Our job as a Workplace Rehabilitation Provider (WRP) is to help both employers and injured workers navigate the complexity of a work injury and workers compensation claim so that employers avoid costly mistakes and blow-outs in their premiums, and injured workers can get back to their pre-injury work and life safely and quickly. We help to identify the risks and barriers for getting back to work and develop a suitable plan to address these, ensuring the employer meets their obligations at the same time.
In NSW WRP’s must be accredited by the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), hold certain qualifications in allied health (such as: Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Psychology, Nursing, Rehabilitation Counselling), and undergo rigorous quality assurance and compliance measures.
Who are the key stakeholders involved in workplace rehabilitation?
In addition to the employer, injured worker, and WRP, the other key stakeholders all working together include:
- The Nominated Treating Doctor – who determines treatment needs and work capacity, refers to specialists or treatment providers, and writes the Certificate of Capacity;
- Treatment providers, such as specialists, physiotherapists, psychologists, exercise therapists;
- Insurance Claims Manager – who manages the claim, including determining liability, approving/referring for services, and paying claim expenses.
What type of services can you expect in workplace rehabilitation?
Did you know that every workers’ compensation policy in NSW has an entitlement to rehabilitation services included in it? And, whilst it is typically the insurer who refers for WRP services, the employer or injured worker can request this and nominate a preferred provider.
Specific services will vary depending on the worker’s injury, type of job, workplace, and personal circumstances. The end goal is for the injured worker to return to their workplace and back to their previous role as quickly and safely as possible. It may take time for the recovery and confidence of the worker to reach this goal, there may be reduced hours or altered work tasks. However, the research supports that the best practice is to recover at work.
Once referred, the WRP will consult with the key stakeholders to assess needs and develop a Recover at Work Plan. In doing so they may:
- attend the workplace to assess the worker’s pre-injury duties and identify suitable duties the worker can perform whilst they recover from their injury;
- conduct specialised assessments to determine the worker’s ability to return to and safely perform work, such as suitable duties, modifications, aids or equipment or support programs/resources;
- prepare a Recover at Work Plan outlining what duties the worker can perform, any special requirements or considerations, and a graded increase in work hours (if required);
- provide education and explanation of why returning to work as early as possible is good and how to manage the injury in the workplace;
- provide support for the employer and worker during the return to work process;
- identify the injured worker’s vocational skillset to assist in finding a new role or employer if the transition back into the previous role is not suitable;
Engaging a workplace rehabilitation provider not only helps reduce claims costs and premium increases, it also makes it easier to navigate the claims process, improve stakeholder engagement and communication, and to get the injured worker back to work safely and as soon as possible.
Workers’ compensation claims can be a complex field and we have been a workplace rehabilitation provider for over 20 years, we have the know-how and skill to help guide you through the obstacles of a work injury and the return to work process. If you have any queries please contact us or check out our frequently asked questions.
Read more about workplace rehabilitation.