Caring for the community for more than 100 years, Wesley Mission Queensland (WMQ) was referred to the Injury Prevention and Management program after experiencing a rise in its workers' compensation costs and premium, in part due to slow injury reporting and return to work outcomes.
WMQ has diverse operations engaging 2500 people (a mix of workers and volunteers) and its services include residential aged care communities, retirement villages, child care, supported accommodation facilities and a community meals.
Working with its IPaM Advisor, WMQ identified that its injury management process was considered by workers to have a negative culture, focusing on injury rather than the positives of maintaining worker effectiveness during recovery. Manager confidence in influencing the recovery process also varied significantly.
Key challenges impacting injury management effectiveness included a lag between an injury occurring and being reporting to WMQ. Workers were regularly attending doctors without informing WMQ of an injury and time was being taken off for minor injuries, slowing down the rehabilitation and return to work process.
To improve care for injured workers, WMQ renamed its injury management program as Recover@Work to promote a positive attitude toward injury management and encourage employees to work during recovery where possible. External injury management experts helped reduce injury duration and costs, and establish a 24/7 injury hotline.
WMQ also changed the name of rehabilitation coordinators to stay at work coordinators and improved incident reporting with an online system, allowing them to be reported 24/7 using a mobile app.
Since the introduction of Recover@Work:
- 70 percent of workers who contacted the injury hotline remained at work during recovery
- the average claim cost reduced by 80 percent
- 99 percent of workers who sought help from the program were so successfully treated they didn't need to make a workers' compensation claim.
As well, workers said the process results in more responsive treatment and support and there has been a significant reduction in administration associated with claims and injury management.
The IPaM program provides assessment and guided compliance services to a broad cross-section of Queensland workplaces which have different levels of maturity, size, complexity, safety performance and workers' compensation history. Senior advisors work with employers to make workplace assessments, and following extensive consultation, appropriate steps are taken to improve safety, health and injury management outcomes.