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Section 1 - Purpose and Context
(1) To provide and maintain an Injury Management System for employees injured at work, which achieves the earliest possible, safe return to work.
(2) To provide comprehensive clear guidelines for all University employees, in order that they may comply with their legal responsibilities for Occupational Rehabilitation as outlined in the Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) and Workplace Injury Management & Workers Compensation legislation.
Section 2 - Definitions
(3) The following definitions apply for the purpose of this policy:
- Aggravation - Described as where a new incident causes further increase in symptoms as a result of an aggravation of an existing injury or condition.
- Alternate duties - A different range of duties, which may be with the same or different employer, generally temporary in nature, and which takes into account physical or psychological constraint e.g. job trail.
- Consultation - Sharing of information and exchange of views between the manager, employee, Injury Management Coordinator, treating doctor, physical therapist and/or their representative/s on injury management issues. It is the opportunity to contribute to decision making in a timely fashion to facilitate the smooth implementation and running of an occupational rehabilitation program.
- Injury Management - the process that comprises activities and procedures, that are undertaken or established, for the purpose of achieving a timely, safe and durable return to work for staff members following workplace injuries.
- Injury Management Coordinator - A WorkCover NSW Authority accredited designated individual based within the University's Work Health and Safety Unit (WHS Unit), who is responsible for ensuring the coordination of rehabilitation of staff members who have a compensable injury, illness or disease.
- Injury Management Plan - A plan for coordinating and managing those aspects of injury management that concern the treatment, rehabilitation and retraining (where indicated) of an injured staff member, for the purpose of achieving a timely, safe and durable return to work for the staff member.
- Injury Management Program - A coordinated and managed program that integrates all aspects of injury management (including treating, rehabilitating, retraining, claims management and employment management practices) for the purpose of achieving optimum results in terms of timely, safe and durable return to work for injured staff members.
- Insurer - A licensed insurer (EML).
- Nominated treating doctor - The treating doctor nominated from time to time by a staff member for the purpose of any injury management plan for the staff member.
- Place of Work - means premises where persons work.
- Premises includes:
- Any land, building or part of any building; and
- Any vehicle, vessel or aircraft; and
- Any installation on land, on the bed of any waters or floating on any waters; and
- Any tent or moveable structure.
- Recurrence - Described as a spontaneous increase in symptoms.
- Rehabilitation Provider - A person or company accredited by WorkCover NSW to provide occupational rehabilitation services to injured staff members.
- Return to Work Plan - The individual return to work plan or program developed to the specific needs of the staff member in consultation with manager(s), Injury Management Coordinator, staff member, and where requested by the staff member, their union representative.
- Selected duties - A staff member's usual duties modified to eliminate those tasks, which may aggravate the injury, illness or disability. Duties selected from the staff member's usual range of duties, which are compatible with their physical, psychological constraints.
- Significant injury - A workplace injury that is likely to result in the staff member being incapacitated for a continuous period of more than seven days, whether or not any of those days are work days and whether or not the incapacity is total or partial or a combination of both.
- Suitable duties - Duties for which an injured staff member is suited while recovering from an injury. Suitable duties may include alternate and/or selected duties. The university can give no undertaking to provide employment on an unlimited basis where a staff member is not able to return to their pre-injury duties but remains certified fit for limited work.
- Workplace injury or illness - Any injury or illness that arises in the course of, or in connection with, a staff member's work, and to which the work is the main contributing factor.
Section 3 - Policy Statement
(4) Western Sydney University is committed to the prevention of injury/illness through the provision of a safe working environment by successful management of workplace health, safety and welfare.
(5) The University's Injury Management program includes:
- All managers and supervisors are committed to achieving the standards and time frames set for the reporting of work injuries and processing of claims for compensation.
- All reported work injuries are assessed for rehabilitation needs.
- All relevant parties are to be involved in the formulation of suitable rehabilitation programs to facilitate a successful return to work for injured staff.
- All staff are to be educated regarding their rights and responsibilities in relation to claims for compensation and their support in implementing return to work programs of injured colleagues.
- If an injury results in a disability, referral to the Equity and Diversity Unit may be made for consideration of appropriate disability action plans in accordance with the Disability Policy.
(6) The Injury Management Policy will be reviewed annually. The review will involve assessing the effectiveness of the policy by:
- Monitoring the return to work rate of injured staff.
- Monitoring the cost of rehabilitation.
- Reviewing the Workers Compensation statistics including days lost and total number of claims.
- Surveying managers, supervisors, staff, safety committees and health and safety representatives on the implementation and operation of the policy and procedures.
(7) This policy applies to all staff of the University.
