What is an injury management system?

Injury management is “the management of workers’ injuries in a manner that is directed at enabling injured workers to return to work” (Section 5 of the legislation). It is the responsibility of employers and injured workers to cooperate in this process, where it is medically supported. An injury management system describes the steps you need to take when a workplace injury occurs.

Under workers’ compensation law, you must establish an injury management system in your workplace. WorkCover WA has issued a Code of Practice (Injury Management) 2005(the Code). The Code explains your legal responsibilities. To support the Code WorkCover WA has also issued the Injury Management: A Guide for Employers publication which provides information to assist employers to understand their legal obligations, provides guidance on developing an injury management system and contains a three step approach to effective injury management.

For more information on how Pace National can assist your organisation in establishing an injury management system click here.

Can I get help setting up my injury management systems?

Your insurer is required to make you aware of your obligations under section 155B and 155C (1) and (3) of the legislation. These sections relate to establishing and implementing injury management systems and return to work programs in accordance with the Code. Your insurer has an important role in assisting you with early intervention when a work injury occurs and with the establishment of appropriate return to work programs.

Under section 155D(3) of the legislation, the obligation for you to establish and implement return to work programs may be discharged by your insurer, provided you send your insurer a request to do so. If your insurer establishes and implements return to work programs on your behalf, they must comply with the Code where you would be obliged to do so.

Insurers determine liability for workers’ compensation claims lodged by injured workers and must process claims in accordance with the legislation. They are encouraged to communicate with their insured employers to provide information regarding claims management and to confirm that appropriate return to work activities have commenced when a worker has been injured at work.

Make arrangements to regularly meet your insurer with the injured worker, or set up another means of regular communication. This can help identify and resolve problems that could interfere with an early return to work.

When discharging obligations on your behalf, your insurer should involve you in decisions that are made.

For more information on how Pace National can assist your organisation in establishing an injury management system click here.

When to refer?

  • When there is an issue with the return to work process
  • When there is a need for the injured worker to complete alternative duties due to medical restrictions
  • For cases that require re-deployment
  • For specific services i.e. worksite assessment, vocational assessments and/or counselling
  • As a cost-effective approach to injury management
  • For a collaborative and holistic approach to the return to work process
  • To manage communications between key parties and ensure up to date information is received

My responsibilities as an employer in Western Australia

As an employer it is your responsibility to complete the following:

  • An Injury Management System set up for your company
  • Liaise with your insurer to submit the claim form and workers medical certificate/s – this must be completed within 5 days of receipt of these documents
  • Provide the worker with contact details for the insurer contact
  • Discuss pay i.e. sick leave, annual leave with worker whilst their wags are assessed by the insurer
  • Ensure weekly payments are made once the claim has been accepted and you have been advised by your insurer
  • Engage in the return to work process with the injured worker and treating doctor to ensure a Return to Work Program is completed with the injured worker
  • Give 28 days-notice to the injured worker and WorkCover WA if the injured worker’s position is terminated

As an employer, am I required to keep the injured worker’s job open?

  • Under the Act, you must keep an injured worker’s position available during the worker’s incapacity, where reasonably practicable, for 12 months from the day the worker is entitled to receive weekly payments. If the injured worker attains partial or total capacity to work during this time, you must provide their original position, where reasonably practicable, or another of equal status and pay for which they are qualified and capable of performing. During the 12 month period, if you intend to dismiss the injured worker, 28 days’ notice of that intention must be given to the worker and to WorkCover WA. This is to be done on a prescribed form available from WorkCover WA or from your insurer.

What is EAP?

EAP (Employee Assistance Programs) is a psychology-based intervention designed for the workplace, to assist with employees who are experiencing personal or work-related issues that may have a negative impact on their job performance. Employees can access counselling sessions through the EAP to support their mental health both inside and outside the workplace.

Click here for more information on Pace National’s EAP (Employee Assistance Programs).

This information is relevant for Western Australia legislation and will vary from state to state. For more information, please visit WorkCover WA.