The role of organizational policies and practices in return to work: Findings from the readiness for return-to-work cohort

Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Dr. Benjamin Amick
Institute for Work & Health

Organizational policies and practices (OPPs) are one of a group of leading indicators being examined in Ontario to assess occupational health and safety performance of organizations. 

In the Institute for Work & Health Readiness for Return-to-Work Cohort, the relationship between OPPs and return to work and successful work functioning are examined. In particular, we examine two ways through which OPPs may operate to affect important return-to-work outcomes.

We consider data over a one-year period. We find that in a multidimensional model of return-to-work, OPPs are a strong predictor of both return to work and successful work-role functioning. Additionally, we find that work accommodation offers and change in an injured worker’s self-efficacy in managing pain in the return-to-work process are two pathways through which OPPs operate to affect RTW and successful work-role functioning. Interestingly, self-efficacy appears to be more important in successfully functioning in the work role, while work accommodation is more important in the injured worker returning to work. The implications of these results for policy and practice are discussed.