“Nothing makes you feel better like getting on with life.”

When George Shaw, a Starwood maintenance employee at a South Florida hotel property, was helping the housekeeping department move a load of linens, the loose sole of his tennis shoe sent him tumbling. “My toe hurt so bad, I guess I didn’t realize my ankle was hurt, too,” he reports. “I strapped my shoe back together with a rubber band and went on. That night, my ankle swelled so big I couldn’t get a shoe on. I iced it, but come morning, the boss sent me to the walk-in clinic. That’s when they told me it was broken and I’d have to have surgery and pins and whatnot,” he shakes his head, remembering.

“They worked on it, and I stayed off it like they said. But I wanted to be back at work. Nothing makes you feel better like getting on with life. Still, the doctors were sure that I shouldn’t come back until I could walk better, and my boss agreed. Seemed like they thought 72 was older than I did!

Well I did like they said, and after a couple of weeks I could walk a little. So, I wanted to come back to work. My Summit adjustor got together with my boss and me, and agreed that I could work some. We had a golf cart to help me with any distances, so I just came on in.” He adds, with a twinkle. “When you’re 72, sometimes you have a pain here and there. That’s how you know life is good and that you’re living it!”

According to Dan Cahill, George’s supervisor at Sheraton PGA, a Starwood property, George is a key player in keeping the resort’s pool and 28-acre grounds pristine. “His ankle was pretty shattered, but you can’t keep George down. Summit’s Back2Work coordinator helped us figure out how to keep him on the job. Their adjustor came to help decide what he could do that fit his medical restrictions, and they took all the hassle out of the financial side of getting hurt. I’ve never seen George happier than the day Summit helped him come back to work, crutches and all—and we’re glad to have him back.”

Starwood, a forward- thinking company, understands the value of getting injured employees back on the job as quickly as medically possible. Behavioral research shows that injured people heal faster and feel better the less their lives are interrupted. HR research shows that employees who feel like their company cares respond with loyal service and high morale.

Summit’s Back2Work program can work for your company. We’ll help you create transitional jobs so that you’re ready to put your program into play the minute an injury is reported. When you offer Back2Work as a benefit, employees feel valued, and like Starwood, you’ll eliminate temporary help, extra training costs and lost time. George was able to handle transitional duties from folding linens to deskwork while his shattered ankle healed—as well as keep his paycheck and stay in touch with his friends and co-workers. Today he’s back at work 100 percent—with a new pair of tennis shoes—and he’s yet one more example of Summit’s responsible approach to workers’ comp.

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