work.

Montana injures more workers than almost every other state, and workers injured in Montana stay out of work an average of 23 days longer than workers in the rest of the country. To encourage Montana employers to support their injured workers in getting back to work as soon as medically possible, Montana State Fund launches its "Work Heals" public information campaign this week.

Montana State Fund http://www.montanastatefund.com , the state's largest provider of workers' compensation insurance, created the statewide campaign to encourage employers to develop Return to Work programs. The billboards, television and radio commercials, print and Web ads are designed to educate Montana business owners, managers and human resource departments of the positive impacts Return to Work programs have on workers and businesses.

"Return to Work programs allow injured employees to transition back to work as soon as their physicians allow," said Montana State Fund President/CEO Laurence Hubbard. "The longer a worker stays off the job, the greater the chance he or she won't return to work at all, and after 60 days, the cost of the claim greatly increases."

Return to Work programs provide a structure to foster communication between the injured worker, the employer, the claim examiner and medical providers. Effective Return to Work programs can allow most injured employees to return to meaningful work within 24 hours of being injured.

The programs benefit not only employers, but also reduce the financial and emotional impacts a workplace injury can have on employees. They have shown to improve recovery times, reduce complications, reduce psychological distress and keep careers on track.

Carl Kochman, communications director for Montana State Fund, added, "The wage replacement benefit an injured employee receives on workers' compensation is capped at just 66 percent of Montana's average weekly wage, so getting back to work not only gets workers back to making their full compensation but also maintains self-esteem and prevents other negative impacts from lost work."

Montanans can learn more about implementing a Return to Work program in their workplace at http://www.safemt.com.

Montana State Fund is the leading provider of workers' compensation insurance for Montana businesses and their employees. Through its safety and Return to Work programs, the organization works to improve the safety and well-being of all working Montanans. http://www.montanastatefund.com
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