Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses - Assessment and Treatment

The University of Michigan is committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment for employees. If employees are concerned about potentially unsafe working conditions or hazards, they should discuss this with their supervisor and either Safety Management Services (Michigan Medicine Internal Audiences only) or Environmental Health and Safety (Ann Arbor Campus). SMS or EHS assesses worksite hazards, investigates accidents and recommends actions to decrease hazards.

Safety Management Services

  • Phone: (734) 764-4427
  • Fax: (734) 936-7644

Environmental Health and Safety

  • Phone: (734) 647-1143
  • Fax: (734) 763-1185

In spite of the best safety efforts, work-related injuries and illnesses still happen. In the event of an on-the-job injury or a work-related illness, U-M Occupational Health Services works with the employee, supervisor, Work Connections and Human Resources to ensure high-quality medical treatment and to smooth the progress of recovery. We will work with you and your supervisor to identify tasks that you are able to do while recovering from an injury. Many research studies show that working within your capacity, rather than being off work, is the best way to hasten recovery.

Illness or Injury Report Form

If you experience a work-related injury or illness, it is very important that you and your supervisor complete an Illness or Injury Report Form (pdf print form  |  online form). This form documents the injury or illness, and supervisors use the form to identify things that might be done to avoid future incidents. The supervisor sends or faxes these reports to Safety Management Services/Environmental Health and Safety, where the reports are used to identify trends for safety improvement, comply with state regulations, and authorize treatment and wage benefits.

Work Connections Information

Work Connections administers the University of Michigan's Workers' Compensation Program. Questions regarding compensation, wage replacement, medical expenses, etc., should be directed to that office:

  • Local number: (734) 615-0643
  • Toll-free number: (877) 869-5266

Under the Michigan Workers' Disability Compensation Act, employers must designate a medical provider for the first 10 days of treatment. Following that period, the employee may elect a different provider, although, at the University of Michigan, Work Connections must be informed in writing of the name of the chosen provider. The employee assumes responsibility for ensuring that medical reports from outside providers are sent to Work Connections.

For Hospital and Health Center Employees

U-M Occupational Health Services is the designated provider. Hospital and Health Center employees should always receive their initial evaluation and treatment from U-M Occupational Health Services (or the University of Michigan Emergency Department when U-M Occupational Health Services is closed). After the initial period, if you choose to go to a provider other than U-M Occupational Health Services, make sure you understand what will be expected from you regarding communication and follow-up. If you are seen in the University of Michigan Emergency Department, you must follow up with U-M Occupational Health Services on the next business day.


OHS will ensure Work Connections has authorized all treatments and services ordered by OHS.  All services and treatments authorized by Work Connections will be covered by Work Connections (examples: physical therapy, occupational therapy, diagnostic tests, medications, etc.).   OHS may refer an employee/patient to another UM clinic for a consultation and/or visit.  These visits and any associated treatment may or may not be covered by Work Connections.  Additional authorization must be requested through Work Connections to confirm services/treatment will be covered. 

If, after 28 days, you decide to be treated by a provider other than U-M OHS, that treatment is not automatically covered and must be authorized by Work Connections. If you choose an outside provider, he/she must communicate the treatment plan and return-to-work information to Work Connections. This is important to ensure that your benefits are protected.

Medical services not authorized by Work Connections may be billed to you, so it is very important to make sure that the billing information is correct prior to receiving treatment.

Return-to-Work Plan

In the majority of cases, employees can continue to work in some capacity while recovering from injury or illness. If it is determined that you can return to work with restrictions, U-M OHS, your supervisor and Work Connections will work together to identify tasks that you can do within your physical limitations. Regardless of your work status, it is your responsibility to give the return-to-work status form to your supervisor immediately after you visit U-M OHS.

If you are seeing an outside provider, you also are responsible for returning a Work Status Report as soon as possible.

Keeping your supervisor informed of your work status and restrictions is critical to a positive outcome for you and your employer and will ensure that your wages are not interrupted.

U-M OHS Mission

U-M Occupational Health Service's mission is to provide U-M faculty and staff with high-quality, cost-effective and caring medical services. We welcome your questions and comments. We recognize that people who experience job injuries will have concerns regarding their health, treatment and wages. We are committed to working with you, your supervisor and Work Connections to make sure you receive proper treatment and are able to return to productive work as soon as possible.