WorkCover WA recently put together a video concerning the role of an employer in a return to work program. See link below.
As a personal injury lawyer who specialises in the area of workers compensation, the main concern raised by injured workers is that they are affectively left out in the cold following a work injury. They feel like they are being ignored by their employer, and they no longer part of the work team. This is significant in relation to psychological stress claims, which are increasingly forming a large part of workers compensation claims in Western Australia.
The video raises several steps that employees can take to counter this feeling by workers of being left out and unwanted by their Employer. The steps include calling the injured worker on a regular basis to enquire about their well-being, inviting the injured worker to staff meetings, and asking about the workers current level of fitness for work so the employer can find work they can do.
This last point is often overlooked by employers, and it is very common to hear of a situation where an injured worker who was employed in a manual role is placed in an office position by their employer. The injured worker feels that this is a waste of time as they have no skills performing office work, and they do not believe that it is a real return to work. The video expresses the view that employers should consider the workers usual job, education skills and experience.
In the workers compensation system conflicts often arise between employers, insurers and injured workers. In these situations, the role of a vocational rehabilitation provider is very useful as they can help to manage the expectations of all the parties. It is important that injured workers realise that they have the power to choose their vocational rehabilitation provider.
The video aptly demonstrates there are several parties in the workers compensation scheme and despite the best efforts of the worker involved the relationship between the worker and these parties can deteriorate. As the video aptly points out it is important to realise that the insurer is the employers insurer, and the insurance cover for workers is therefore somewhat indirect. This can lead to the worker feeling they are treated differently from an insured in other insurance policies such as a home insurance policy.
Foyle legal is a personal injury law firm specialising in the area of workers compensation claims and work injuries and has experience appearing for injured workers in the Conciliation Division and Arbitration Division of WorkCover WA, the court for workers compensation in Western Australia. If you have made a claim regarding a work injury or you have made a workers compensation claim then Foyle Legal may be able to assist you on a no win no fee basis and at Foyle Legal your first attendance is obligation free. You can contact Foyle Legal by email at [email protected]
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