Serious injuries can interfere with many aspects of life and take a long time to recover from. One area which is sometimes overlooked is the impact that an injury can have on an individual’s career. They may need to take some time off and might struggle when they return to fulfil their duties like they could prior to the accident. They may even worry about losing their job after an injury.
National Accident Helpline, a company that has a focus on compensation and medical negligence claims recently looked into this. They discovered some interesting results which are important to consider. The research revealed that as many as 57% of people worried about losing their job after an injury. Out of those that returned to work after an accident, 60% stated that they had been unable to do certain tasks. While 63% worried about their performance.
Mental Health Issues
Of course, there are also the mental health repercussions of an injury and the impact that it might have on your ability to work. A significant 7 out of 10 people who had been in an accident said that they suffered from a mental health issue as a direct result, including stress (35%), anxiety (34%) and depressions (18%). A further 62% stated that the mental health issue took longer to recover from than expected.
GP Dr Hilary Jones commented on the mental health side of an accident and how people were not getting the help that they need:
“This old fashioned idea that unless you can see an injury like a broken bone and get sympathy from that, it’s not worth talking about is completely old hat”.
How Employers Can Help
It is important that those that suffer a mental health issue (which is most) seek support to manage these issues. It is also important that employer’s take action to help those returning to work and help people to ease their way back in. There are many ways that this can be done, such as shortened hours initially, making necessary adjustments and removing non-essential tasks.
Of course, good communication is key in times like this. Employers should maintain contact throughout the recovery process, ask what they can do to make work easier for them and provide emotional support in order to reduce stress and help people to feel assured.
The physical damage that people can suffer from an accident is challenging enough to manage, so they should not also have to worry about their livelihood and suffer mental health issues in addition. Unfortunately, this is common but employers can make it easier for people to return to work after an accident which can go a long way in relieving mental health issues too.