Category eight – Best rehabilitation and return to work management system
Darwalla is an integrated poultry producer with sites across South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales. In 2012 the Darwalla Senior Leadership team put rehabilitation and safety into Darwalla's five year strategic plan. The 'Beyond Best Practice' system was designed and implemented as a customised long term, sustainable, fully integrated rehabilitation management system to meet the unique requirements of the business. The cornerstones of the system are training, communication, worker support and collaborative networking.
Darwalla's senior leadership team provided the resources and direction to develop an integrated rehabilitation and safety management system based on risk assessments and safety analysis. The system has a four phase approach to employee rehabilitation based on:
- training principles of rehabilitation, risk management, injury prevention and risk minimisation
- safety communication – reporting and feedback
- worker assistance
- collaborative networking internally and externally.
A range of strategies are used to develop the rehabilitation and safety system including development of the communication and reporting system, worker support and targeted training programs. The design and utilisation of task specific functional demands and pre-employment assessments is one of the core initiatives of the program.
Workplace health safety and Rehabilitation team discussing strategy and system improvements
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On screen text
Juan Corredor, Darwalla Group - Safe Work and Return to Work Awards 2017
The Darwalla Group of companies it is a fully integrated poultry producer with operations in Queensland. We are in diverse sectors such as manufacturing, transport, administration, and obviously poultry farming.
Well my role involves overseeing the compliance systems in the company and health and safety systems, including the rehabilitation systems. Darwalla has implemented a five years strategic plan, and safety and rehabilitation is fully embedded in the rehabilitation plan. What we work here it is an strategic deployment process where we go and consult with the frontline management team and frontline management team consult with the workers on the implementation of any new programs, any new process in the company, including rehabilitation system.
Darwalla believes on a very consultative process which includes all the stakeholders in every single area of the business. We're very proud of our Darwalla rehabilitation system as it has evolved. The four cornerstones of the rehabilitation system are: training, it is communication and feedback, it is support to the worker, and it is a collaborative networking among all the stakeholders through the injury management process.
Our priority at Darwalla it is to bring the worker to a safe environment and it is not fail them. It is just to make sure that if we put a plan together it is to make sure that it is successful. Some of the outcomes from the implementation of the rehabilitation system and the whole safety system as such it is vast reduction on lost time injuries. We are talking about 30 to 35% less medical treated injuries in the company. It is a reduction of half of injuries since the financial year 2010 till now, so it is a huge reduction.
WorkCover premiums have been vastly reduced as well in most of the companies in the organization. We have a huge reduction on common law claims coming our way, and when we have these sort of claims we're able to test the system and we're able to test that Darwalla has a duty of care and has performed all the due diligence and able to proof that we are really caring about the person.
I believe the most rewarding part and the most satisfactory part of my role is to go through the journey of the injury management with somebody and give them support, caution those guys on a very difficult time of their lives because nobody comes to work to get injured. So when they have an injury, they need somebody next to them to be able to take them through very daunting process, and I believe that's the most rewarding part of my job, it is just helping people.RUN TIME: 2min 50sec