The Recover @ Work Strategy is a priority program under WorkCover NSW’s Focus on Workplace Health. It aims to reduce the social and economic costs of workplace injuries and illnesses. We know workers with work related injuries and illnesses will recover better if they can return to work as soon as is practicable.
The strategy takes a holistic approach and is a partnership between workers, businesses, insurers, medical and allied health practitioners, workplace rehabilitation providers and WorkCover NSW.
During 2013–14 the focus has been on developing capable people, processes and systems to support the Recover @ Work Strategy.
Return to work (RTW) inspectors have been recruited and play a major role in coaching, mentoring and developing others in WorkCover NSW. This means they can get more involved with workplaces, and in the future help deliver the program.
WorkCover NSW inspectors now look at RTW as part of each workplace visit. They cover:
- return to work compliance checks
- practical advice about recovering at work, and
- relevant material for workers about follow-up RTW inspections.
For workers and employers, Recover @ Work will mean:
- Less time away from work in the event of an injury.
- More workers can return to suitable work.
- Timely return to work—meaning less time off on workers’ compensation.
Recover @ Work has five key elements:
- it will target the workplaces and sectors with the highest risk of injury and illness
- it combines community engagement initiatives aimed at building leadership capability and opportunities for employers, workers, providers and doctors
- it uses incentives aimed at influencing the behaviours of workers, employers, providers and agents
- it has a communication strategy to promote and reinforce key messages of the program, and
- it includes information products and services designed to raise awareness and understanding of the recovery at work process.
The evidence has shown that there will be three elements of success:
- Connecting – Good communication and staying connected with the workplace allows a collaborative approach to achieving safe and early recovery at work.
- Planning – Establishing people’s work capacity, identifying suitable work options and setting realistic goals is essential to successful recovery at work.
- Working – The research shows that recovering at work helps people heal faster, reduces symptoms, promotes an active lifestyle, and fosters connectedness with the workplace and community.
There are resources for the Recover @ Work Strategy available on the WorkCover NSW website including:
- Recover at work planning tool – which helps the person developing the return to work plan and will assist them to meet their legislative obligations while minimising the impact of injury on their workers and business.
- Recover at work financial incentives and support programs for employers – details of the financial incentives and support programs for employers who take an active role in their worker’s recovery at work following a workplace injury or illness.