Injury Management

Document Currently Under Review

Current Status: Under Review /With Editor 14 May 2014

Injury Management Policy

Policy Code: HR1461

Purpose

To acknowledge the University’s commitment to the effective management of work-related injuries and to the provision of appropriate support and assistance to ill or injured staff members.

Scope

This policy applies to all staff members employed by the University.

Definitions

Alternative Employment/Alternative Workplace:

Employment that is different from the staff member’s usual pre-injury position, as detailed in their position description.

In certain circumstances this may mean the staff member is placed in an alternative School/Centre/Institute/Directorate where the suitable duties are available.

Current work capacity In relation to a staff member, means a present inability arising from a work-related 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:

The duration of the University's obligation to provide Suitable or Pre-Injury employment to an injured Staff Member.

The Employment Obligation continues for 52 weeks, commencing from the date a WorkSafe Certificate of Capacity or claim for weekly payments is received (which ever is earlier). This period may not be continuous as it only takes into account those periods where the Staff Member cannot do their full pre-injury duties and hours.

Insurer:

The Insurer is an agent appointed by WorkSafe Victoria.

The Insurer is authorised by WorkSafe Victoria to:

  • pay benefits to injured workers;
  • collect premiums;
  • manage compensation claims; and
  • provide return to work and risk management advice;

in accordance with the Accident Compensation Act 1985 and associated legislation and regulations.

Modified Duties: Duties that a Staff Member undertakes as part of their usual employment that have been modified or restricted to take into account the Staff Members current medical condition, as detailed on a WorkSafe Certificate of Capacity.
Occupational Rehabilitation Program: A documented process to assist injured/ill staff members to return to work from a work-related illness or injury
Offer of Suitable Employment (OSE): A written offer detailing the duties offered and hours of work for an injured staff member who is able to return to work.
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. Duties undertaken prior to a work-related injury occurring.
Rehabilitation Provider: An external organisation approved by WorkSafe Victoria that provides independent support to injured workers and their employer by facilitating the return to work process.
Return to Work Plan (RTW): A written plan detailing how the University will assist a staff member stay at work/return to work while recovering from a work-related injury or illness
Staff Members:

Any employee of the University.

Any person who holds a current contract of employment with the University

Suitable Employment:

Suitable employment is work that is suited to the Staff Members medical condition, capacity for work, skills and experience.

It is work the injured Staff Member can do without the risk of further injury. The aim is to support the injured Staff Member so they can remain at or return to work while they recover from their injury and return to their normal work when possible.

Supervisors: Any Head of School, Head of Department, Directors, Manager or Supervisor who has the responsibility for the management of staff.
Work Related Injury: Any injury, illness or disease where employment is a significant contributing factor as defined by the Accident Compensation Act 1985.
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 with the University’s Coordinator, Workplace Support.
WorkSafe Victoria:

WorkSafe Victoria is the manager of Victoria's workplace safety system.

Broadly, the responsibilities of WorkSafe are to:

  • 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

In accordance with the Accident Compensation Act 1985, the University is committed to providing staff members with support and assistance following a work-related injury, and promoting effective and sustainable rehabilitation assistance.

  • The injury management process will commence as soon as possible after a work-related injury/illness is reported and will take into account the injured staff members’ psychological and physical recovery.
  • The University will endeavour to assist staff to remain at work while they recover or return to work at their earliest opportunity and will, where possible, provide modified pre-injury employment or offer other suitable employment to an injured staff member.
  • If an injured staff member is unable to ever return to their pre-injury duties, the University will consider offering alternative employment at the University, within the staff member’s ongoing medical restrictions. Any alternative employment offered will be in accordance with the University’s operational requirements. Should no suitable alternative employment be available, the University will engage a Rehabilitation Provider to assist the staff member in finding alternative employment with another organisation.

The University may provide, in some instances and subject to operational requirements, support and assistance in returning to work to a staff member who has sustained a personal injury, illness or disease upon the presentation of a medical certificate certifying them fit to undertake modified pre-injury employment.

The success of the Injury Management Policy and the Injury Management Procedure is dependent on a cooperative and proactive environment being created to enable successful outcomes to be achieved for both the injured staff member and the University.

Responsibility

Responsible Officer:

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

Coordinator, Workplace Support:

The Coordinator, Workplace Support 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 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:

Supervisors are responsible for:

  • ensuring that staff under their supervision observe University policies and procedures;
  • promptly advising the Co-ordinator, Workplace support of any injuries or illnesses in their School or Section that are, or will potentially be, work-related.
  • promptly forwarding any paperwork relating to a staff member’s injury to the Co-ordinator, Workplace Support;
  • working together with an injured staff member and the Co-ordinator, Workplace Support and Rehabilitation Provider in developing return to work options; and
  • providing support to their staff members in returning to work.

Injured Staff Members:

Injured staff members are required to:

  • provide all documentation related to their work-related injury as soon as practicable to the Co-ordinator, Workplace Support;
  • provide relevant information to their supervisor, the Co-ordinator, Workplace Support, 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 Co-ordinator, Workplace Support 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 you opportunities to return to work, if requested to do so; and
  • actively participate in the Return to Work Issue Resolution process.

Implementation

The Injury Management Policy is to 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. Inclusion on the University Policy, Procedure and forms website;and
  3. Electronic or hard copies provided to supervisors and injured staff members.