Workplace rehabilitation is the process of providing guidance, support, and services to injured workers in order to enable a safe and timely return to work. This may be to the same employer or a new one.
The return to work process can be frustrating, confusing, and expensive for both the injured worker and their employers. It is also time sensitive, and if something is neglected, or a wrong decision is made, it could have life-altering effects. Hiring a third-party to handle the ins and outs of the rehabilitation procedures is the best way to make sure that the worker gets the treatment they deserve quickly and efficiently and that the business is protected legally.
Hoys Work Health has been providing these services in the Northern New South Wales area since 1994. Our team of experts focuses on early intervention, open and effective communication, and the establishment of specific goals and plans. Our aim is to make sure that any injured worker is able to maintain or regain proper functional capacity and work potential.
Workplace rehabilitation is a complex process, and the methods used vary from case to case. Sometimes the aim of the process is to return the employee to their original employer, either in the same position or a more appropriate one, while sometimes the worker must find a new employer.
It is typically up to the business or insurer to coordinate workplace rehabilitation services, however, the injured party should be consulted in order to make sure they are aware of and comfortable with all the decisions being made.
At Hoys Work Health we have years of experience coordinating safe, durable, and cost-effective return to work outcomes. Hiring us will allow the employer, insurer, and injured employee to focus on the specific areas that they need to while we take care of evaluating, coordinating, and facilitating the complex processes.
When someone sustains an injury at work, there are a number of factors that must be dealt with. The injured employee may experience physical damage that inhibits their ability to work, psychological effects such as depression and anxiety, and social disadvantages such as financial strain and interpersonal relationship stress. The employer must be able to provide timely, effective, and economical care to ensure their well-being, all while trying to make sure that everyone else is safe and business is operating as usual.
That’s why hiring a third-party, such as Hoys Work Health is the best option. We have years of experience navigating the difficult and often stressful relations of injured employees, employers, insurers, and healthcare professionals involved in the workplace rehabilitation process. We are a local team in Northern New South Wales, so we understand the nuances of the community, and are dedicated to making sure everyone has a safe and healthy work environment.
When an unfortunate accident does occur, we are able to make sure that the injured person is able to access every resource they need, and that a return to work plan is formulated by qualified, trustworthy professionals.
Successful workplace rehabilitation case management requires timely support, proactive communication, efficient coordination, and a reliable network of healthcare providers. We provide personalised care, from initial assessments, to occupational therapy, to rehabilitation counselling, to Activities of Daily Living upgrade programs.
Hiring a third-party case management team allows businesses to get peace of mind knowing that their employee is being treated properly, all the paperwork is being handled correctly, and that any chance of future injury will be reduced by professional assessment.
Injured workers get the benefit of having a team of experienced specialists working together to provide them with the opportunity to recover, rehabilitate, and eventually return to work – whether with the same employer or a new one.
Insurers also benefit because they will be able to communicate with someone who understands the legal processes involved in work-related injuries, thus expediting the whole process and ensuring that all deadlines are met.
Same Employer Return to Work
Most injured employees are able to return to their same employer after a workplace injury. Hopefully they will be able to make a complete recovery and be restored at their original position. However, it is possible that they may be unable to perform the same duties. If this is the case, the goal is for the worker to be able to come back in a new position in which they are able to perform fully.
Initial same employer return services are generally provided on site, at the workplace, with all parties present for consultation. These services include evaluations and assessments targeted at understanding the current state of the injured worker as well as the condition of the workplace. Education is also provided in order to maximise the employee’s potential to heal and return to work in full capacity, as well as minimise the chance for any future injuries.
Hiring a third-party, such as Hoys Work Health is beneficial for the injured worker, the employer, and the insurer.
We perform initial needs assessments that evaluate the employee’s injury quickly and accurately. This ensures that they understand the scope of their situation and are able to access the healthcare necessary to complete their recovery. We are then able to coordinate their rehabilitation services efficiently and cost-effectively because we have an extensive network made up of the top healthcare professionals in the Northern New South Wales area.
Businesses get peace of mind knowing that they have experienced professionals handling all of the insurance paperwork, as well as coordinating practical, efficient, and cost-effective treatment for their employee(s). This way they can focus on making sure that this type of occurrence never happens again, and return to business as usual.
Insurers are able to deal with a third-party that has decades of experience handling cases like this, making it much easier to deal with worried employees and businesses that may have never dealt with this type of situation.
