Improving Disability Management: Understanding the True Determinants of Work Disability to Create Healthy, Productive Workplaces
By Douglas J. Kube, CHSC, EP, OHS-A, Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology and Sofina Foods Inc.
Employers are striving to create healthy, productive workplaces where workers are accommodated after injury or illness as well as contain rising disability benefits costs. Decisions on fitness to work have typically been based on the medical disorder and the treating physician’s subjective opinion. The need to reassess this approach and the design of disability-management and accommodation programs is widely recognized. Findings of this research point to considering the true determinants of work disability with less emphasis on medical disorder and more emphasis on interventions that address the work environment, modifiable factors of the worker and social interactions in the workplace.