All California Schools JPA districts and community colleges have committed to sustaining a safe, productive work environment that will give injured workers a clear opportunity to build physical capacity, strength and stamina while recovering from a work injury.
Norm Peterson & Associates developed the OUR System (Optimum Utilization of Resources) for the California Schools JPA school districts and community colleges. This is a proactive transitional work program that offers temporary, medically-approved, alternate jobs for employees whose own jobs cannot be modified to meet their current restrictions. These jobs are called Bridge Assignments, because they “bridge the gap” between injury and recovery. All identified jobs have been reviewed to include the physical requirements of each task.
Each district office has a notebook of these Bridge assignments that were developed and approved by school district personnel. All job titles are listed in a grid based on physical requirements regarding different injuries (knee, back, shoulder, etc.) and which suggests new jobs for graduated assignments as the employee heals. If your District Office is missing the Our System Manual, please contact the California Schools JPA Return-to-Work Coordinator, Ed Lee at (909) 763-4900 to get a replacement.
Studies continue to show a strong correlation between the length of time an employee stays away from work and the likelihood that employee will ever return. A study suggests that there only a 60-day window for workers to return to work. After that, a significant number never return. Over time, workers can develop “disability dependence – a mindset of being sick”. In this scenario, nobody wins.
Early return to work after an injury or illness has been proven to be critical in promoting timely functional recovery for our injured employees, with as little impact to their finances as possible. Keep valued employees within the work group increases the success rate for full functional recovery, maintenance of the employee’s financial security, and significantly reduces Workers’ Compensation claim costs. In this scenario, everybody wins.