Part A - Responsibilities
(8) To provide safe systems at work, training and equipment to prevent injuries
(9) To have in place an agreed Injury Management Policy.
(10) To make available and develop individual Return To Work Plans in consultation with the injured staff member, Manager/Supervisor, Injury Management Coordinator, treating doctor, Rehabilitation Provider as applicable, and where requested by the staff member, their Union Representative.
(11) To produce the Injury Management Policy in printed form and display it prominently.
(12) Promptly notify Work Health and Safety Unit of all work injuries in accordance with injury reporting procedures.
(13) Notify the Injury Management Coordinator of all relevant information which could affect the management of a work injury.
(14) To participate in the consultative process.
(15) Be actively involved in the implementation and monitoring of and ensure compliance with the Return to Work Plans.
(16) To provide appropriate ergonomic work equipment as recommended by the treating physician.
(17) To notify their immediate supervisor/manager of any injury within 24 hours and to promptly provide ongoing medical advice/medical certificates and rehabilitation status.
(18) To provide completed documentation as required.
(19) To take reasonable care in the performance of work so as to prevent work-related injuries to self and others.
(20) To cooperate with the employer to ensure meeting Injury Management obligations imposed by the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998.
(21) Promptly to report all absences relating to any compensable injury and provide supporting WorkCover NSW medical certificates.
(22) To cooperate and show commitment towards the process of Injury Management.
(23) To undertake all the activities agreed to as part of their Return to Work Plan.
(24) To cooperate in reasonable workplace changes designed to assist rehabilitation of fellow staff members.
(25) To support the return to work of the injured person and to create a positive accepting environment.
(26) Not to hinder aid to an injured staff member.
(27) Not to interfere with or misuse equipment provided for their health, safety and welfare.
(28) To cooperate in reasonable workplace changes designed to assist rehabilitation of fellow staff members.
Injury Management Coordinator
(29) To ensure completion and submission of relevant documentation for insurance purposes.
(30) To comply with all time frames for lodging of work injury documentation.
(31) To liaise and cooperate with the insurer and treating doctor/specialist to monitor progress of work injuries in relation to claims management, injury management and benefits payable.
(32) To provide information on the return to work process and associated workers compensation benefits to injured employees.
(33) To create and maintain confidential case records in line with WorkCover's confidentiality guidelines.
Work Health and Safety Unit
(34) To establish regular routine claims management review meetings with the insurer.
(35) To liaise with senior management regarding progress of relevant claims.
Nominated Treating Doctor (NTD)
(36) Manage the injured staff member's injury/illness and assist them in the return to work.
Injury Management Consultant (IMC)
(37) To help resolve problems that arise in relation to an injured staff member's return to work. The IMC will liaise with the NTD, the employer and the injured worker to determine their capacity for work.
Independent Medical Examiner (IME)
(38) To supply independent, impartial advice based on the best available evidence.
University Workers Compensation Insurer
(39) To ensure the University's compliance with the insurer's Injury Management Program.
Section 4 - Procedures
Part B - Scope
(40) These procedures cover the requirements associated with Injury Management from the time of injury through to effective return to pre-injury duties. The procedure covers:
- Assessing the level of injury and restriction it may pose to work duties.
- Development and management of an appropriate return to work plan.
- Management of the compensation claims process.
- The established Injury Management process is to be used by all staff who sustain an injury or suffer illness due to their work or work environment at the University.
Part C - Objectives
(41) To ensure all legislative requirements under the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998 are met.
(42) To ensure all staff are aware of their rights and responsibilities under the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998.
(43) To ensure effective claims management.
Part D - Immediate Action (within 24 hours)
(44) Compliance with the established Accident/Incident Reporting System by:
- Notification to Manager/Supervisor.
- Completion of documentation (Accident/Incident Report Form).
- Investigation of accident/incident.
Part E - Required Activities/Processes
(45) Reporting of accidents/incidents that result in an injury, with or without time lost, is essential. The established Accident/Incident Reporting System is to be used by staff who are injured, re-injured or become ill in connection with their work at the University.
(46) The Injured staff member must:
- Provide details of incident including contact details of the treating doctor within 24 hours for significant injuries and within 48 hours for all other injuries.
- Seek medical attention.
- Complete a 'Workers Compensation Claim' form, if requested to do so by the insurer. Not all claims require the completion of a worker's compensation claim form. This form will be provided to the injured staff member by the insurer.
- Complete 'University consent' form.
- Provide all WorkCover medical certificates to the Injury Management Coordinator (with a copy to your supervisor) within 24 hours of their issue.
(47) The manager/supervisor of the injured staff member must:
- Ascertain if the absence of a staff member is due to a work related injury/illness or personal sick leave.
