Injury Management

Injury Management Policy

Policy Code: HR1461

Purpose

To provide an operational framework that underpins Federation University Australia’s commitment to effectively managing work related injuries and to providing appropriate support and assistance to ill or injured staff members.

Scope

This policy applies to all Federation University Australia staff.

Definitions

Term Definition
Alternative Duties/Alternative Workplace Duties or employment that differ from those that are detailed in the staff member’s pre injury position description.
Current work capacity Under the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 means a present inability arising from an injury or illness such that the staff member is not able to return to their pre-injury employment but is able to return to work in suitable employment.
Employment obligation period A total period of 52 weeks, commencing on receipt of a WorkSafe Certificate of Capacity or claim for weekly payments (whichever is earlier), where the University has a legal obligation to provide an injured staff member with suitable or pre-injury employment, to the extent that it is reasonable to do so.  The employment obligation period is not necessarily 52 consecutive calendar weeks as it only includes those periods where the staff member cannot do their full pre-injury duties and hours.
Insurer

An Agent appointed by WorkSafe Victoria to:

  • register and maintain employer insurance policies
  • collect premiums
  • manage claims in accordance with WorkCover legislation, the Agency Agreement and policies, procedures and standards set by WorkSafe
  • provide claims and risk management services to employers
Modified Duties Duties that a staff member undertakes as part of their usual position that have been modified or restricted (eg the provision of support tools or equipment, reduced hours, rest breaks, working with the support of a colleague) to take into account the staff member’s current medical condition, as detailed on a WorkSafe Certificate of Capacity and/or other medical advice.
Occupational Rehabilitation Provider (ORP) A return to work professional who is experienced in dealing with workplace injuries and helping people back to safe work. For WorkCover claims, an ORP is independent of all parties involved in the claims process, including WorkSafe, the Agent managing the claim and the University.
Personal Illness or Injury An injury, illness or disease that is not related to employment.  A medical certificate(s) may be submitted.
Pre-Injury Duties Duties undertaken by a staff member, as per their position description and/or duties undertaken prior to a work-related injury occurring.
Return to Work Hierarchy

A sequence of return to work possibilities following injury or illness.

  • Normal job
  • Modified version of normal job
  • Alternative duties in same department
  • Alternative duties in different department/school/Centre/Institute/Directorate
  • Assistance to find other employment.
Return to Work (RTW) Plan A written plan detailing how the University will assist a staff member stay at/return to work while recovering from a work-related injury or illness.
Staff Member A person who is an employee of the University.  This includes any person who holds a current contract of employment with the University.
Suitable Duties (SD) offer (referred to as Suitable Employment in the WIRC) A written offer of duties to a staff member, detailing the hours and duties that are suitable to the staff member’s medical condition, capacity for work, skills and experience.  These duties may be modified normal duties or alternative duties.
Supervisor/Manager A staff member who has designated responsibility for managing and/or overseeing the performance and workplace behaviours of other workers.
Work Related Injury Any injury, illness or disease arising out of or in the course of employment or, where applicable, where employment is a significant contributing factor as defined by the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013. 
WorkCover Claim If a staff member has a work-related injury or illness, they may be able to receive compensation from WorkSafe Victoria.  To do this they must lodge a Worker’s Injury Claim Form and, if claiming compensation for time lost from work, a valid Certificate of Capacity.  These forms should be sent to the University’s Injury Management Advisor.
WorkSafe Victoria

The statutory authority set up by the Victorian Government to manage Victoria's workplace safety system and:-

  • help avoid workplace injuries occurring
  • enforce Victoria's occupational health and safety laws
  • provide reasonably priced workplace injury insurance for employers
  • help injured workers back into the workforce
  • manage the workers' compensation scheme by ensuring the prompt delivery of appropriate services and adopting prudent financial practices.

Policy Statement

Federation University Australia (the University), through the application of its Health and Safety Policy and Procedures is committed to providing and maintaining, as far as is reasonably practicable, a healthy and safe environment for its staff members and members of the University community. 

If a staff member sustains a work caused injury or illness, the University is committed to providing them with support and assistance pursuant to the provisions of the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 and in accordance with the University’s Injury Management Procedures.

