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Transitional work
What is transitional work?

A transitional work program is a work-site plan that provides an interim step in the recovery of an injured worker with job restrictions resulting from the allowed conditions in the claim. Transitional work is a progressive, individualized, time-limited program focused on returning workers with physical restrictions to their original jobs.

Transitional work allows the injured workers to return to work or remain at work performing physically appropriate transitional work duties in relationship to their functional capabilities. When considering transitional work duties, you need to work with the physician of record to determine the worker’s restrictions and have a functional job analysis on hand to determine the injured worker’s appropriate job tasks.

Transitional work services allow the injured worker to perform productive work at the workplace under the direction of rehabilitation professionals. A functional job analysis may be performed to identify the work tasks for the job and the physical demands for the required tasks. The program may include use of the worker’s tools and equipment as a part of therapy, progressive conditioning, on-site therapy, education of safe work practices, work re-adjustment and job modification.

The physical or occupational therapist will:

  • Compare the employee's functional capabilities to the physical demands of the worker’s job requirements;
  • Decide what are the appropriate work tasks;
  • Use job tasks as a part of the rehabilitation program;
  • Monitor the worker performing his or her job tasks;
  • Identify other modified-duty opportunities on a limited or full-time basis, if transitional work of the worker's original job is not possible.