Research project provides more support to injured workers


By Safety Solutions Staff
Tuesday, 11 July, 2017


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A method for identifying and supporting injured workers is being developed by WorkCover Queensland and Monash University.

The joint project will design and test an approach to assist injured workers who are at risk of poor return-to-work outcomes or may be pursuing common law against their employer.

It will also investigate the barriers and enablers of return to work, the factors influencing an injured worker’s reasons for suing their employer, and innovative claim management strategies to mitigate these risks.

Monash will collaborate with WorkCover’s staff and external stakeholders, including medical and allied health providers, during the nine-month project to develop and trial the approach.

The university has assembled an experienced group of work and health researchers headed by Professor Alex Collie, an internationally recognised researcher in occupational health and workplace rehabilitation, as well as senior researcher Dr Ross Iles.

“Workplace injury has huge impact on workers, families and the health system,” said Collie.

“Our group brings capability in occupational and public health to this collaborative project, and we look forward to creating and testing practical solutions that we expect to reduce this community burden.”

WorkCover Chief Executive Officer Bruce Watson said the Monash University partnership creates a strong fusion between industry and research that will realise significant insights and benefits for WorkCover and its customers.

“There are many hidden factors which can influence an injured worker’s prolonged time off work and ultimately their decision to pursue a common law claim against their employer,” Watson said.

“WorkCover is committed to understanding these factors and supporting workers and employers early in the ‘no fault’ statutory claim process to ensure an improved experience with better long-term outcomes for our customers.

“By making a positive difference early, we can deliver excellent return-to-work outcomes for workers at the lowest cost to Queensland employers.”

Learnings from the research project will be shared with WorkCover’s customers, stakeholders and other workers compensation schemes to continually improve how workers and employers are supported after their injury.

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