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Workplace rehabilitation standards

Key rehabilitation standards from the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2014 are summarised below.

Rehabilitation (Regulation s109)

Rehabilitation must focus on return to work, be goal directed with timely and appropriate services for:

  • the worker's injury
  • the rehabilitation and return to work plan objectives
  • the worker's recovery rate.

During rehabilitation, the worker must be treated with appropriate respect and equity.

Early worker contact (Regulation s108)

Early contact is one of the key principles of successful rehabilitation. An injured worker should be contacted as soon as possible after the injury occurs or is reported so rehabilitation needs can be assessed.

The rehabilitation and return to work coordinator (RRTWC) (Regulation s99B)

The RRTWC's role includes:

  • communicating with workers as soon as possible following an injury to assess rehabilitation needs and to notify relevant parties
  • coordinating the worker's return to work
  • developing the suitable duties program with the worker and employer
  • ensuring the suitable duties program is consistent with the current work capacity certificate or injury report
  • letting the insurer know as early as possible if they need to assist or intervene.

Rehabilitation and return to work plan (Act s220 (2) and Regulation s106)

The insurer should develop and maintain a rehabilitation and return to work plan with the injured worker, the employer and treating practitioner.

The plan and any changes must be consistent with the worker's needs and the current work capacity certificate or injury report.

Doctor's approval (Regulation s104)

If the treating doctor does not give sufficient information in the work capacity certificate or injury report to base the plan, the treating doctor's approval must be obtained and documented for the rehabilitation and return to work plan.

Suitable duties program (Regulation s106A)

The employer must develop a suitable duties program for an injured worker returning to work. It's essential for the employer to discuss the program with the injured worker.

The worker's direct supervisor, co-workers and all other relevant parties should understand what duties and hours the worker can safely work each day.

The program and any changes must be consistent with the worker's needs and the current work capacity certificate or injury report.

The program must be monitored and reviewed at appropriate intervals consistent with the worker's recovery and the insurer must be provided with a copy.

Worker's file (Regulation s105)

A file must be kept for each worker undertaking rehabilitation and must contain copies of all relevant documentation, correspondence and accounts.

Confidentiality (Regulation s110)

All parties must treat information sensitively and confidentially. Authority must be obtained from the worker to obtain or release information about their rehabilitation.

Case notes (Regulation s107)

Accurate and objective case notes containing a record of all communication and actions relevant to the worker's rehabilitation and return to work must be kept.

Last updated
29 September 2017

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There's nothing like getting back for getting better

Workers who get back to safe work as soon as possible recover more quickly than those who wait until they are fully recovered.

Read more...

There's nothing like getting back for getting better