Injury management system

Building and sustaining commitment

Injury Management Policy

The University has an Injury management & rehabilitation policy that documents:

  • The policy declaration;
  • The name of the return to work coordinator;
  • The name of the occupational rehabilitation provider approved by the regulator as required; 
  • Specific responsibilities and the processes to be followed;
  • The provision of suitable duties; and
  • Information on Return to Work Plans.

The Injury Management & Rehabilitation Policy includes a commitment to early intervention, early and appropriate return to work, and where possible, maintaining injured employees at the workplace. The policy is regularly reviewed to ensure that it remains relevant and appropriate to the University.

Responsibility and authority to act

The University has nominated return to work coordinators who are given the level of responsibility and authority necessary to fulfil the duties of this role under workers compensation legislation. Employees are made aware that the University's Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) team are involved in the delivery of the injury management system e.g. online induction for new employees. WHS Team members are qualified return to work coordinators.

For specialist advice and guidance on injury management, the University has access to a variety of injury management professionals including medical professionals and occupational rehabilitation professionals. The Manager, Workplace Health and Safety has overall responsibility for the effectiveness of the injury management system.

Review and evaluation

A review of the Injury Management & Rehabilitation Policy is undertaken at regular intervals to ensure its continuing suitability and effectiveness in satisfying the University's stated injury management objectives.

Employee involvement and consultation

Through the University's HSR's, assistance and advice on injury management policies and procedures are communicated to employees and management of the University. They are also involved in the development and review of the University's occupational rehabilitation program. This may involve selected HSR's coming together as a committee to review policies and procedures or specific issues raised by employees (relating to injury management) and make recommendations to the University's Executive.

Dispute management

The Injury Management & Rehabilitation Policy outlines the dispute management process for dealing with injury management disputes. This process includes the involvement of non-workplace parties who may assist in the management of a dispute e.g. external consultants for an independent medical opinion.

The process sets out that the issue may be referred to the Workers Compensation Commission for resolution.

Documenting procedures and control

Injury management procedures

On those occasions when injuries do occur the Injury Management & Rehabilitation Policy provides the framework for an equitable and consistent approach to the management of workplace injuries and occupational rehabilitation. The policy can be accessed from the SCU Policy Library and carries identification of its status, authorisation, date of issue, and date of modification.

The University has developed Workers' compensation procedures to ensure the efficient and timely reporting and management of workplace injury where there may be a claim for workers compensation.

The procedures are readily available to employees from the SCU Policy Library.

Workers' compensation legislation and information

The Workplace Health and Safety team maintains up to date information on workers compensation and injury management legislative requirements and ensures that this is reflected in current policies and procedures of the University.

Insurance and control of services

Workers' compensation insurance

Employers Mutual Insurance currently provide insurance for the University in NSW, ACT, Victoria and South Australia, Queensland is covered by WorkCover Queensland. All contractors and subcontractors of service to the University provide a Certificate of Currency for workers compensation prior to commencing work, all records are maintained by Facilities Management and Services.

Injury management services

Where required, the University accesses the services of accredited rehabilitation providers to case manage injured workers for the safe and speedy return to pre-injury fitness and duties.

Management of the work process

Systems of work - provision of information

Employees have access to the Workers Compensation Procedures as an information guide and new employees are made aware of resources in the online Employee Induction.

Register of injuries

As required under the Workers Compensation Act 1987 (NSW), the University maintains a register of all reported injuries. The register is maintained by Workplace Health and Safety. The register also records all identified hazards or 'near misses'. The RiskWare portal is used to record the above notification and includes interventions by the supervisor/manager/Head of Work Unit to prevent a recurrence. The RiskWare portal is the mechanism for reporting in place for all states and territories and includes employees working overseas.

Claims management documentation

On receipt of a notification of injury, notification is made to the insurer within 48 hours. All correspondence related to the claim is held on file by the Workplace Health and Safety team. Copies are emailed to the insurer and include WorkCover medical certificates, claim forms, invoices, referrals, reports, etc. During the course of the claim, once accepted by the insurer, remuneration is paid to the injured employee by the University and any 'unfit for work periods' are claimed back from the insurer by the University.

Assessing potential for return to work

Prior to developing a return to work plan, the University in consultation with the injured employee and their general practitioner will assess the employee's capacity to return to work. Once assessed, discussion occurs with the work unit to establish a return to work plan, in some instances this may be assisted by an occupational rehabilitation provider.

Return to work

The Return to Work Coordinator is the link with all key parties and is involved in the return to work process - from the beginning until the injured employee returns to pre-injury fitness and duties. The process of return to work is documented in the Injury Management and Rehabilitation Policy. Once all parties have been consulted and agreement is reached on the capacity of the employee and the availability of suitable duties, a formal return to work plan is established and signed off by all parties.

When an employee is injured and not expected to return to work immediately, the Return to Work Coordinator will make contact with the employee as soon as circumstances permit and maintain contact as often as necessary, or as appropriate. The Return to Work Coordinator also makes the injured employee aware of relevant procedures which may affect their claim for compensation and occupational rehabilitation.

During the rehabilitation period, the Return to Work Coordinator monitors how the plan is progressing to ensure that the most appropriate occupational rehabilitation needs of the employee and the workplace are being met.

The aim of the rehabilitation program is to return the injured employee to their substantive position but where this is not practicable i.e. the injured employee does not have a capacity to return to their pre-injury duties, the University in consultation with key parties will endeavour to find appropriate duties elsewhere within the employee's competency.

Collecting and using data

Injury management records

The University's system ensures:

  • Injury records are kept for the required time period;
  • Confidential files of information pertaining to workers compensation claim are maintained;
  • Files are securely stored; and
  • Access to files is restricted to persons with a legitimate right of access

Injury management data and reports

The University collects relevant data from the injury management system and prepares reports that assess performance and corrective actions taken. Reports are distributed to the University's Executive and Council. Examples of performance indicators include:

  • Claims costs and estimates;
  • Long term cost of injury; and
  • Lost time injury frequency rate.

Developing skills & competencies

Members of the Workplace Health and Safety Team with responsibilities under the injury management program complete specific training such as Return to Work Coordinator, to undertake their duties. WHS Team members also complete the Mental Health First Aid program.

Training - induction

All new employees complete the online induction which includes information on the injury management and rehabilitation policy and procedures to ensure they understand their rights and obligations in the event of an injury.