The University encourages early injury reporting to support its early intervention approach to injury management.  The injury management process will commence as soon as possible after a work-related injury/illness is reported, taking into account the injured staff members’ psychological and physical recovery.

The University aims to support its staff in safely remaining at work whilst they recover from an injury or illness.  If a staff member ceases work due to injury, the University will support a safe return to work, considering the staff member’s current work capacity and applying the return to work hierarchy to provide suitable duties.

Whenever possible, the University will aim to support an injured staff member in their normal position with modifications as necessary. 

If an injured staff member is unable to ever resume their pre-injury duties, the University will consider offering alternative employment at the University, in a position that complies with the staff member’s ongoing medical restrictions.  Any alternative employment offered will be in accordance with the University’s operational requirements.  If no suitable alternative employment is available, an Occupational Rehabilitation Provider may be engaged through the University’s WorkSafe insurer to assist the staff member in finding alternative employment within another organisation.

The University will, subject to operational requirements, aim to provide support and assistance to a staff member resuming work following a personal injury, illness or disease. This would be upon the presentation of a medical certificate certifying the staff member fit to undertake modified pre-injury employment.

Injury management is a shared responsibility, requiring cooperation and collaboration between the key stakeholders in order to achieve successful outcomes for both the injured staff member and the University.

Confidentiality and Privacy

The University protects the confidentiality of information obtained in respect to a staff member’s injury or illness in accordance with the provisions of the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013, the Health Records Act 2001, the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and the Information Privacy Principles.

Responsibility

The Director, Human Resources has responsibility for the review and implementation of this policy.

The Injury Management Coordinator is responsible for:

  • managing, monitoring and reviewing this policy;
  • the ongoing management and monitoring of the University’s WorkCover claims;
  • consulting with staff members, supervisors, treating health practitioners and occupational rehabilitation providers to develop sustainable return to work options;
  • providing injured staff members with clear, accurate and current details of their return to work arrangements;
  • monitoring progress of return to work plans;
  • assisting injured/ill staff members in returning to work from their work-related injury/illness as soon as they are medically able to do so.

Supervisors are responsible for:

  • ensuring that staff under their supervision observe University policies and procedures;
  • promptly advising the Injury Management Coordinator if someone in their School or Section suffers an  injury or illness at work where they may require treatment or assistance or if they become aware of a staff member having an injury or illness that may be work related.
  • promptly forwarding (via email) any paperwork relating to a staff member’s injury to the Injury Management Coordinator;
  • working with an injured staff member, the Injury Management Coordinator and occupational rehabilitation providers (when engaged) to identify and develop return to work options; and
  • maintaining contact with and providing support to their staff members in returning to work following injury or illness.

Injured staff members are required to:

  • provide all documentation related to their work-related injury as soon as practicable to the Injury Management Coordinator;
  • provide relevant information to their supervisor, Injury Management Coordinator, treating health practitioners and rehabilitation provider about their work-related injury/illness, treatment and recovery;
  • make reasonable efforts to return to work in suitable or pre-injury employment and make reasonable efforts to participate in the return to work process;
  • discuss return to work offers with treating health practitioners and provide any feedback to the Injury Management Coordinator and/or rehabilitation provider;
  • actively participate and co-operate in assessments of capacity to work, rehabilitation progress or future employment prospects;
  • actively participate and co-operate with the insurer in an interview to enhance your opportunities to return to work, if requested to do so; and
  • actively participate in the Return to Work Issue Resolution process.

Legislative Context

  • The Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (the WIRC Act)
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
  • Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992
  • Health Records Act 2001
  • The Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 
  • Information Privacy Principles

Promulgation

The Injury Management Policy will be communicated throughout the University community in the form of:

  1. An Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the ‘Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University’ website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy
  2. Inclusion on the University Policy, Procedure and forms website
  3. Electronic or hard copies provided to supervisors and injured staff members
  4. Inclusion in training and development workshops

Implementation

The Injury Management Policy will be implemented throughout the University community via:

  1. An Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the ‘Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University’ website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy
  2. Staff Induction sessions
  3. Training sessions