A key feature of the Workers Compensation Act 1951 (the Act) is the focus on Injury Management. There are increased obligations for stakeholders specifically designed to assist the rehabilitation process of returning injured workers to suitable employment.
The primary focus of the injury management process is the involvement of all three key parties (the employer, the injured worker and the nominated treating doctor) in the management of the injury from the time of the accident to the return to work or settlement of a claim.
An Approved Rehabilitation Provider provides, for an injured worker, an independent party to liaise and negotiate with everyone involved in the worker’s rehabilitation. Only approved rehabilitation providers are eligible to provide vocational rehabilitation for the purposes of the Act.
From 1 July 2010, organisations intending to provide rehabilitation services in the ACT must be approved by the Minister in accordance with the Nationally Consistent Approved Framework for Workplace Rehabilitation Providers. Any current providers who have not obtained this approval by 1 July must cease providing services.
For further information on the approval process see our Guidance Note – Workers Compensation – Nationally Consistent Approval Framework for Workplace Rehabilitation Providers.
Injury Management primarily focuses on early reporting, rehabilitation and return to work strategies, all designed to assist the injured worker make an early and safe return to the workplace. The key processes include - an Injury Management Program, a Return to Work Program, and a Personal Injury Plan.
To ensure a comprehensive approach to injury management, participation and co-operation in these three processes is required from all relevant stakeholders including the insurer, employer and injured worker, the approved rehabilitation provider, and the industrial union (where applicable).
A guide to Injury Management processes is outlined in our Guidance Note – Workers Compensation – Injury Management Processes.