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Presentation on theme: "Regional OHS Regional meeting November 2011. AGENDA WELCOME ACHIEVEMENTS AND CHALLENGES CHANGES TO VOCATIONAL REHAB PROGRAMS CLAIMSCONNECT SERVICE AND."— Presentation transcript:

1 Regional OHS Regional meeting November 2011


3 Work trial - enhancement and changes Combined total of work trial time considered beyond 12 weeks to secure employment Payment for costs associated with work trials will be made by the Scheme agent, or by WorkCover for self/specialised insurers 3

4 Retraining – key points 4 Retraining is used to provide a worker with the skills and qualification to secure durable employment Course selection should be strongly vocationally oriented A cost benefit analysis to justify the value of the course Worker motivation is a strong indicator of success

5 Equipment and workplace modifications - description of program Provision of funding for equipment and/or workplace modifications is considered where it is necessary to allow an injured worker to return to or remain at work, or to accept an offer of suitable employment. 5

6 Equipment and workplace modifications - enhancement Extended to include tools of trade which are essential to secure a specific job. 6

7 Transition to work – description 7 Funding up to $5,000 in total to address any identified short term barrier or need preventing a worker accepting employment.

8 Transition to work – decision making 8 1. Assessment of need 2. Eligibility Worker receiving, or eligible to receive benefits Offer of employment Minimum 32 hours paid employment (or pre-injury hrs) per fortnight Work must be ongoing All relevant parties agree employment is suitable. 3. Transition to work principles

9 Transition to work – key points 9 New program designed to address any significant barrier/need preventing a worker from accepting a specific offer of suitable employment. Worker needs to have a specific job offer before proceeding further with decision making process. The program is designed to be flexible in meeting worker’s needs.

10 JobCover Placement Program - enhancements 10 1. Exemption of Wages: Injured worker’s wages excluded from premium calculation – increased from 1 to 2 years 2. Protection against further costs Costs for any changes to the existing injury will not have an impact on the new employer’s premium -increased from 1 to 2 years

11 JobCover Placement Program – enhancements 11 3. Wage Subsidy: The maximum payable will be $27,400 for the worker’s first year of employment with the new employer. The following maximum incremental amounts will be payable $400 per week for first 12 weeks (max of $4,800) $500 per week for next 14 weeks (max of $7,000) $600 per week for next 26 weeks (max of $15,600)

12 Early Intervention Injury Management Strategies for Employers

13 “Early intervention means assisting an employee before a symptom develops into an injury, or as soon as possible after an injury. Responding early can often prevent the employee from becoming ill, taking long- term sick leave or from needing to submit a workers' compensation claim.” Comcare Early Intervention

14 Providing a productive and supportive workplace Demonstrating management commitment Preventing long term absence from the workplace Reducing the adverse effects on co-workers Improving staff confidence and morale Increasing management involvement Increasing the probability of return to work Containing the cost of incapacity Reducing the indirect costs to employers Benefits and key elements of early intervention

15 1. Clear policy or guidelines 2. Line manager awareness 3. Early contact with the employee 4. Triage and screening 5. Employee, supervisor and return to work coordinator involvement in developing an agreed action plan 6. Access to effective medical treatment and evidence-based therapeutic interventions 7. Flexible workplace solutions e.g.: availability and identification of suitable duties Benefits and key elements of early intervention 7 key elements in early intervention:

16 Seek first aid & medical treatment for the injured worker immediately Ensure injuries register is updated Conduct an incident investigation Address and eliminate the cause of injury Notify your insurer of the injury within 48 hours Provide written and verbal explanation of the workers’ compensation process and obligations to the worker Complete the workers’ compensation claim form Employer’s Role When an injury occurs…

17 Educate supervisors / line managers on the ground Implement and monitor a return to work program Identify suitable duties e.g. use of task analysis cards Implement a return to work plan for any injured workers on suitable duties Communicate with key stakeholders e.g. GP, worker, insurer, rehab providers Participate in the development of the injury management plan with your insurer Maintain active involvement and communication in the claim from start to finalisation Promote a positive attitude in the workplace towards RTW through training and education The return to work process… Employer’s Role

18 Refuse to acknowledge the injury Refuse to accept claim forms from the injured worker Refuse to forward the claim forms to your insurer Dismiss the worker for lodging a claim Permanently replace the worker with another full time employee immediately after the injury Cease communicating with the worker Contest the liability of the claim on the basis of personal opinion or belief What you should not do… Employer’s Role

19 Employers Excess Excess applies on claims when notification of an injury is outside 5 calendar days of the date of the injury. The excess is equivalent to one week of the injured workers wages Excess does not apply to journey or recess claims Claims Excess WorkCover expectation for claims notification is 48 hrs

20 It is vital that line managers are advised and provided education on the importance of providing and supporting suitable duties Communicate with the worker and NTD and revise / update the RTW plan when required Forward return to work plans to your insurer Review the RTW Plan and support graduated upgrades Monitor the program and ensure the duties remain appropriate Liaise with your insurer and engage a rehabilitation provider if reasonably necessary Provide ongoing support and encouragement Monitoring Suitable Duties Stay involved…

21 Provide support and information from time of injury Ensure industrial relations remain separate from the injury Maintain regular and consistent contact with the injured worker Attempt to engage in face to face communication where possible Inform workers of any changes Advise the worker when contact with the NTD will occur Employer Relationship – Employer Level of Care Are you communicating with your injured workers?

22 You have the authority to contact the Nominated Treating Doctor (NTD) to discuss aspects of the employee’s injury It is important to develop a rapport as a means of identifying solutions to potential issues Contact the NTD as soon as possible after the injury and introduce and outline the injury management and RTW process Ensure the NTD remains involved in all revisions of RTW plans Offer the NTD the opportunity to attend your workplace Prior to your discussion with the NTD prepare a list of suitable duties that may be available Nominated Treating Doctors - Communication Are you successful in engaging with treating Doctors?

