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Retail assistant returns to work with host employer

An injured retail assistant was able to recover at work, thanks to a placement offered by a host employer.

The 51-year-old assistant was helping in the closing down of the retail store she worked at. She was dismantling shelving when she tripped, and injured her back. She was diagnosed with disc prolapse L4/5.

During her recovery, the injured worker began her own job search, cold calling local shops in preparation for her return to work.

Her WorkCover Customer Advisor Roxanne Bradby contacted a local store and its operations department. They were at first concerned that they would not have suitable duties for the injured worker, as any role they could offer would involve heavy lifting.

After three months of recovery time after her injury, the injured worker's doctor approved of suitable duties with a five kilogram weight limit in combination with a physiotherapy program. The doctor said a retail work environment was appropriate for the worker.

The worker then discussed her work capacity with the local store who advised their operations manager they had suitable duties available for the worker.

WorkCover gave the employer more information about the host employment program and the placement was approved.

After a worksite visit and a suitable duties plan was established, the worker commenced her new role on part-time hours with duties including answering the phone, customer service, working on the cash registers, cleaning and dusting shelves.

The host placement ran for 3.5 weeks until the injured worker was cleared by her doctor for full pre-injury duties.

Find out more about how you can benefit from host employment.