WorkSafe toolkit encourages injured workers? return

Forming part of the organisation?s Return to Work, Return to Life campaign, WorkSafe Victoria has designed a new toolkit for employers that includes templates, checklists and forms that can be customised to suit an individual company?s needs. The toolkit is designed specifically for small to medium-sized businesses, particularly those that aren?t hugely experienced with workplace injury insurance claims.

WorkSafe believes that injured workers are likely to recover much more quickly if they return to work earlier. According to a Newspoll survey, injured employees broadly agree with WorkSafe, with 71 per cent of Victorians stating that workers would benefit from returning to work before being fully recovered. Likewise, 78 per cent of respondents to the survey believed that returning to work would help speed up the recovery process.

The survey results are indeed backed up by medical evidence, with studies finding that the longer the period an employee remains away from work, the harder it is for them to return. Adverse effects to their health are also implicit in remaining away from work.

?Obviously prevention is the best cure and more needs to be done to ensure as many of these injuries don?t happen, but for those workers who are injured on the job, getting back to work sooner is good for them and it?s good for business,? said Dorothy Frost, WorkSafe?s Return to Work director.

The negative effects don?t only relate to injured workers but the health of Australian businesses, with $2.7 billion spent on treatment and rehabilitation over the past five years.

Frost explains that ?returning to work? does not necessarily mean re-entering full-time employment, but rather making a gradual return that involves modified duties, for example.

?It?s important injured workers are given the best possible chance of getting back into the workplace,? she says.

The kit can be downloaded from WorkSafe?s Return to Work website:

Source: WorkSafe Victoria

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