Even when you’ve ticked all of the boxes when it comes to identifying and reporting workplace hazards, injuries sometimes still occur. It’s important for injured employees to get back to work as quickly as possible because the longer they are off work, the more difficult it is for them to get back to work and their pre-injury duties.
As the end of financial year approaches and Workers Compensation premiums are due, it’s a good idea to get as many injured employees back to work as possible. They’re the ones who are fit and ready to take on work. But how can you ensure that your injured employees are getting the right treatment and recuperating at the appropriate rate? We’ve put together some tips to help.
1. A primary factor determining the duration of an injury is how quickly the injury is treated. It’s essential to seek medical treatment when necessary and not wait to see if the injury gets better. Failure to seek treatment promptly can, and does, delay recuperation.
2. Help employees with their Workers compensation claims to ensure that they understand the process and the forms that need to be completed. This is especially important for employees whose first language is not English.
3. Keep in touch with your injured employees. It’s a mistake to leave them alone until they are feeling better. Regular phone calls and emails are advisable and will keep your injured employees engaged in their rehabilitation.
4. Speak regularly with care providers to ensure that your injured employees are attending all of their appointments and completing any required home-based exercises.
5. There is a lot of help available to injured employees. If their recovery from injury seems to be taking longer than anticipated, then it’s important to get outside assistance. Perhaps there are un-diagnosed issues affecting their recovery.
6. Consider alternate duties or light duties for injured employees. It’s always advisable for injured employees to recover at work where they are surrounded by their workmates rather than be alone at home.
7. Ensure that injured employees understand all of their return to work options and the impact on their health from remaining off work.
8. Sometimes employees are concerned about injuring themselves again, and this can have an impact on their confidence and impede their recovery. Consider providing guidance on how to prevent recurrence.
9. Ensure that managers and supervisors understand the return to work processes and outcomes so that they are able to support injured employees when they return to work.
Workplace culture can affect injury outcomes. We believe that better return to work outcomes are experienced in organisations with:
- active safety leadership
- a proactive approach to injury management
- engaged employees
- early intervention
- an understanding of the need to address the physical, social and personal needs of the employee.
At Recovery Partners we help injured employees get back to work faster. If you need help please contact us; we’d love to assist.
Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au
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