You were working hard in your manufacturing plant when you heard an unusual whirring sound. Moments later, you and several others were involved in a serious explosion.
Fortunately, all of you survived, but several of you have traumatic brain injuries as a result. Your workers’ compensation should provide the coverage you need to seek medical care, but if you do later find that you want to return to work, it’s important that your employer provides the accommodations that you need to do so.
What kinds of accommodations should employers provide for workers with TBIs?
If workers are able to return to work but do have TBIs, it’s important for employers to accommodate the workers appropriately. Some possible TBI-related accommodations that your employer could provide may include:
- Installing ramps, handicap spaces and handrails to make physical limitations less intrusive in the workplace
- Clearing pathways of unnecessary equipment
- Providing large-print copies of paperwork
- Increasing natural lighting in the workplace
- Permitting flexible breaks and scheduling throughout the day
- Allowing for worker fatigue by scheduling the most intensive work at the beginning of the shift
- Allowing for the use of medical tools and equipment
- Restructuring a worker’s job to include only essential functions that they are able to perform safely
There are literally dozens of actions that an employer can take to help a worker who has a TBI adjust to the workday again. Those accommodations should be allowed for as long as the worker needs them.
In the case that a worker is unable to return to the same job, workers’ compensation does provide vocational rehabilitation. Vocational rehabilitation may help a worker train for a new position or find jobs that are suited to them based on their new or worsened disabilities. Sometimes, an injury and disability will mean that a worker can’t return to their own job without negatively impacting a company’s workflow, so that is something to think about as you begin looking into returning to work. You want to find work that is appropriate for you, your medical condition and your energy levels as you move forward with your TBI.