Public sector agencies which strive to improve their occupational safety, health and injury management performance benefit from:
- Higher employee retention rates;
- Enhanced organisational profile;
- Increased employee morale;
- Improved health and wellness;
- Decreased absenteeism; and
- Reduced expenditure on and prevention of the further escalation of workers' compensation costs.
Injury management provisions in the Workers' Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 (opens in new window) are supported by a Code which provides the framework for injury management systems and return to work programs. Under workers’ compensation legislation, public sector agencies must establish an injury management system in their workplace. WorkCover WA has issued a Workers' Compensation Code of Practice (Injury Management) 2005 (the Code) (opens in new window), which explains the legal responsibilities.
An injury management system describes the steps to be taken when a workplace injury occurs. It allows agencies to commence injury management quickly and properly, so that injured workers can remain at work or return to work at the earliest appropriate time. Requirements for the establishment, content and implementation of an injury management system are set out in the Code. Where there is a requirement in the Code that an employer “has to” do something that relates to an injury management system, it is mandatory.
Guidance notes (opens in new window) support the Code by explaining mandatory provisions and by providing direction for the establishment of injury management systems and return to work programs. The provisions of the Workers' Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 and Code are based upon the principle that whenever it is medically appropriate an injured worker will remain in or return to work.
Before starting to develop an injury management system, it is highly recommended that all agencies become familiar with the requirements as stipulated in the Workers' Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 and Workers' Compensation and Injury Management Regulations 1982.
Western Australian public sector agencies requiring assistance in the establishment of their injury management system, return to work programs or injury management of claims can contact their RiskCover Injury Services Coordinator/Officer direct or on 9264 3333. RiskCover (Insurance Commission of WA) is the Western Australian Government's insurer for public sector agencies. Further information is also available on RiskCover's (opens in new window) website.
Information on injury management is also available on WorkCover WA's (opens in new window) website.