23 Improving the physician role in evaluating work ability and managing disability: a survey of primary care practitioners. Disability & Rehabilitation 2002;24 (16):867 – 874. Pransky G, Katz JN, Benjamin K, Himmelstein J. Findings: Doctors were asked how they would discover alternative tasks available at work when a patient’s illness or injury made them unable to do their usual duty:  70% responded that they would ask the patient  5% responded that they would contact the patient’s employer How doctor’s perceived their role in treating work disability:  Most saw their main role as to support the patient and advocate their interest rather than those of the employer 78% appreciated the importance of an early return to work Nominated Treating Doctors - Communication

24 This is achieved through: Prompt reporting of injuries Open, transparent and regular communication between all stakeholders Ensuring a RTW plan is current Timely access to reasonably necessary treatment Early identification and provision of suitable duties Timely, durable and safe RTW quantifies to a saving in Premium Benefits of Effective Communication Employers who communicate and liaise closely with the injured worker, NTD & insurer are able to influence and assist in success of the workers’ timely recovery and return to work…

25 What is Claims Connect Help desk service to assist you with your workers compensation program An NDS initiative in partnership with Echelon NDS product developed to assist members Free in NSW Maximum of 5 hours of assistance Overview of Claims Connect

26 What does Claims Connect provide; A dedicated member help desk via a 1300 number and email address Access to experienced workers compensation consultants We are able to assist you with managing your insurer Assist you in the early identification process of any possible risk or claim Strategic advice concerning injuries and or premiums Overview of Claims Connect

27 27 Model Regulations Representation and participation General risk & workplace management requirements Hazardous work & hazards – Noise – Manual tasks – Confined spaces – Falls – High risk work (licensing) – Electricity – Diving Plant & structures Construction Hazardous chemicals, asbestos, MHFs Mining (NT, SA, Tasmania, Victoria, ACT, Commonwealth)

28 SUMMARY AND KEY CHANGES Introduction of health and safety representatives WHS entry permit holders required to give notice before entering Residual current devices required for hostile environments or hostile operations from 1/1/2013 Licencing of asbestos assessors and obligations on PCBU to use licensed asbestos assessors Asbestos removers need certified safety management plan Altered certification requirements pest and fumigation and high risk work Chemical provisions based on globally harmonised system for classification of chemicals 5 year transition period Audiometric testing Plant registration every 5 years rather than yearly

29 29 Model WHS Codes of Practice 11 key codes currently with Ministers: – Risk management – Consultation, cooperation & coordination – Managing work environment and facilities – Manual tasks – Falls (general) – Confined Spaces – Noise – Asbestos (Management, Removal) – Chemicals (Labelling, SDS) Further 15 codes out for public comment

30 Issues Paper Helpful and easy to understand Reflect current state of knowledge and technological developments in relation to managing various risks Have an appropriate level of information or are too detailed including whether the information would be better dealt with in specific guidance, and Require additional examples or case studies to provide clarification

31 First Aid in the Workplace Regulations require provision of first aid equipment, access to equipment and facilities and adequate number of workers trained to administer first aid. Recommends risk management and consultation Consider hazards, size and location of workplace, number and composition of workers and others Low and high risk workplaces First aid kits, first aid signs, other first aid equipment, first aid facilities, trained first aiders Incorporate into emergency planning procedures

32 PREVENTING AND MANAGING FATIGUE IN THE WORKPLACE Risk management approach with consultation Defines effects of fatigue Defines factors that contribute to fatigue – Mental and physical demands of work work scheduling and planning – Environmental conditions – Organisation factors – Individual and lifestyle factors Suggests controls relating to above – Policy on Oncall to ensure good quality sleep and recovery – Avoid morning shift starting before 6am – Forward rotation of shifts and adequate breaks between Training of workers and managers/supervisors

33 PREVENTING AND RESPONDING TO WORKPLACE BULLYING Health includes physical and psychological health Includes definitions of direct and indirect bullying Identifying risk factors – Organisational culture – Leadership styles – Workplace relationships – Workforce characteristics Control risk – Eliminate factors that cause it – Develop workplace bullying policy inlcuding code of conduct – Develop effective complaints resolution procedures – Provide information and training – Encourage reporting Responding to workplace bullying incidents

34 MANAGING ELECTRICAL RISKS IN THE WORKPLACE General electrical safety at the workplace – Risk management practices – Inspecting and testing electrical equipment – nature and frequency vary depending on the nature of workplace and risks – defines high and low risk workplaces – Residual current devices – type 1 or 2 must be used Is there appropriate level of detail necessary to manage electrical risks in the workplace Electrical work

35 MANAGING RISKS OF PLANT IN THE WORKPLACE Obligations of all parties listed Plant needing registration Risk management approach with consultation Pre-purchase checks Plant hirer obligations Inspections of plant Maintenance, repair and cleaning of plant Specific control measures – Guarding – Operator controls – Emergency stops – Warning devices

36 MANAGING RISKS OF HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS Hazard identification – label and SDS Risk assessment – simple and obvious, generic, detailed Risk Control Emergency preparedness Hazardous chemical register Dangerous goods placards and manifests Feedback sought on whether this code is structured in a way that it is useful and easy to understand

37 Implementation Model Act and regulations to commence 1 Jan 2012 Compliance and enforcement policy Transitional arrangements being developed HWSA : – extensive program of developing regulator material for consistent implementation – alignment of existing guidance material – regulator training and compliance guidance 37


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