Texas Mutual Workers' Compensation Insurance Company - Work Safe, Texas

5 Steps to
A Return-To-Work Program That Works

Getting Injured Workers Back on the Job

In 2004, Ronnie Hindsman lost both arms in a power line accident. This is the story of his return to work.

Jump to Ronnie’s Story

A 2008 tanker-truck accident left Lonnie Williams with limited mobility in his arms and legs. He learned to walk again, and now helps students make great strides in their own lives.

Jump to Lonnie’s Story

Getting an injured employee back to work as soon as they’re physically capable–whether at full or modified duty–is a worthwhile goal that benefits both the employer and the worker. At Texas Mutual, we’re specialists in return-to-work (RTW), and we’ll help you make the process as smooth and rewarding as possible.

Our RTW programs help employees who are not yet capable of resuming their regular tasks return to some level of work. It’s a caring, therapeutic way to reintroduce that person to the workplace, aiding their rehabilitation, improving overall morale and lowering your workers’ comp costs.

What’s in it for you?

What’s it in it for injured workers?

Step 1. Commit your program to writing

Create a written program that clarifies your commitment to helping injured workers get well and back on the job as soon as medically reasonable. Explain in detail everyone’s responsibilities in the program, including managers, supervisors, injured workers, doctors and your workers’ compensation carrier. Make sure every employee gets a copy of the RTW program.

Step 2. Assess job tasks

Write down the separate activities or tasks that make up each job. Include physical demands (lifting, typing, standing), environmental conditions (noise, heat, vibration), and the time spent on each task.

Step 3. Identify modified duties

Use your task list to match available work to injured employees’ work restrictions, as dictated by their doctors. Modified duties should not be “busy work.” They should be meaningful tasks that contribute to productivity.

Step 4. Communicate throughout the process

Communication drives the RTW process. If you stay in touch with injured workers, you can help keep them connected to the team. Ask them if there is anything you can do to facilitate their recovery. Invite them to company events, and make sure they continue receiving company newsletters and other correspondence. You should also communicate with injured workers’ doctors. Make it clear that you have an RTW program and you will provide alternative productive work that complies with their restrictions.

Step 5. Make a bona fide offer of employment

If you can offer injured workers modified duties that meet their restrictions, put the offer in writing, and notify your adjuster. Bona fide offers of employment must meet the requirements in Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation Rule 129.6.

More free return-to-work tools.


Ronnie’s Story

In 2004, Ronnie Hindsman lost both arms in a power-line accident. As the workers’ comp provider for his employer, Texas Mutual handled the costs and helped Ronnie get back on the job. More importantly, we helped him get back to the life he loves. This is his story.

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Lonnie’s Story

On his first day on the job, Lonnie Williams sustained a severe spinal injury in a tanker-truck accident. As his workers’ comp provider, Texas Mutual helped him learn to walk again, and provided the financial support he needed to begin a new career in teaching. This is his story.

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