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Early Intervention

Early Intervention

Identify and respond to early warning signs.

An early intervention approach to managing workers who are injured as a result of work, or non work, related injuries assists an organisation in preventing a significant amount of injuries becoming WorkCover claims and enhances the wellbeing of the workers.

WHAT IS EARLY INTERVENTION

The WorkCover authorities and insurance agents typically refer to the first 13 weeks (post a WorkCover claim being lodged) as early intervention. This is too slow for employers. You can move faster through our proven early intervention process to improve your workers’ health, minimise the number of WorkCover claims and reduce your WorkCover costs. In fact, the reduction in your WorkCover costs can typically fund your investment in early intervention.

Our proven early intervention process provides your organisation the ability to identify early warning signs and respond with a caring and uniform process.

Line managers are the eyes and ears of your organisation and are in the best position to identify early warning signs regarding the health of their workers. Line managers have legal obligations to monitor the health of their workers and implement strategies to support their workers when they know or ought reasonably to have known of the workers’ physical and mental health conditions.

Line managers can liaise with our Occupational Therapists to understand what capacity their workers have and help identify meaningful suitable duties that keep the workers motivated and productive. Line managers working with the support of the return to work coordinator and HR team can achieve sustainable and effective stay at work outcomes.

WHEN

Your workers may be showing early warning signs when they enter your workplace at the start of their shift. The line manager is well positioned to identify the signs and communicate with their workers in a caring manner.

Line managers should consider if their workers can safely conduct the inherent requirements of their jobs. If they have doubt, they can communicate with our occupational therapists and an assessment of the workers’ capacity for work can be conducted.

P2 Occupational Therapists can promptly assess your workers and report their capacity to you and help define short-term suitable duties and supports to allow the workers to stay at work, be productive and remain with their workmates.

As parents we do this daily when our children return home after school. We perform a 10 second scan to ensure they do not have obvious physical signs (bruising, limping, etc). If they do, we enquire about their condition and provide appropriate support. We can do the same at work with our workmates.

HOW

Line managers are the key to early intervention. We provide early intervention workshops with line managers to explain the importance of identifying early warning signs and the importance of their roles and responsibilities with regard to supporting the health of their workers. The interactive workshops assist in identifying:

  • early warning signs
  • types of conditions they should be looking for
  • what action to take
  • what to say and what to not say.

Our occupational therapists work closely with your line managers to identify what capacity the workers have and help identify meaningful suitable duties that keep the workers motivated and productive.

To emphasise the importance of an active work based recovery and to minimise any disruption to productivity, functional capacity evaluations and initial needs assessments are conducted at the worker’s normal workplace. Our occupational therapists bring the required equipment to your workplace and meet one-on-one with the worker in a private room.

Following the assessment our occupational therapists will develop a report:

  • clearly outlining a worker’s performance during the assessment
  • commenting upon a worker’s overall functional capacity (from a physical and psychological perspective)
  • provide clear recommendations and restrictions for assisting a worker in the workplace.
WHY

Work is a great vehicle to recovery. Engaging in regular and meaningful work based routine is paramount for recovery and overall good mental health. As such employers who act proactively to monitor and address the health of their workers through early intervention strategies, enhance workplace morale and productivity thereby making them employers of choice.

Employers have legal obligations to monitor the health of their workers and implement strategies to support their workers when they know or ought reasonably to have known of the workers’ physical and mental health conditions.

One of the key benefits when line managers focus on the health of their workers is the increase in communication between line managers and the workers. Over time workers feel comfortable discussing their health conditions, which allow line managers an opportunity to implement strategies and support their workers.

Identifying early warning signs and implementing early intervention strategies achieves the following outcomes:

  • workers’ wellbeing is enhanced
  • productivity is increased
  • lost time injuries are reduced
  • the need for complex and costly WorkCover claims is minimised.

Productivity is increased when workers with organisational knowledge are encouraged to stay at work and support their team. And the need to recruit casuals to fill gaps when workers are off work reduces.

Report lead indicators to your executive team. Consider including the number of early intervention cases actioned and the potential WorkCover insurance premium blocked. Set an 80% key performance indicator for your early intervention cases to not become WorkCover claims.