(1) For the purpose of this policy:
(2) Southern Cross University is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment. On those occasions when injuries do occur, this policy provides the framework for an equitable and consistent approach to the management of workplace injuries and occupational rehabilitation.
(3) The aim of this policy is to ensure the University complies with relevant state and territory legislation relating to work, health and safety, workers' compensation and injury management and facilitates a safe and timely return to pre-injury fitness and duties for injured employees.
(4) This policy applies to all University employees.
(5) The University's injury management process involves the co-operation of all parties to ensure the best outcome for the employee within the framework set by the relevant state or territory legislation. Specific responsibilities and the processes to be followed are specified below.
(6) The University has developed a Return to Work Program in consultation with employees. A summary of the program is displayed on noticeboards throughout the University.
(7) The University aims to consult with staff, through Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) to ensure the Return to Work Program operates effectively and is reviewed periodically.
(8) All significant injuries are reported to the University's insurer within 48 hours of the injury being reported to the University to allow the injury management process to commence as soon as possible.
(9) The University aims to have a Return to Work Plan in place for every employee who has a significant injury so that the employee receives prompt, appropriate medical management and a planned and managed return to work.
(10) The University's Return To Work Coordinator is the Manager, Workplace Health and Safety. The role of the Return To Work Coordinator is to:
(11) Where appropriate, the University's Return To Work Coordinator also provides assistance for the return to work of employees who have been absent as a result of non-work related injuries or illness.
(12) An injured employee is obliged to advise their supervisor of a work-related injury as soon as possible after the injury occurs. An Incident, Accident and Hazard Report Form should be completed and forwarded to the employee's supervisor for comment and then referred to the Manager, Workplace Health and Safety.
(13) Where it is considered appropriate, the Return To Work Coordinator will contact the injured employee to develop a Return to Work Plan. Employees are required to participate and cooperate with the Return To Work Coordinator to develop their Return to Work Plan and comply with obligations imposed by the plan. Where the employee has suffered a significant injury, their nominated treating doctor and a Rehabilitation Provider may also be involved.
(14) Workers' compensation payments may be suspended where an injured employee fails to comply with the requirements of their Injury Management Plan. Subject to meeting requirements, payments may be recommenced but suspended payments cannot be recovered.
(15) The University has nominated rehabilitation providers who are appointed to individual cases if necessary. An injured employee may choose their own accredited rehabilitation provider or change providers while undertaking rehabilitation.
(16) If required, the rehabilitation provider will prepare a written Return to Work Plan for an injured employee in consultation with the treating medical practitioner and the Return To Work Coordinator. Wherever necessary, there will be a staged return to normal duties.
(17) If the employee has a significant injury, the Rehabilitation Provider follows an Injury Management Plan developed by the University's insurer which outlines the employee's work activities and proposed treatment.
(18) The University aims to provide suitable duties when an injured employee is cleared by a medical practitioner to return to work on a full-time or part-time basis.
(19) Assessment of suitable duties must address the duties available, the work unit's requirements and the employee's medical restrictions and physical capacity.
(20) The following aspects are considered when assessing suitable duties:
(21)The following parties may be consulted when suitable duties for an injured employee are developed or changed:
(22) An individual Return to Work Plan is developed for each injured employee on suitable duties. This plan is prepared by the Return To Work Coordinator or the rehabilitation provider and agreed to by the parties involved. Signed copies of the Return to Work Plan are provided to the injured employee, their supervisor and the nominated treating doctor.
(23) The Return to Work Plan will contain the following information:
(24) If there is concern over the suitability of duties offered, discussions will be held between the Return To Work Coordinator, management, and the employee to seek resolution of the matter.
(25) Disputes regarding medical treatment may be referred to external consultants for an independent medical opinion.
(26) If a dispute continues an injury management consultant will be engaged, in consultation with the insurer, to review the employee's fitness for employment and the availability of suitable duties. They may be called upon in the following circumstances:
(27) If a dispute is not resolved using an injury management consultant, the matter may be referred to the relevant authority as required under the various state or territory legislation.