Supporting recovery and return to work takes a collaborative approach to injury management, founded on the following elements:
Early reporting of injuries
Contacting us as soon as possible after an injury ensures timely access to the services required to engage the right treatment to assist a worker’s recovery.
Employers are required to notify CMI within 48 hours of becoming aware that an injury or incident has occurred.
Injury management covers all aspects of managing workplace injury and illness in order to achieve an effective return to work.
Assistance with return to work
Providing suitable duties is key to improving a worker’s chances of recovery. A Workplace Rehabilitation Provider can assist the employer to develop and implement a program of upgrading suitable duties. They can also help to facilitate the design and implementation of alternative work-related activities.
It is vital that employers, the worker, their case management team, treating doctors and other treatment providers continue to communicate throughout the process to ensure appropriate treatment and work options are in place to assist recovery and return to work.
Integrated injury management and return to work
Injury management programs
An injury management program is a coordinated and managed program that documents all aspects of injury management to achieve optimum return to work for workers. It includes treatment, rehabilitation, retraining, claims management and employment management practices.
- As the insurer, Coal Mines Insurance is required to develop and maintain an overarching Injury Management Program for the NSW coal industry.
- The Injury Management Program is designed to support the employer’s workplace injury management by:
- ensuring commitment to promote RTW for all workers
- setting responsibilities and obligations of all stakeholders
- planning resources and key stakeholders to support RTW and rehabilitation
- outlining communication and decision-making protocols.
- Employers must comply with their obligations under the CMI Injury Management Program.
Injury management plans
An injury management plan is tailored to the specific needs of the worker. It outlines the activities and services required to safely assist the worker back into suitable employment following workplace injury and also includes treatment, rehabilitation and retraining.
- An injury management plan is developed by the worker’s injury management specialist in consultation with all parties.
- It outlines activities and obligations for each involved party to assist with recovery and return to work including:
- providing and performing duties
- attending treatment
- communications and meetings.
- The Injury Management Plan works hand-in-hand with the employer’s Return to Work Plan.
- Both the employer and the worker must comply with the obligations under the Injury Management Plan.
Return to work programs
In NSW, employers must have a Return to Work Program that outlines policies and procedures for managing workplace injuries. It is an overarching program that is common to all workers and includes responsibilities such as reporting and notification of injuries, work duties and redeployment options if necessary.
Return to work plans
A return to work plan is a written document that outlines how the employer will help a worker to return to work as soon as possible, or how the employer will help them to stay at work while they recover from injury.
Return to work plans must:
- outline the type of support necessary for effective recovery at work.
- be tailored to the individual needs of the worker in relation to their injury and capacity to work in line with their current SIRA certificate of capacity.
- be produced by the employer in consultation with the worker, their injury management specialist and treating doctor.
- be regularly monitored, reviewed and updated by the RTW coordinator or provider.
- Work in conjunction with CMI’s Injury Management Plan.
Use our sample Return to Work Plan as a guide to develop plans for your workers.
Job task analysis and suitable duties
Job task analysis is used to examine the specific work tasks and physical demands of a particular role. It provides an indication of the minimal abilities required for an individual to safely and efficiently perform a task.
A job task analysis will describe the complexity, duration, frequency, sequence and physical demands of a task. It will also outline the tools or PPE required.
Having the various roles within the organisation assessed can help to identify any tasks which present a risk of injury, so that modifications to the role can be made to minimise the chance of an injury occurring.
Job task analysis can assist with the creation of a suitable duties plan as it can help identify tasks that can be assigned to injured workers to provide a safe return to work.
Use our job task analysis template as a guide to assessing the roles within your workplace.