While injury prevention is obviously the best approach to managing workplace safety, it is a fact that injuries can and do occur in all workplaces. When these injuries prevent a worker from working (such a lost time injury) the emphasis then moves to getting them back to work in a safe and efficient manner.
There is a great deal of evidence and support for both early intervention for injured workers as well as early return to work. These interventions may have positive impacts for both return to work rates and outcomes.
This fact has been recently supported by the Queensland Government who have requested a re-screening of the successful “Getting back” advertising campaign, originally run in 2015. As per the media statement by Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace,
“Independent market research showed the campaign raised workers’, employers’ and medical professionals’ awareness that there’s nothing like getting back for getting better….Following stage one, the frequency of injured worker contact with their employer increased 12 per cent and there was a seven per cent increase across the board in the belief that the best course of action is getting back on job early.”
This is an impressive result from an advertising campaign.
I recently conducted a webinar on this very topic – see below. In it we discussed worker compensation in Australia and some strategies for getting people back to work a little better. Please feel free to watch and email me if you have any questions.