- Ensure the necessary injury notification form is completed.
- Ensure work injuries are promptly reported to the Injury Management Coordinator or Work Health and Safety Coordinator (WHS Coordinator). Significant injuries are to be reported within 24 hours and all other injuries within 48 hours.
- Investigate accident/incident and put control measures in place to prevent recurrence.
- Promptly submit a separate written signed statement to the Injury Management Coordinator where any comment is necessary as to the validity of a work injury claim.
- Ensure that any witness to the incident completes the 'Statement of Witness to an Injury' form.
- Assist the staff member to achieve a timely, safe and durable return to work.
- Liaise with Injury Management Coordinator to identify suitable duties if required.
- Report to the Injury Management Coordinator, any difficulties the staff member may have in performing their suitable duties.
(48) The Injury Management Coordinator must:
- Ensure that the 'Employers Report of Injury' form to the insurer is fully completed. This may involve liaison with the manager/supervisor to gather further information.
- Contact the treating doctor within three days of the report of injury to identify early Injury Management processes.
- Ensure that all necessary work injury documents are lodged with the insurer within 48 hours of receipt.
- Forward WorkCover Accident Report form to WorkCover NSW within seven calendar days of injury, where a staff member has been unable to carry out their usual duties for at least seven calendar days continuously.
- Maintain a Compensation Claim Register.
- Advise and provide support to injured staff, managers/supervisors and all relevant parties regarding the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation processes.
- Implement Return to Work Plans in accordance with work injury legislation.
- Monitor staff on Return to Work Plans as per medical/rehabilitation review requirements.
- Where an injury results in a disability, refer as necessary to the Equity and Diversity Unit for consideration of appropriate disability action plans, in accordance with the Disability Policy.
- Arrange interpreters as required.
- Provide education, training and support.
Part F - Payment of Wages
(49) Until the claim has been assessed by the insurer, the staff member will be paid against their available sick leave, annual leave or long service leave, as requested by the staff member. The staff member must complete a leave application form in order to authorise the utilisation of available leave, stating "please use my sick leave/annual leave/long service leave whilst worker's compensation claim is pending".
(50) If there are no leave credits available, then the staff member will not receive wages from either the University or Insurer unless the claim is accepted.
(51) If the claim is accepted, then the leave used will be re-credited to the staff member's leave balance by Office of People and Culture (OPC). Any wages owed to the staff member will be paid by OPC. EML will send a cheque to the staff member's home address for all medical accounts that the staff member has paid.
(52) If a stat rate of workers compensation becomes payable to an employee, the University may arrange for the insurer to take over direct payments of ongoing benefits until the employee is deemed fit to return to work at the University.
(53) If the claim is not accepted (disputed) leave will not be reimbursed. All accounts will be returned to the staff member for payment. The Insurer will send the staff member a letter together with information explaining the staff member's right to request conciliation with the WorkCover NSW.
Part G - Taking Leave While on Workers Compensation
(54) If a staff member is absent from work due to a work-related illness or injury and is receiving workers compensation payments for that absence, Under Section 130 of the Fair Work Act 2009, that staff member is not entitled to take or accrue any leave or absence (whether paid or unpaid), with the exception of unpaid parental leave.
Part H - Medical Appointments
(55) Legislation states that an injured staff member may be required to attend a medical examination(s) conducted by a doctor chosen by the University and/or EML. The purpose of these examinations is to ensure that the staff member is receiving appropriate medical treatment and to facilitate a prompt return to work.
(56) The WHS Unit is to advise the injured staff member of the need to attend the medical appointment giving at least 24 hours notice. The staff member must confirm with their manager and WHS Unit their attendance.
(57) If a staff member refuses to attend a medical examination, the legislation dictates that compensation payments may be suspended until an examination takes place.
Part I - Attending Medical Appointments during Working Hours
(58) A staff member, working full time hours, is entitled to attend medical/treatment appointments for work-related injuries/illnesses during work time. Appointments are to be made either at the beginning or towards the end of the shift. If disruption is unavoidable the staff member must discuss this with their manager/supervisor prior to appointments being made.
(59) Staff members undergoing rehabilitation on reduced normal hours are expected to make appointments outside these reduced hours. If this is not possible the staff member must discuss this with their manager/supervisor prior to appointments being made.
(60) Staff members must provide certificate of attendance for all medical appointments/treatment including physiotherapy in order to receive pay for time lost.
Note: The Insurer will pay for reasonable time to attend medical appointments. Please consult the WHS Unit if clarification is required.
Part J - Recurrence or Aggravation of Injury
(61) A recurrence or aggravation claim is not automatically accepted. The Insurer will reassess the claim.
Section 5 - Guidelines