In the event of a work-related injury or illness, the University views the staff member’s recovery and return to work as the primary goal. The University requires early and timely intervention to occur to improve recovery and return to work outcomes for a staff member with a work-related injury or illness.
Reporting the injury/illness
A staff member must report (orally or by email) a work-related injury or illness to you as soon as possible. The staff member should also report the injury/illness on the University’s online FlinSafe system within 24 hours of its occurrence. If the staff member is unable to report the accident/injury on FlinSafe due to the accident, they should arrange for you to do so.
If there is a possibility that the staff member may make a claim for workers compensation, it is important that they are assessed by a doctor as soon as possible. If the staff member (in South Australia) needs to see a doctor in relation to their injury/illness, you should ensure that they advise the doctor that the University is self-insured for workers compensation and all correspondence about the work related injury should be sent to the University’s WHS Unit. For staff located in states/territories other than South Australia, all initial correspondence must be sent to the University’s WHS Unit, but invoices for any ongoing treatment or other costs should be forwarded to the relevant interstate insurer.
Check if the staff member is issued with a Work Capacity Certificate
You should check that the staff member is issued with a Work Capacity Certificate (in South Australia) or relevant workers compensation certificate (other States and Territories). If such a certificate has been issued, you or the staff member should contact the University Return to Work (RTW) Coordinator immediately. The RTW Coordinator will
- provide the staff member with a workers compensation claim form; and
- have an initial discussion with the staff member about their injury/illness and capacity to work.
Work Capacity Certificates must be forwarded to the WHS Unit, Human Resources Division
Completion and lodgement of application for workers compensation
The staff member must complete all information in the relevant sections of the Claim form and forward it, with the Work Capacity Certificate/workers compensation certificate, to the University RTW Coordinator in the WHS Unit.
Maintaining regular contact with a staff member who has a work-related injury/ illness
Managers and supervisors are responsible for keeping in regular contact with injured/ill staff members who are off work.
Recovery, Return to Work and suitable duties
As a manager or supervisor of a staff member with a work-related injury/ illness, you must
- ensure that they are not put at risk of further injury or harm by enabling them to follow the advice in the Work Capacity Certificate/workers compensation certificate;
- be active in the development of the Return to Work Plan. Providing modified or alternative work as required and as reasonably practical and monitoring progress;
- meet regularly with the injured staff member to discuss progress; and
- provide regular feedback to the Return to Work Coordinator on progress and any problems
Additional responsibilities for managers/supervisors
- supporting the injured staff member and other staff who may be affected;
- investigating the incident/accident which caused the injury/illness and implementing risk control measures as far as is reasonably practicable to prevent further injury/illness;
- maintaining confidentiality; and
- being a role model through a positive attitude to the injured staff member and the recovery and return to work process.
Time off work for appointments
A staff member with a work-related injury or illness whose workers compensation claim has been accepted and who has returned to work may require ongoing treatment. The issue of whether the staff member should take time off work to keep medical appointments needs to be considered according to the circumstances of each case. There is no legal entitlement for staff to take time off work for medical appointments but it may be reasonable that some of the time involved be work time.
Times must be negotiated between the staff member and his/her supervisor/ manager, with appointments preferably around the usual start/finish time so they can be kept on the way to or from work.
Where a staff member has returned to work on reduced hours, it would be reasonable for appointments to be outside the reduced working hours. However, supervisors/managers need to understand that staff may have no control when appointments occur (eg for medical specialists).