Impact of a Disability Management Program on Employee Productivity in a Petrochemical Company

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An inhouse disability management program was implemented to reduce nonoccupational absences in a petrochemical corporation. The program was administered by full-time certified, corporate-based case managers and nine manufacturing location nurses.


Employees were required to report all absences on the first day and again on the fourth workday of absence. A medical certification form was required for absences of 4 or more working days. Extended absences were actively managed. An Internet-based case management tool, Medgate, was used as a primary management tool.


Results were compared with the previous year among the target population and with company business units not participating in the program. The program resulted in a 10% reduction in total absence days per employee (6.9 to 6.2) compared with the previous year, whereas business units not using the program had an 8% increase (5.5 to 5.9). This disability management program resulted in a more than four to one return on investment based on direct expenditures and cost savings in terms of reduced absence days.


The inhouse disability management program was successful by absence duration, employee satisfaction, and return on investment criteria.

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