We have put together information to keep injured or ill persons informed of what to expect.
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All employers play a crucial role in the prevention and management of workplace injuries.
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Information for Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Nurses, Exercise Physiologists and Doctors.
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Other key stakeholders are also encouraged to provide Information and comments about issues of relevance .
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Worker Issues, Social Issues and Financial Issues

 

It was mentioned in previous docs that as well as the factors outlined above return to work out comes can be and often are affected by many factors intrinsic to the worker.  Some of these factors included

  • fundamental drive and need to get back to work 
  • resilience  to the setbacks that are likely to have occurred
  • Stress levels and mental health having had a work place injury and being integrated into the worker compensation systems.

 

Assuming all has gone well and none of the barriers outlined above are present the internal drivers that will influence a successful return to work outcome include:

  • General health and fitness prior to injury
  • Previous injuries or illness
  • The personality of the worker
  • Internal resilience
  • What the job meant for the worker before injury and general satisfaction levels
  • Perceived satisfaction / dissatisfaction levels with the job.
  • Adaptability  -  to making changes in life style and attitude ante accommodate injury

 

After 12 months in the NSW workers system even the most resilient, motivated workers are likely to find their life situation stressful, particularly if their injury has not recovered or nearly recovered. By 12 months most injured worker s are likely to have experienced:

  • Financial difficulties - pay not arriving on time, pay not taking into consideration real preinjury earnings, upfront costs such as for medications or travel not reimbursed in a timely manner.
  • Delays in approvals for specialist referrals, investigative tests or  new treatments
  • Conflicts between stakeholders over treatment issues  - such as what is “reasonable and necessary”,  work capacity
  • Bullying by stakeholders, or “perception” of  bullying by stakeholders particularly agents, some  rehabilitation providers and some employers
  • Communication breakdown between parties particularly when the desired outcome of increased job capacity doesn’t occur and there is a perception that one or more parties are not working efficiently or encouraging malingering.
  • Resultant stress on the injured worker and other stakeholder
  • Secondary depression experienced in the injured worker
  • Changes and reduction in motivation
  • Secondary physical and mental health problems - anxiety depression, poor life style habits, loss of physical activity, diet, and lifestyle change, social avoidance, relationship conflicts.

 

What can the worker do?

 

Unfortunately for most workers who have had injuries that have meant they are still with the workers compensation system 12 or more months down the track there will have been many events and setbacks they have had little or no control over.  For most people in such situations and with uncertainty about the future, there is a high likelihood of worry and associated problems with anxiety and depression. 

Although there are many areas of an injured worker’s life that they may feel they have little or no control, most injured workers DO have more control and influence on their life situation than they may realise.  To regain control however often requires getting support, especially initially and the result will not be instant.  In the following sections the areas where control can be regained and exercised are outlined.

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