The campaign emphasizes that stigma surrounding workplace injuries can significantly hinder the return-to-work process and can be mitigated by discouraging comments or gossip about an injured worker's condition.
SWA warns that unmanaged stigma can impede workers from disclosing injuries, making claims, receiving treatment, recovering, and returning to work. Psychological harm and negative effects on organizational morale, productivity, and costs can also result from stigma.
According to SWA, workers' compensation stigma occurs when individuals, groups, or the organization as a whole stereotype or discriminate against injured or ill workers seeking workers' compensation.
The resources provided by SWA include fact sheets for employers, supervisors, and workers, focusing on actions to reduce stigma.
Employers are encouraged to foster supportive and inclusive work environments, promote workers' rights and responsibilities regarding health and safety, and actively support access to workers' compensation. Supervisors are advised to prevent bullying, discriminatory behavior, and to lead by example in supporting injured or ill workers through inclusive language, empathy, and calling out poor behavior.