Free workshop to help injured workers recover sooner

By: Angela Welsh

Source: Safe to Work

Work Safe Victoria will hold a free workshop showing employers how to help injured workers return to work sooner.

Scheduled for 16 February in Melbourne's west, the Return to Work Project will feature speeches from occupational physiotherapist Nick Economos and psychologists Jacqui Stanford and Dr Peter Cotton.

WorkSafe's latest figures show employers who attend the organisation's worker recovery events achieve return to work rates up to 3.4% better than employers who do not participate.

Each speaker at the workshop will offer their industry experience and insight on improving return to work outcomes.

They will also share tips on how to support injured employees at the highest risk of not returning to work, particularly those with a musculoskeletal and/or psychological injury.

Dr Cotton will help employers harness skills to build resilience in injured workers to help guard against the onset of secondary psychological problems that commonly arise from prolonged work absences.

Around 29,000 Victorians suffer work-related injuries each year. Around 3000 of these people will be out of the workforce for more than six months.

Almost 18,000 injuries from businesses based in Melbourne's west have been reported to WorkSafe over the past five financial years. Treatment, rehabilitation and compensation costs exceed $366 million.

WorkSafe's Return to Work division director, Dorothy Frost, said maintaining injured worker morale was a key factor in achieving better return to work outcomes.

"No one wants to be hurt, and returning to work is an important part of the recovery process," Frost said.

"The work needs to be safe for the injured person, but it does not always have to be their pre-injury job or even the old hours. Looking for opportunities is the key," she added.

The workshop will run from 9am to 11.30am at Sanctuary Lakes Resort in Sanctuary Lakes (Point Cook).

More information can be found on the WorkSafe Victoria website.