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Curtin University
People and Culture

Injury Management

If you require an accessible version of this information please contact the Staff Disability Advisor. For more information please go to Staff Disability page.

Injury Management

All employers in Western Australia are required to have an Injury Management system in the unfortunate event of staff injury or illness.  It has been shown that an early return to work following injury or illness often has a significant positive effect on both recovery and the likelihood of a successful return to duties.   An early return to work also has numerous positive effects on the broader workplace including improved team productivity and morale, lower insurance premiums and reduced staff replacement wage costs. Effective Injury Management systems should have a focus on early treatment or referral, active interaction between key stakeholders, and most importantly an early return to substantive duties.

Injury Management at Curtin

Curtin University recognises the value of its staff and is committed to preventing injury and illness by providing a safe and healthy work environment.  Curtin is equally committed to assisting staff who sustain an injury or illness to return to their pre-injury or illness status.  Curtin has a team of specialist Injury Managers with Allied Health qualifications responsible for administering Curtin’s Injury Management and Workers’ Compensation processes.  Our services include:

  • Safe and sustainable Return to work and redeployment assistance
  • Provision of assistance to managers for prevention and management of workplace injury or illness
  • Manual handling training
  • Job Analysis - to determine job demands and duties
  • Ergonomic Assessments of workstations
  • Loan of assistive equipment
  • Case management for workers' compensation claims and non-work related cases
  • Stress Management training
  • Ergonomic training
  • Pacing education
  • Medical liaison and referral

Returning to Work (RTW) Following Injury or Illness

Curtin’s Injury Management team assist with the management of both work related and non-work related injury and illness.  The goal of Injury Management in all cases is to assist staff members to return to their previous physical, psychological, social and vocational capacity wherever possible following injury or illness.  A return to substantive work duties is the preferred and initial goal. In the event that this is deemed to not be a suitable option based on medical evidence, Curtin will follow the RTW Hierarchy detailed below. 

Staff member to return to:

  • Substantive position at Curtin - full duties
  • Modified duties and Curtin
  • Alternative postion at Curtin
  • Previous postion external to Curtin
  • Alternative position external to Curtin

Return to Work Programs (RTWP)

Curtin is committed to assisting staff to return to work as soon as possible in line with their recovery.  In the event that a treating medical practitioner or specialist recommends in writing that an injured or ill staff member is temporarily   not able to complete their pre-injury duties, Curtin will endeavour to provide and arrange suitable alternate duties to facilitate a safe return to substantive duties in line with medical recommendations.  This process will actively involve the injured staff member, their line manager, the Injury Manager and the staff members’ treating medical practitioner or specialist.  Each party has key responsibilities in developing the Return to Work Program and in closely monitoring its progress and success.

  • Return to Work program template
  • Return to Work program example
  • Responsibilities of Managers and Supervisors

    Injury Management should be an interactive process actively involving the injured or ill staff member, their line manager, treating medical professionals, and Curtin’s Injury Management Team.  In the event of a staff member injury or illness, line managers  should follow the below steps to ensure that the injured or ill staff member receives appropriate and timely treatment following an incident, and is assisted to return to their pre-injury or illness capacity as soon as possible once recovered. 

    Manager and Supervisor Responsibilities Include:

    1. Ensuring that adequate First Aid or medical referral is arranged for the injured or ill staff member, with assistance of any First Aid trained staff or Curtin’s on site health services. 
    2. Ensuring that any hazards in the immediate area do not pose a risk of injury to others.
    3. Ensuring that all work related incidents or hazards are reported to Curtin Health and Safety via the online reporting system.
    4. Notifying the Injury Management Team if the injured or ill staff member requires medical treatment or requires work restrictions. 
    5. Working closely with the Injury Manager, seeking advice, as required, to determine appropriate alternate duties for the injured or ill staff member, to be incorporated into a RTW Program when medically approved. 
    6. Advising the Injury Management Team of any changes to an injured or ill staff members work capacity, reported changes of symptoms, or compliance with their Return to Work Program. 
    7. Assist and promote progress toward a return to pre-injury or illness duties in line with recovery and with medical approval. 

    The relationship between key Injury Management stakeholders:

    Manager and Supervisor Toolkit

    The Injury Management team are available to assist Managers and Supervisors, and injured or ill staff members throughout each step of the Injury Management process.  To assist in this process, below are a number of tools that may be required either initially following an incident or report of injury, or throughout the Injury Management and Return to Work process.  Please remember to contact the Injury Management team as soon as possible following an incident or report of injury or illness requiring medical treatment or work restrictions.

    Return to Work Flowchart

     

     

    Contact the Injury Management Team

    Phone:  (08) 9266 4468
    Fax:  (08) 9266 3977
    Email: injurymanagement@curtin.edu.au
    Visit: Building 599, Curtin University

    Resources

    If you have any queries regarding the Injury Management Process at Curtin University, or require Injury Management advice or assistance, please contact the Injury Management Services.

    Additional Links and Information

    Return to Work Examples

    Scenario 1

    Joe tripped down a small flight of stairs at work; his knee was immediately painful and swollen. Joe’s line manager helped him complete an incident report and encouraged him to go to the doctor.  Joe attended his doctor the next day who recommended Physiotherapy and a week off work.  After three weeks of physiotherapy Joe’s Physiotherapist recommended he go back to his doctor and ask to see an Orthopedic Surgeon.  Joe returned to work but was in pain and limited with some duties. Following a 2 week wait for an appointment, Joe was reviewed and referred for an MRI scan and arthroscopy (a surgical procedure to repair injured ligaments).  Joe then lodged a claim for workers’ compensation.  Following a 3 week delay in liability approval for his claim, Joe underwent an arthroscopy, two months after his fall.  He was then away from work for a further month recovering before his GP advised him that he could return to his full duties.  Jo returned to work, finding it difficult to resume full duties during the first weeks back in the workplace. 12 weeks following his injury, Joe was back at full capacity in the workplace.  

    RTW Outcome
    •  Delayed treatment
    •  Delayed RTW
    •  Staff member and employer frustrated at delays
    •  Increased risk of further aggravation of injury
    •  Increased treatment and wages costs

    Scenario 2

    Joe tripped down a small flight of stairs at work; his knee was immediately painful and swollen. Joe’s supervisor reported his incident to Injury Management Services immediately.  Due to a positive relationship with the on-site medical services and local GP practices, a priority appointment was arranged for Joe on the same day as his injury.  The Injury Manager assisted Joe to liaise with his GP who recommended imaging (MRI scan) and a specialist review.  The Injury Manager assisted Joe to lodge a claim for Workers’ Compensation and liaised with the insurer to ensure that there were no delays to the claims process.  Following his surgery, Joe’s line manager and Injury Manager worked with him to develop a Graded Return to Work Program.  Joe was assisted by Injury Management and Parking and Traffic Services to arrange a courtesy parking bay close to his workplace to assist during his recovery and his workstation was ergonomically assessed upon his return.  Joe was provided with a leg raiser to managing his ongoing symptoms at his workplace and Joe subsequently returned to his full duties within 3 weeks after gradually building up his strength. 

    RTW Outcome
    •  Early and effective treatment
    •  RTW in line with recovery and medical endorsement
    •  Staff member and line manager happy with Injury Management process
    •  Decreased risk of further aggravation of injury
    •  Decreased treatment and wage costs