WHS regulators have ramped up their focus on psychological safety, but with the recent onslaught of information on the issue employers are unsure about the first steps to take, according to a workplace wellbeing expert, who lays out the four key areas for preventing psych injuries.
Injured workers are frequently offered "non-evidence-based" treatments in the weeks following the injury event, significantly increasing the risk of their conditions becoming chronic and prolonging their compensation claims, according to an award-winning exercise physiologist.
The "softly, softly" approach to managing injured and very unwell workers helps them achieve their health and social goals and prepares them to tackle vocational issues, and is particularly effective for those with chronic conditions and costly long-tail claims, a specialist says.
The Federal Government has been urged to use its "deciding vote" to add industrial manslaughter provisions and s-xual harassment controls to the national model WHS laws, while Comcare has released a series of guides on preventing workplace s-xual harassment and implementing early intervention programs for injured workers.
Settling on passive treatments, and failing to empower workers with musculoskeletal injuries with the knowledge of what is causing their pain, are common failings leading to disability and excessive recovery periods, an exercise physiologist specialising in chronic pain says.
An excessive focus on preventing sick leave, and the absence of "preventive support", are common to interventions for workers with chronic conditions, according to researchers who say employers need to move away from reactive measures.
After a difficult year of scandals, icare NSW has announced plans to increase workers' compensation premiums twice in the next two years, but stresses it will continue to provide discounts to employers with strong WHS and return-to-work records.
A worker who developed post-traumatic stress disorder after being violently assaulted in the course of his employment has been awarded the costs of repairing his backyard "Bali hut", with a tribunal finding the services satisfied the "assisting to cope" test under workers' comp laws.