It’s all about getting injured employees back to work.
Postal employees injured on the job can return to work even if they can’t perform their regular jobs — so long as the work is within their medically defined restrictions. That’s the idea behind the U.S. Postal Service’s Limited Duty and Rehabilitation programs, which is essentially two programs:
- Limited Duty assists injured workers who are temporarily unable to perform their regular work functions get back to work in another assignment;
- Rehabilitation (developed with the Department of Labor) helps employees with permanent disabilities by placing them in a rehabilitation assignment.
USPS developed the programs to help manage escalating workers’ compensation costs, which in fiscal year (FY) 2017 totaled $1.27 billion, with an additional $76 million in administrative fees.
Our recent audit report found the Postal Service effectively managed Limited Duty and Rehabilitation programs in two of its operating areas (Southern and Pacific), but could also make some improvements to strengthen controls and efficiencies in processes.
Among other things, our recommendations said management should provide EHS system report training and also implement a control to validate that work-assignment searches are conducted. Also, USPS should assess the feasibility of implementing an automated (or other) solution to promote process efficiency and satisfy the special job bank requirement.
Have you been through the Limited Duty and Rehabilitation programs? What worked well for you? Are there ways to improve the program?