Returning To Work – 5 Ways You Can Retain Employees After A Workplace Injury

Returning to work

No matter how hard you try to avoid workplace injuries, there is always a risk in an environment like a shipyard. And after an employee experiences an injury, you may be wondering what your next steps are as an employer. They may be released to work but restricted, so how can you help them return to the job? Here are some of the benefits of transitional work that an employee can do while they get back into the swing of things.  

Light, Limited, and Modified 

The language you’ll hear all the time around workers returning to the job after an injury is light, limited, and modified. If they’ve been cleared to return to work but not on full duty, especially in very physical jobs, you will be required to find light, limited and modified work for them to do day to day until they are fully ready to go back to full duty. To retain your employees, consider the capacity that will work for you and have a policy on hand.  

Administrative Work 

For most workers in a shipyard or other industrial environment, clerical or administrative work will be a good lightduty solution. There is always paperwork that needs to be completed and your employee has a lot of retained knowledge about your company, your business, and the work you do. Use their knowledge to your advantage and give them access to desk work that will benefit both of you.  

Safety-Oriented Work 

Another great use of a worker on light, limited or modified duty is safety-oriented projects. For instance, they can compile training manuals or memos about safety instructions or policies. They can do small inspections of workspaces for cleanliness or hazards and file reports with management about what they see. They can even conduct training based on their own experience.  

Shipping and Packaging 

For some shipyards, there may be small items that need to be packaged and shipped offsite. This is a great project for someone on light duty. Packing, creating mailing labels and recording tracking information is a necessary function. You may also have them help with mail and other assorted functions around shipping.  


Along with the possibility of safety training, you can also give your employees of light, limited and modified work the ability to train. Maybe this is by pairing them up with a new employee to provide a mentor relationship. They can pass on their skills and knowledge to someone else. Or maybe they handle the orientation for an entire group of incoming workers.  

Do you have questions about how to handle light-duty work for a returning employee? Contact Hutco to learn more today.