New Employer Redeployment
Most injured employees are able to recover and return to work with their original employer, however if this is not possible or ideal, Hoys Work Health will help the worker obtain a position with a new organisation upon rehabilitation. Our rehabilitation consultants are teamed with employment consultants that provide a number of services tailored to help workers find a new position in which they can succeed.
This includes assessing the worker’s skills, education, and experience in order to identify an ideal work environment and providing job-seeking assistance. We may perform a combination of evaluations such as an Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Assessment, Functional Capacity Evaluation, Vocational Assessment, Transferable Skills Analysis, Labour Market Analysis and Earning Capacity Assessment.
Once we have a clear and detailed understanding of a worker’s potential we can begin job seeking assistance. Our Job Seeking Program is designed to provide workers with the skills and knowledge to independently and successfully job seek and be competitive in the labour market with the ultimate goal of achieving sustainable employment.
Our job seeking training includes:
- Job ready attitude
- Resume preparation and writing
- Job applications & writing cover letters
- Injury disclosure
- Networking & accessing the hidden labour market
- Interview preparation & coaching
- Cold canvassing & ongoing assisting with job seeking
- Development of a job seeking agreement
- Compliance monitoring, including review of job seeking efforts & submission of Job Seeking Logs
We can also assist workers in accessing SIRA recover at work programs. This includes:
- Work Trial – a period of placement with an alternative employer aimed at improving readiness to return to work.
- Training – coordination of upskilling programs in line with the principles of retraining to improve employment prospects.
- Transition to Work – assistance to access funding to remove barriers to securing and accepting paid employment.
- Job Cover Placement Program – a financial incentive for potential employers to hire a rehabilitated worker designed to improve the prospects of an offer of ongoing employment for the worker.
Occupational Therapy Programs
If a worker is injured on the job, it’s possible that an occupational therapist may be assigned as a part of their return to work plan. Occupational therapists help manage a range of injuries including traumatic injuries and overuse injuries.
Overuse injuries are often the result of highly repetitive movements and awkward postures with insufficient recovery time. Some of the most common cases include tendon inflammations such as tenosynovitis, epicondylitis, and bursitis, nerve compression disorders such as cubital tunnel syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other sprains or strains associated with the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand.
Traumatic injuries happen quickly and can cause severe harm to a worker. They vary greatly in cause, effect and severity. Some of the most common traumatic injuries that happen in the workplace are slips and falls, motor vehicle accidents, being struck by a falling object, mishandled or malfunctioning machinery, and burns.
Hoys Work Health will perform a series of evaluations to assess the severity of a workplace injury in order to decide if an occupational therapist will assist an injured worker to achieve a durable and timely return to work.
Occupational therapy assists an injured worker to rebuild and restrengthen the body and mind. Engaging Hoys Work Health gives you the advantage of our experienced team of occupational therapists with years of experience. We also work with insurers to make sure that the entire occupational therapy process is cost-effective and convenient for all parties involved.
Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Assessments
An Activities of Daily Living (ADL) assessment analyses a person’s functional performance around the home, with personal, self-care & general household tasks. An ADL Assessment is conducted by an occupational therapist to assist in determining the level and type of assistance a person requires to live as independently as possible.
The assessment is conducted within the home environment and considers factors such as medical diagnosis, current capacity and available support networks. Education can be provided on how to modify the way the task is performed, manual handling & pacing techniques as well as use of adaptive equipment.
The overall aim of the ADL assessment is to:
- Maximise an individual’s ability to be independent
- Minimise injury & aggravation in the home
- Reduce periods of incapacity and disability
- Reduce the reliance on other more costly home help services
Recommendations are made following the assessment with regard to equipment, household assistance or other support services. These ADL Upgrading Programs may include services such as
- Occupational therapy to improve motor function
- Transportation assistance
- Meal preparation
- Assistive equipment
- Domestic assistance
- Home modifications
- Yard maintenance
The number and type of upgrade services depends on the severity of the condition of the patient, as well as their living situation. It may be an important component to assist workers in their return to work and life in general, as injuries may affect many aspects of someone’s life. Hoys Work Health is committed to making sure that every injured worker can maintain their daily lives throughout the process of rehabilitation, and we will work with the employee, business, insurers, occupational therapist, and any additional resources necessary.
Medical Case Conference
Medical case conferences are held to bring an injured worker’s support team together in order to create the best possible rehabilitation plan. A case conference can involve a variety of stakeholders including the injured worker, employer, insurer, treatment provider, rehabilitation provider, and treating doctor.
