Staying compliant is vital for employers, as penalties can be steep when breaches occur. It’s just not the risk of fines, the long-term cost of injury on a business can be significant.
According to Work Cover Western Australia in the 2014-15 FY there were 4906 workers being hurt each year to the extent they require 60 or more days off work; equating to an average of 240 days lost per incident. It also came at a substantial cost to business in lost time and missed opportunities.
Work Cover Western Australia statistics also tell us that a high percentage of serious claims were caused by musculoskeletal injuries. Most those were caused by lifting or handling objects.
A skilled person in your team whose role it is to assist your employees return to work quickly and safely is strategic in effective management of worker’s compensation claims. This makes sense given the mass of data which shows that the quicker intervention is made to assist an injured worker, the faster they fully recover, and so the lower the total cost of the claim.
A good Injury Management Coordinator (IMC) can save the employer a great deal of money in both direct and indirect costs, and make the life of an injured worker much easier.
For small to medium employers, the cost of having a full-time IMC makes it an unrealistic option, so some employers assign the return to work coordinator role to someone outside of the organisation, in an outsourced capacity.
Outsourcing can be a cost-effective solution to worker’s compensation and injury management for any business. Outsourcing solutions in general aim to:
- improve RTW outcomes
- reduce the costs of managing worker’s compensation
- increase control over occupational rehabilitation expenditure
A good IMC must know the legislation intimately, they must know who to contact and when, they must know when the big premium triggers arise in a claim and know how to manage the claim around them. A good IMC needs to know how Insurers work and how to deal with doctors and other medical professionals. It is therefore vital when choosing to outsource your Injury Management that a business select a reputable agency.
Homework in this instance is important and your insurance broker may have suggestions or recommendations. Some insurance brokers are beginning to provide this service and indeed CCI’s Workplace Consulting team have consultants that can assist members with advice in this space.