The step-downs provisions of Australian workers' comp schemes are touted as a return-to-work incentives, but have been marginally successful at best, and can lead to self-sabotaging decisions by injured workers, public health experts have found.
Employers have been urged to consider workplace interventions to improve the health of workers with prescription opioid use disorder, who require significantly more sick leave than those with other types of injuries and illnesses.
Psychosocial factors impede workers' recovery from musculoskeletal injuries, but disability screening tools can be used in novel ways to identify and match treatments and avoid unnecessary surgery or other procedures, a workplace physiotherapist says.
A return-to-work specialist has urged stakeholders to "think outside the square" and adopt innovative interventions to fill the service gap for workers with complex and chronic psychological injuries requiring long periods off work.
Mental health conditions remain a key "disruptor" in Australia's workers' comp schemes, but a low-intensity cognitive behaviour therapy program and early intervention are facilitating recovery, Comcare's CEO has told the National Workers' Compensation Summit.
> NSW tweaks WHS Codes, investigates deaths, releases RTW paper; > Work operations suspended, as safety laws amended for Qld DV victims; and > Strategies for tackling musculoskeletal disorders released in WA.
In a long-running and complicated bullying case, the Fair Work Commission has agreed to expand the stop-bullying orders already in place against a company director, including by limiting his involvement with a worker's return-to-work process, after finding more instances of bullying had occurred.