Injury management explained

Injury management is the safe and long term return to work plan made for an injured worker.

The injury management process will begin with your workers compensation Insurer referring you to a rehabilitation provider who will help you return to work.

You, your treating doctor, the insurance company and your employer are required by the Workers Compensation Legislation to co-operate and participate in the injury management process.

What are my employers’ obligations?

Your employer is obliged to:

  • Attend to the injured worker as soon as possible
  • Notify the insurance company of the injury within 48 hours
  • Provide the insurance company with details of the injuries and circumstances of the injury
  • Co-operate and participate with the insurance company to develop an injury management plan
  • Implement and monitor a return to work plan for the injured work

What are my obligations as an injured worker?

You are obliged to:

  • Accept suitable duties if offered by the employer
  • Comply with the injury management plan and return to work plan

Note: If you fail to accept an offer of suitable duties or fail to comply with the reasonable return to work plan than the insurer may stop any weekly benefits you are receiving.

What are my treating doctors’ obligations?

Your doctors’ job is to oversee your medical management and your recovery from injury. The insurer cannot tell you which doctor to consult or dictate what type of treatment is to be provided by your doctor.

These matters are solely up to you and your doctor. The insurer can only decide whether or not they will pay for such treatments suggested by your doctor.

Note: The insurer is required to pay for all reasonable and necessary treatment that is related to your injury.

The nominated treating doctor is required to provide a Medical Certificate that accurately reflects your level of fitness for work based on the doctor’s clinical opinion.

What needs to be on a medical certificate?

The medical certificate must outline the hours you are able to work per week and what physical restrictions, if any, should be placed on your employment. This is known as suitable employment.

Suitable employment may be:

  • A reduction of hours
  • A restriction on the physical type of work you can perform
  • A restriction on your ability to travel or
  • Or a combination of the above

What is suitable employment/duties?

Suitable duties are defined by the Workers Compensation Legislation as taking into account:

  • Your capabilities as listed on your medical certificate
  • Your age, education and work skills
  • Where you live
  • The duties must be useful to your employer’s trade or business
  • The duties must comply with the Injury Management Plan
  • The duties must not be demeaning or token employment
  • Under the Workers Compensation Legislation an employer is required to provide suitable duties. The reality is that an employer must only provide suitable duties if it is reasonable for the employer to do so.

For instance, if the employer is a construction company and has no suitable light work then they will not be forced to create a job which does not exist. This is despite the Workers Compensation Legislation requiring an employer to assist with return to work.

Note: If you voluntarily resign, or are terminated from your work other for any reason except injury your employer does not need to provide you with other suitable duties.

About Matthew Garling

Matthew Garling, Founder of Garling & Co is a NSW Law Society Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law. He specialises in compensation law and has acted on behalf of thousands of injured people in work accidents, motor vehicle accidents and negligence cases over the last 20 years.

Google Rating