Article included in edition Volume 14 :: Nr.1 :: July 2018

Empirical Research

Back-to-work paths after an accident: facing new obstacles

Cláudia Pereira1, Marta Santos2 & Liliana Cunha3
(1) Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação
Universidade do Porto
Rua Alfredo Allen
4200-135 Porto
Portugal
cpereira@fpce.up.pt
(2) Centro de Psicologia da Universidade do Porto
Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação
Universidade do Porto
Rua Alfredo Allen
4200-135 Porto
Portugal
marta@fpce.up.pt
(3) Centro de Psicologia da Universidade do Porto
Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação
Universidade do Porto
Rua Alfredo Allen
4200-135 Porto
Portugal
lcunha@fpce.up.pt
Abstract

This paper discusses the obstacles the injured workers have to face upon their return to work after the accident. Two studies developed in Portugal support the analysis and the reflection on this issue. One of the studies is the outcome of a request from a company settled in the North of Portugal involving the workers with medical restrains to perform their usual work. The order consisted in an intervention to define an alternative work context. The other study, ordered by the Associação Nacional dos Deficientes e Sinistrados do Trabalho [National Association of Disabled Workers Injured On-the-job], aimed at depicting the workers’ post-accident paths from different activity sectors.

Three main categories of obstacles emerge from the findings, namely, when the workers return to the same function with no prior analysis and planning; when the content of the job is assigned without taking the workers’ opinion into account; and when the return neglects the need for the collective work to be reorganized.

The concept of the work accident as a turning point in the professional path is reinforced. The implications are always unique and the analysis to that singularity makes it possible to sign specific intervention proposals beyond the individual paths.

Keywords work accidents; turning point; paths; obstacles.