Keys to Success

Creativity, Collaboration, Commitment: Keys to Success

Research shows that organized return-to-work (RTW) programs reduce the length of work disability and that combined interventions can result in employees returning to work 2.4 times faster than with only minimal care. Companies in Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States have demonstrated that disability management programs based on sound principles and creativity, collaboration and commitment can show dramatic results. Here are some success stories.

  • The City of Medicine Hat has 1,000 employees, both union and non-union. Its disability management program has saved the city more than $1.25 million in sick leave, workers’ compensation costs and long-term disability costs.
  • Comcare Australia (the federal workers’ compensation insurer for government employees in Australia) reduced its premium pool by 45% in the first five years of operation of its disability management program, achieved an 87% return-to-work rate and reduced averaged premium rates from 2.5% to 1.2% of payroll. 
  • Ford Germany successfully integrated 300 of 500 disabled workers into new production lines for the Ford Fiesta; another 160 were integrated in other areas of the operation. These individuals would otherwise not have returned to employment within the company.
  • Weyerhaeuser introduced disability management throughout its hundreds of operations across Canada and around the world. In operations where the RTW standards have been adopted, a 25% improvement in lost time has resulted. All units were required to have RTW standards in place by January 1, 2004.
  • Health Care Corporation of St. John’s is the largest employer in Newfoundland. Its disability management program has resulted in a lower average number of sick days per employee than other health boards in the province. “If you asked our senior team about the financial resources we’ve put into safety and disability management, they’d say that they’ve gotten back their payback tenfold,” says Maureen Meaney, manager of Employee Wellness. 
  • The Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia  – confident that sound disability management programs worked – launched a pilot project in the pulp and paper industry that offered employers who achieved a score of 80% or better on the Consensus Based Disability Management Audit (CBDMA) tool an immediate 10% discount on their WBC benefit and administration cost rates.