01:18 pm, Tuesday 20 March, 2012
The 2011 winner, Joe O’Meara, return to work coordinator at the Malmsbury Youth Justice Custodial Centre, will share his best practices at work and offer tips for employers and injured workers to achieve better outcomes.
“It’s important for the workplace to have a culture that says we are going to look after an injured worker and get them back into the workplace,” said Mr O’Meara.
“If I’m aware someone in injured and not at work, the first thing I do is go and meet with them. You need to make them feel they’re number one or really even the only party in the sense.”
Mr O’Meara will talk about his organisation’s method in managing injured employees in the workplace and how following a number of significant changes has resulted to significant improvements in their return to work rates.
Other topics to be discussed at the event will include identifying suitable duties in challenging environments, working with mature aged workers and the key to successful communication in your workplace.
WorkSafe’s return to work project manager, Danielle Jacobs confirmed that around 29,000 Victorian workers experienced work-related injuries every year, with around 3,000 of those remaining out of the workforce for more than six months.
“For this reason, it’s essential that all businesses have the necessary skills needed to help get injured workers back to safe work,” said Ms Jacobs.
“We urge businesses to come along to the session to find new ways to support their injured workers and to learn how to achieve successful return to work outcomes in their workplace.”
“When someone is injured at work, the impacts can be significant and widespread, affecting not only the injured work but other people at work, at home and in the community.”
“Helping an injured worker to return to safe, sustainable work sooner – even if it’s on reduced hours and modified or alternative duties – can achieve a better return to work outcome in the long-term.”
“It also helps the business maintain productivity and keep the cost of WorkSafe injury insurance premiums down.”
Ms Jacobs also said that a recent employer performance analysis revealed that employers who attended the WorkSafe return to work coordinator events on average achieved better return to work outcomes than those who did not attend.