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Occupational Rehabilitation

Occupational Rehabilitation

Occupation Rehabilitation – Workplace Injury Statistics

Emily Hudson (Exercise Physiologist – Burnie)

Most of us associate workplace injuries with very physically demanding jobs however, injuries can occur within any workplace. Three industries with the highest rates of serious claims (5 days or more off work) include:

  • Agriculture, forestry, and fishing
  • Manufacturing
  • Transport, postal and warehousing

Three occupations with the highest rates of serious injuries include:

  • Labourers
  • Community and personal service workers
  • Machinery operators and drivers

There are many causes to injuries, and they vary widely however, the top three main causes of serious claims include:

  • Body stressing
  • Falls, trips, and slips of a person
  • Being hit by a moving object

I Injured Myself at Work – What Happens Now?

Everyone at work has a right to be safe however, at times accidents can happen and injuries can occur. If you become injured at work, you must tell your employer as soon as possible so they can let the insurance company know, so the correct procedures can be undertaken to ensure your rehabilitation.

Common practice is for an employer to complete:

  • An incident report form
  • Offer you a Notice of Right to Make a Workers Compensation Claim for you to complete

Additionally, you will usually see your doctor for a Workers Compensation Medical Certificate which will state your injury, any medical intervention/rehabilitation you may require, and any restrictions for returning to work that you might have.

Both the Workers Compensation Medical Certificate and Notice of Right to Make a Workers Compensation Claim should be returned to your employer as soon as possible.

Often, the insurance company may hire a third-party company who specialises in managing return to work to aid you in your rehabilitation. It can be overwhelming to be injured, attending many appointments, and trying to remember a lot of information. A Rehabilitation Consultant is hired to help take this stress off your shoulders. They may complete an initial assessment of your workplace to ensure they understand what duties you perform at work, attend medical appointments with you to ensure that everyone understands your injury and your job. Finally, they will relay this information to the employer and insurance company to ensure everyone has the same information about your rehabilitation and return to work.

The easiest way for everyone to understand your injury and any restrictions you may have is for the Rehabilitation Consultant to develop a return-to-work plan. This plan includes:

  • Return to work goals
  • How many hours/days you can work (if you can)
  • Any medical restrictions
  • Duties you can complete (if any)

Once completed the plan is signed by all parties involved in your rehabilitation – by who are all the parties?

Workers Compensation – Who Are All These People?

Depending on the injury you may be required to have scans, see a Physiotherapist or Specialist, and either have non-surgical or surgical interventions. In just a few short days there can be many people involved in your rehabilitation. The most common roles include:

  1. You!
  2. Employer
  3. Insurance Company Case Worker
  4. General Practitioner (Doctor)
  5. Rehabilitation Consultant (a third-party person, hired to support your return to work)
  6. Allied Health and/or Medical Specialist Professionals (Physiotherapist/Exercise Physiologist/Orthopaedic Surgeons)
  7. Other (Independent Medical Examiner, Lawyers, Family – the list can go on!)

What to Expect from your Rehabilitation at Coastal Physiotherapy?

It is important to us that we understand that by the time you see one of our Physiotherapists or Exercise Physiologists, you have probably already spoken to and shared your story with many other people. When you come for rehabilitation at Coastal Physiotherapy we ensure to:

  • Listen to you
  • Reassure you
  • Provide answers to your questions
  • Provide you evidence-based information relating to your injury i.e. diagnosis, treatment timeframes, treatment plan (how regularly you should attend)

We also ensure we are measuring your progress, implementing treatment goals relating to your function and return to work, and empowering you to manage your injury. We provide updates to your rehabilitation consultant who can then work with you, your doctor, and your employer to guide your safe return to work!