Employer Perspective: Unique Skills For Critical Incidents

Tasha Patterson@Work


The Unique Skills IDM Professionals Bring to Critical Incidents

By Jenny Haykin, CRC

Integrated Leaves & Accommodations Program Manager
Puget Sound Energy

While critical incidents such as earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, pandemics, volcanoes, and floods vary regionally, they share a common aid — the integrated disability management (IDM) professional’s ability to respond. Critical incidents typically result in a risk to, or loss of, health, circumstances, or life that disrupts business functioning and/or the coping ability of employees.

An effective critical incident response will result in employees returning to a supportive environment, the performance of safe and productive work, and the reestablishment of effective business functioning. The constant awareness of others’ life challenges and deep knowledge of available benefits uniquely positions IDM practitioners to offer recommendations and solutions before, during, and after critical incidents occur.


IDM professionals can be an asset during critical incident exercises and on critical incident response teams. A key to resuming productive business functioning is supporting employees during and after the crisis so they are able to return to work successfully. Communicating what those resources are and how they will address anticipated needs is a significant contribution to planning efforts. When preparing for critical incidents, consider if the programs in place are sufficiently designed to address emergencies when they occur.

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