Temporary staffing can help address disability issues

Did you know that disability claims of all kinds rose – some sharply – during the Great Recession?

With today’s still-recovering economy, workers are continuing to feel high levels of stress, and this can have a direct impact on an employer’s bottom line, leading to even more disability claims.

Employers are still operating on leaner budgets, which means many employees are taking on heavier workloads and working longer hours.

For some employees, the stress can impact their health in a variety of ways, said Alex Dumont, assistant vice president of product marketing at The Standard.

“Stress can lead to potentially disabling conditions that would include an exacerbation of mental nervous conditions ranging from anxiety to depression,” Dumont said. “It can also negatively impact a host of physical conditions, including heart, gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal problems, and it also impacts repetitive stress disorders, like carpal tunnel syndrome.”

From 2005 to 2010, Social Security disability data reveals that musculoskeletal claims increased by about 47 percent, while mental nervous claims went up 10 percent, and nervous system and respiratory claims jumped 26 and 20 percent, respectively.

Much of this growth is attributed to higher workloads and stress in the workplace.

Early intervention starts with open communication between the manager and employee before disability coverage even begins, and the most effective conversation should explore the possibilities for job modifications. By outlining what the employee needs on the job, it makes for a clear return-to-work program.  

A temporary staffing firm also can help. Many human resources professionals do not have the time or resources to deal with some of these disabling issues, but staffing firms such as Apprentice Personnel can help by identifying the issue early and intervening as appropriate.

And, of course, when your employees are out on disability, our temps can help fill the gap.

About the Author

Larry Hannappel

Larry spent 16 years with Century Casino’s and was instrumental in the start-up and growth of the company through expansions in Canada, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Poland and on several cruise ships as well as in Colorado. He was most recently the SVP, Principal Finance Officer and COO of North American operations for Century Casinos Inc., a multinational, Nasdaq-traded gaming company. Earlier in his career, Larry worked at the Johns Manville Corp. Larry spent 13 years in various accounting and finance functions in the company’s fiberglass manufacturing division and was key in the start-up of a molding plant in Indiana. Larry and his wife Kathy and three children live in Colorado. He enjoys four-wheeling, motorcycling, golfing, skiing and brewing beer.

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