Rehabilitating injured workers or referring them to a rehab service as soon as possible following a work injury (or illness) is crucial, according to the authors of an Australian study of 95,470 injured workers. The report found that the average time from when an injury occurs to when return to work or rehabilitation support is sought is a whopping 90 weeks, or just under 2 years.
Figures provided by the WorkSafe Victoria suggest that many treating doctors (GPs) don’t have confidence that workcover insurance companies and injured worker’s employers are genuinely interested in rehabilitating injured workers.
As we recently discussed in our article “Injured workers who have drawn out workcover cases recover more slowly“, a new study suggests that the stress from being on workcover, including engaging a personal injury lawyer, could be linked to a poorer recovery.
According to “new research” injured workers who experience stressful, drawn-out workcover claims have a poorer recovery.
Helloo! Any injured worker who has been on our adversarial workcover system will tell you that… ! Again, we find it rather extraordinary how much money is
spent wasted on this kind of “research”! Why don’t they just read real Victorian (and other Australian states) injured workers’ stories and their adverse experiences on the workcover system?
In September 2013, the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR) conducted and presented research into “The experiences of injured workers in workers’ compensation systems: A systematic review of international literature. This “project” was (again) funded by WorkSafe Victoria and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC).
A recent study conducted by the Monash University (see below) has apparently examined the practices of general practitioners and other medical specialists when issuing WorkCover certificates of capacity.
Referring back to our article “SafeWork Australia: no improvement in our national return-to-work rates for the past 15 years” in which a recently released report by SafeWork Australia shows that there has been no improvement in our national return-to-work rates for the past 15 years, despite substantial growth in the international body of evidence about what works and what doesn’t in returning injured workers to work, researchers – such as The Institute for Safety Compensation and Research (ISCRR) at Monash University- are wondering what lies behind our failure to return more injured workers to work.
A recent study conducted jointly by the University of Melbourne and Monash University has indicated that negative interactions with insurance companies can affect an injured person’s prospects for long term recovery.
Thanks to our co-author ‘Trinny”, we came across a phenomenological study undertaken to understand women’s experience of the workers compensation system in Queensland. Although the study was conducted in 2005, it is clear that nothing has changed and that the Study’s recommendations for improvements to the workers compensation system (QLD) was, again and of course, totally ignored. As Trinny comments: “why should the government change the smoke screen that is working for them? Workcover stigma. Clear the smoke and see what is truly behind it!”
You may recall the unfortunate story of injured worker Soula, who was injured “below the belt” when a gym ball she sat on whilst working exploded, suffering an “invisible” but extremely painful injury called a pudendal nerve injury. Soula’s claim for workers compensation in Victoria was a real nightmare, she endured horrendous IMEs, her legitimate benefits were not approved and she was also put on the most outrageous form of surveillance.