These conferences are vital in order to create a detailed plan, check in regularly to monitor progress, and if necessary, restrategise based on the patient’s progress. Some aspects that a case conference is designed to assist with include:
- Gaining agreement for the return to work goal
- Clarifying capacity for work & facilitating a graduated return to the workplace
- Confirming suitability of duties and requirements at work
- Obtaining advice on recovery timeframes and outcomes
- Providing referrals for further investigations or to treatment providers
- Agreement on strategies to overcome barriers
Medical case conferences can be a one time service, or regular parts of a return to work plan. Ideally they are held as a face to face meeting with everyone present. As our rehabilitation consultants live locally in the areas they service, medical case conferences are more often than not undertaken face to face. However, if this is not possible due to timing, geography, cost, or any other reason, they may be held over phone or video conferencing.
An effective return to work medical case conference requires sufficient preparation to make sure that there is a clear purpose, plan and expectations. We understand that the injured worker may be scared, angry, or confused. We know that the employer may be worried about the worker, though stressed about maintaining business as usual. We also know that doctors and insurers have overpacked schedules.
That’s why it’s a good idea to have a third-party, such as Hoys Work Health, involved in the process. We can facilitate the entire process including coordinating and scheduling the time and place of the meeting, making sure all parties are sufficiently prepared, overseeing the conference and making sure everyone is comfortable and understands the agenda, as well as coordinating agreed outcomes.
Rehabilitation/Adjustment to Injury Counselling
Rehabilitation counselling is a process designed to help people suffering from an injury accomplish their daily goals, maintain a positive mindset throughout the recovery process, and ultimately achieve independence and full participation in all aspects of home, work, and community life.
Dealing with an injury can be a traumatic and serious process. Counselling services are often an integral part of helping restore balance to a person’s life during the return to work plan. An injury can affect someone in a number of ways.
Injured workers may experience pain, decreased strength and flexibility, higher reliance on medication, and decreased physical activity. This often leads to psychological damage such as unhelpful beliefs, negative thought patterns, anxiety, anger, or frustration, as well as social isolation. Their roles at work, home, and within their community may be affected by the injury, which is a difficult life change to experience.
Our network of trusted healthcare professionals includes rehabilitation counsellors who have years of experience helping people understand and deal with any physical, mental, emotional, and social changes resulting from injury. Some key duties that they perform include:
- Providing individual and group counselling
- Evaluating workers’ capabilities, interests, experience, skills, health, and education
- Developing a treatment plan in cooperation with other healthcare professionals, such as doctors, therapists, and psychologists
- Creating rehabilitation or treatment plans based on the injured person’s values, strengths, limitations, and goals
- Recommending and arranging for clients to obtain services such as medical care or career training
- Helping employers understand the needs and abilities of the injured worker, as well as laws and resources that impact the situation
- Assisting clients in creating strategies to develop their skills and adjust to their limitations
- Locating resources that help clients live and work more independently
- Monitoring clients’ progress and adjusting the rehabilitation plan as necessary
Functional Upgrading Programs
Functional upgrading, re-education, and empowerment programs may be an integral part of a return to work plan. These programs are designed to address injuries through specific health and wellness regimens. Here are some of the most common programs:
Physiotherapy helps individuals affected by an injury through movement and exercise. Manual therapy, education, and advice are all part of a comprehensive physiotherapy plan. It is often used to treat conditions dealing with the neurological, neuromusculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and/or respiratory systems.
Exercise Physiologists provide physical activity and behaviour change support for injured clients that may be dealing with conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, depressions, cancer, arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease along with a variety of others. They also provide rehabilitation and treatment for musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. They gradually improve the state of injured individuals through exercise.
Occupational therapy is the use of assessment and intervention to recover and maintain meaningful activities in one’s day to day life.
Exercise classes focused on different parts of the body are often a good way to redevelop motor skills and increase functional capacity. These can range from general exercise classes to personalised training programs.
Medical research has proven that massage can help relieve pain, reduce anxiety, improve blood flow, and help with sleeping patterns. Remedial Massage is the assessment and treatment of muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues of the body in order to promote rehabilitation, decrease pain, help with injury management, and provide relief for the patient.
Dietetics & nutrition
If an injury affects your body in such a way that you need to change your eating or lifestyle habits, practical and personalised nutritional advice will become a necessary part of any return to work plan.
Aquatic physiotherapy is an exercise program that takes place in a heated pool. It is useful for many conditions such as arthritis, back pain, and all joint ailments. The water supports the majority of your weight so you can perform movements that would be painful on land. It is a low impact technique that helps reduce swelling and muscle tension.