Understand that many workers feel the stigma of claiming for a work-related injury.
You can help remove this stigma by creating a positive workplace culture which supports return to work and:
- assists workers report injuries and make a claim if they choose to
- empowers workers to play an active role in their recovery and return to work by providing physical and psychological support.
Why this is important
The 2018 National Return to Work Survey results showed workers who were not concerned about claiming were 3.1 times more likely to return to work. This is important as 32.2 per cent of workers thought people at work would treat them differently if they made a workers’ compensation claim. Interestingly, of the workers who had returned to work, only 36.1 per cent returned to modified hours.
- Refresh your awareness of your obligations as an employer when a worker experiences a work-related injury or illness.
- If the injury is due to a hazardous manual task, you can find out more about what to do to minimise further risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
- If your employee has a psychological injury, encourage them to watch our webinar on how to create a mentally healthy workplace culture and reduce stigma or if they’re grappling with whether to talk about their mental health condition at work, consider referring them to the pros and cons of disclosure tool.
- Find out why clear rehabilitation policies and procedures are important and access tools to help you develop these for your workplace.
- Safe Work Australia has recently published two research reports by Griffith University under the National Return to Work Strategy 2020-2030 on:
- Stigma towards injured or ill workers: Research on the causes and impact of workplace stigma in the workplace, and approaches to creating positive workplace cultures that support return to work – it examines the causes, extent and impacts of stigma on injured workers, and provides recommendations for introducing stigma-reducing strategies and how to build workplace rehabilitation culture.
- Psychological response to injury: Research to support workers’ psychological responses to injury and successful return to work – it explores the psychological reactions and influences of workplace injuries and provides practical strategies that can be implemented to support workers experiencing a psychological reaction during their recovery and return to work.
- The Reversing the trend – improving return to work outcomes in NSW paper contains useful information around training for supervisors; the importance of return to work planning and involving the injured worker; and the multiple domains and coordination required to achieve the best outcomes.