Case Study – Building an Early Intervention Culture

P2 Group was recently engaged by an employer to enhance their workplace well-being, improve their injury management processes and shift the employees’ focus to early intervention.

The CEO of the employer wanted all employees with management responsibilities to be involved in this process. P2 Group conducted training workshops to highlight how the WorkCover system operates, legal obligations, the role of line managers and how the injury management process can be improved to support employees with work and non-work related conditions. The CEO showed commitment to this process by personally opening all training workshops, which included:

After the workshops, P2 Group Occupational Therapists were requested to assist three employees with early warning signs to ensure their early conditions were not aggravated and supports implemented to allow their conditions to rehabilitate correctly. In addition, P2 Group Occupational Therapists supported one person with a new WorkCover claim. The process was the same for all four employees. The steps were:

  1. The employer invited the employees to attend assessments of their capacity with P2 Group Occupational Therapists, to determine the employees’ physical and mental health capacity.
  2. In each case, a P2 Group Occupational Therapist met with an employee at the employee’s normal workplace in private room for approximately one hour. The employee’s capacity was gauged and supports identified.
  3. The Union representative also attended the first two assessment to ensure the employees were comfortable with the process and the employees understood their rights. The employees provided positive feedback and the Union representative did not attend the following two assessments. However, WorkSafe Victoria’s Inspectors were asked to examine the injury management process, P2 Group’s assessment deliverables and return to work documentation. After a lengthy and thorough meeting, the WorkSafe Inspectors informed all parties they were very pleased with the caring process and detail captured in all deliverables. They suggested one change – the employer please provide the employee 48 hours notice of the assessment of capacity, instead of only 24 hours. This was agreed and implemented.
  4. The P2 Group Occupational Therapists then examined the duties (both pre-injury and suitable alternative duties) with the line managers and employees to determine the demands of each task.
  5. The outcomes of the above assessments were reported and provided to the employees’ treating practitioners. The P2 Group Occupational Therapist consulted with the employees’ treating practitioners to reach agreement on capacity and duties.
  6. Care plans were documented for the early intervention cases and a return to work plan documented for the WorkCover case.
  7. The above steps were completed within 10 calendar days, the employees supported at work and one WorkCover claim was lodged with the WorkCover Agent as a minor claim.

The key lesson for all employers is to embrace the notion of early intervention, aim to improve your injury management process, consult with Executives, line managers, union and health and safety reps. A simple uniform process that encourages all parties to move fast to support employees with work and/or non-work related conditions is good for everyone.

To find out more, please call us on 1300 789 467.

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