Category Archives: Injured Worker

icare Medical Panel Trial

icare recently announced the launch a pilot program trialling the use of an independent panel of medical providers. This initiative is hoped to provide various benefits including decreasing time currently taken to  approve injured worker treatments.

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Mental Health

Mental health issues are the 3rd most frequent health condition after cancer & health disease.  This means supervisors are likely to be managing workers suffering from a mental illness. We have identified common mental health hazards & workplace risk mitigation strategies.

An increasing concern for many businesses are the risks of mental health related incidents, injuries and resulting workers compensation claims. We have covered this topic previously and with psychological claims being 7-8 times more expensive than physical injuries the impacts of being reactive is a risk too large for many businesses.

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Fall Related Incidents

Recently we have been involved with an increased number of fall related incidents. The injuries sustained, & the resulting workers compensation claims, can often be complex & costly. In addition to claim related costs, employers also face material fines for unsafe work sites.

After providing advice and support recently to various clients with workers having sustained injuries (5 metre + 10 metre falls to concrete and an employee falling down fire escape), we wanted to provide greater insights into fall related incidents.

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Construction Site Safety

construction-site-safetyConstruction related work is considered one of the more dangerous or high risk occupations. Heights, heavy and large equipment, complex machinery and unstable ground are just some examples of what workers face in undertaking their work. With the number of construction industry workers having grown by 33% over the last 11 years, site safety is increasingly important and front of mind for most businesses in this industry. No matter how well trained or careful workers claim to be, due to the nature of their jobs construction workers are constantly exposed to hazardous conditions and dangerous situations. To highlight Australia’s National Safe Work Month, here are 5 steps to assist in making construction sites safer.

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Non-Work Related Injuries & Illness

non-work-injuriesHas one of your workers been injured outside of work and do you, as an business have an obligation to provide assistance to your worker? A non-work related injury/illness is defined as an injury or illness that did not arise out of or in the course of the workers employment. An injured worker includes a person with a temporary or permanent disability, physical or otherwise. It is important for businesses to be aware that allowing an injured worker to return to work after suffering an injury, especially a non-work related one, can be risky. If a worker returns to work before they are fit to do so and consequently aggravates his or her condition, the employer may find they are liable for a workers’ compensation claim.

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Occupational Violence

Occupational ViolenceOccupational violence is an incident where a worker is physically attacked in the workplace or during work related activities. It also extends to if a worker is threatened in a way that causes them to reasonably believe they are in danger of being physically attacked. With an ageing population, ensuring aged and other care workers are able to cope with the at times aggressive behaviour associated with some types of dementia or disabilities is an important issue for care providers. Recent data shows care workers represent more than 9 percent of NSW workers compensation claims with over 12,000 physical and mental claims made in the recent 3 year period. Addressing workplace bullying and violence be challenging yet SafeWork Australia provide recommendations.

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Occupational Asthma

Asthma At WorkOccupational Asthma (a new-onset asthma in which the underlying cause is exposure to an agent at work) is considered a work related illness and has led to numerous workers compensation claims in different industries over the past decade. Employers are legally responsible for informing their staff of general and specific hazards connected with their job and for providing employees with a safe and healthy workplace. Recent studies show over 40% of workers are exposed to one or more asthmagens in their workplace. According to Safe Work Australia workers in the farming, metal or wood and food preparation industries are most likely to be exposed. Businesses can take steps to minimise exposure to asthmagens in their workplace.

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Australia’s Most Dangerous Industries

Australia's Most DangerousIrrespective of the size of your business or industry you work in, workplace risks exist. Businesses that adopt a proactive risk management approach will typically minimise workplace risks, injuries and claims. Regrettably accidents do occur and in tragic situations the death of a worker has impacts beyond the obvious. Fatalities in the workplace not only affect the immediate family, they also cause distress to colleagues, employers and friends. No worker nor their family should face the risk of not coming home from work. We promote it is essential all Australian workplaces take every precaution to ensure their employees return home safe at the end of every day. So what are Australia’s most dangerous industries and the common cause of fatalities?

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Guidelines For Claiming Workers Compensation

SIRA GuidelinesThe State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) is the NSW government organisation responsible for regulating and administering the NSW workers compensation system. On the 10 July 2016, SIRA undertook a number of information sessions to introduce the SIRA “Guidelines for Claiming Worker’s Compensation”. These guides have been implemented to support workers, employers, insurers and other stakeholders in the process of claiming workers compensation. These new SIRA guidelines will come into effect from the 1 August 2016 and include such items as removing the need for the injured worker’s DOB, changes to claim decisions, removal of pre-approval for certain items and more.

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Return To Work Changes

RTW ChangesNew benefits to assist the return to work of NSW injured workers took affect on the 29th of April 2016. These changes include workplace modifications, the transition to work equipment and training programs.

In light of these changes there is increased fluidity and interaction with SIRA vocational rehabilitation programs. SIRA currently has 6 vocational education programs that are administered under Section 53 of the Act of 1988.

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