Category eight – Best rehabilitation and return to work management system
Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) has a dedicated injury management and rehabilitation team. This team supports BCE to meet their legal obligations and ensures best practices to employees in supporting their recovery and return to work following an injury. 'People over processes' is the core value of the team and served as the motivation to review their injury management systems to see if they could be improved.
The review identified that an early injury intervention initiative would be beneficial to employees to enhance existing processes and ensure injured employees receive the best possible support and outcomes. The implementation of this initiative has had positive benefits for workers and the organisation, including a significant reduction in time off work following injury and shorter claim durations, and contributes to the fostering of a positive culture and response to injuries at work.
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Brisbane Catholic Education was founded 170 years ago. We've got close to 150 schools with 12,000 staff. We have primary schools, secondary schools and P-12 schools. So, we had identified that we weren't able to respond effectively to the injuries that were coming in because we didn't know about them.
So, what we did was looked at when the injury occurred and then looked at when the injury was reported to us. So, we noticed that there was quite a significant lag, that if they haven't had early medical advice or self-management advice, sometimes these injuries, which appeared minor to start with, actually became quite a major issue for that person, so that they weren't able to perform their job, but also impacted them at home.
So, we started looking at early intervention back in 2019 and we introduced a number of measures. So, part of the Early Intervention Programme included getting on board a service called Injury Assist, which is a programme, which helps people report their injury early and obtain early treatment advice from a team of registered nurses.
Also, with that, we provided training to schools in getting them to identify and report somebody's injury earlier than they previously would have. We also found that there was quite a significant reduction in claims duration.
The duration of a claim was shortened by a month for those people that used the Injury Assist service and reported their injury early compared to those that lodged a claim directly through WorkCover. So internally, we've seen a 44% of staff that have used our Injury Assist have been able to stay at work on suitable duties.
Of those that have accessed the Injury Assist, 56% have said that it has really helped and assisted with their recovery and their maintenance at work. With respect to WorkCover, we have had a 37% reduction in average days lost I think at the core of Brisbane Catholic Education is our staff and our people, so we really do value them as a resource.
So, it was picked up quite easily by the senior management team. It's really rewarding to see somebody that has been at their worst and perhaps, not feeling like they have the confidence to be able to re-enter the workplace, but the really rewarding part of our job is to work with them and their managers to find the best solution to get them back to work and then see them back in there, happy and confident.
We have had a 37% reduction in average days lost and our costs to our premium have been halved.