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Early Return to Work Toolkit (ERTW)

A Guide for Working Through the First 30-Day Review Period 

The purpose of this toolkit is to provide a simple approach for manager/supervisors regarding returning an injured worker to work following an on-the-job injury. The content is provided by experts who work in state government and SAIF Corporation. The resource is adaptable to fit the unique needs of your agency. Please contact DAS RM if you have any questions. 

​​​​Communicating expectations to all employees and their role in Early Return-to-Work is important to the success of any Agency returning an injured worker to work.  Communication needs are many and should happen early and often.  This expectation should be part of each employee and each new supervisor's new employee orientation when starting employment. 

Developing a transitional/modified duty assignment should not be overwhelming.  The goal is to have a worker back to work within three calendar days from the date of injury.

Review the medical restrictions provided by the medical provider and follow the steps below:

    1. Can the worker still perform their regular job?

      1. YES - Have worker perform regular work.

      2. NO - See number 2 below.

    2. If no, can you modify portions of the worker’s regular job to fit the medical restrictions provided? 

      1. YES - Have the worker perform the modified regular work. Be clear with the worker about not exceeding the restrictions provided by the medical provider.

      2. NO - Provide the worker with other available work that meets the medical restriction requirements.  Again be clear with the worker that they should not exceed any physical restrictions provided by the medical provider.

The employee should transition back to their regular work as soon as medically possible.

This tool is meant to assist you through at least the first 30-days of this process.

*Early Return to Work Complete Packet*​

  • ERTW training video - 10 minutes
  • The purpose of this training is to explain and highlight specific elements of the documents used in the Early Return to Work toolkit. The primary audience for this training is managers and supervisors.

    ​Revised June 2020​