Bureau Announces Return-to-Work Learning Opportunity

The Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will offer a free online training program beginning later this month to help employers develop or enhance the skills and knowledge to coordinate an employee’s return to employment after a work-related injury.

The training is part of the Bureau’s newly developed Returning Employees to Work And Reducing Disabilities (REWARD) program.

The initiative helps interested employers develop and customize a return-to-work program. A REWARD program benefits both large and small employers and can be led by one person or a team.

This training teaches safety managers, human resources professionals, risk managers, or other persons to find modified work opportunities and to encourage injured workers as they recover. The program uses expertise from vocational rehabilitation, case management, physical therapy, employers, medical providers, legal professionals, and state government to provide a comprehensive training experience. The curriculum was developed with input from industry professionals and workers’ compensation case managers from across the state.

The virtual program includes 90-minute classes every other week beginning July 15, 2021, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Central Time. The six courses are:

July 15: Workers’ Compensation 101. Learn from Bureau personnel about employer/employee rights in workers’ compensation, the value of return-to-work advocacy, and the Bureau’s role in workers’ compensation.

July 29: The Role of a Return-to-Work Coordinator. Join vocational experts and/or case managers as they identify the key tasks and responsibilities of a return-to-work coordinator. These experienced professionals will detail the best practices and activities they’ve seen work throughout their careers.

August 11: Working with Physicians. Relationships and shared expectations with physicians before and after a work injury improve the return-to-work process. Join a licensed physician and workers’ compensation expert as he discusses tips, techniques, and best practices for getting the most out of your physician relationships.

August 25: Job Demand Analysis. Job analysis experts will explain how they identify job tasks, job demands, and essential and marginal functions of jobs. They will explore the value of job analysis in return-to-work rather than a job description.

September 8: Legal Issues Outside Workers’ Compensation. Employers are subject to many state and federal laws that affect their relationships with employees. Join attorneys experienced in employment law such as FMLA and the ADA as they discuss how these laws interact with workers’ compensation and return-to-work.

September 22: Effective Communication. The Bureau’s mediation director will share tips, techniques, and methods mediators use to positively influence and persuade, build credibility and trust, listen, obtain commitment, engage strong emotions, and lead change.

Learn more about the Bureau’s REWARD Program here.

For more information about the training, to enroll, or to simply learn more about the REWARD Program, contact Marion White at marion.white@tn.gov or (615) 253-1204.

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