Gabrielle Lis | Keep workers and reduce sick leave with a dose of sick leave sugar (and a dash of lemon!)
Organisations keen to reduce sick leave can benefit from a little homespun wisdom. You catch more flies, the old saying goes, with honey than vinegar. By which we mean that punitive measures for reducing sick leave are likely to be less effective than measures that sweet-talk workers into WANTING to come to work. Here’s our top ten sick leave busting sugar-cubes, with just a dash of lemon. more >>
Gabrielle Lis | There are three golden rules for small business owners who doubt the work-relatedness of an injury...
Nobody likes to feel that they’re being taken advantage of. When you’re a small business owner with a tight budget, productivity pressures and little knowledge of “the system”, the prospect of being taken for a workers’ compensation ride is far from appealing. So what should you do if you have suspicions that the injury your worker is claiming for wasn’t actually caused by work? There are three golden rules to keep in mind when you find yourself in this unenviable situation: Determining whether or not a strain, sprain or other injury is work-related is NOT something that can be done using common sense. more >>
Andrea Thompson | A mixed bag of workplace interventions have been trialled over the last 20 years. What works?
Take Home Messages: Assessing the effectiveness of return to work initiatives is difficult. The research varies in the Outcomes assessed; The way the research is conducted; and, The components of the intervention. Eg one study may assess one return to work initiative and another may include a number of different initiatives in the study. Why the research matters: In 2001 8. more >>
Robert Aurbach | Understanding the reasons insurers behave the way they do opens the possibility of finding a way for both parties to get what they want.
I saw an interesting headline a couple days ago in an insurance trade newsletter. It said “2013 Property/Casualty Results Show Net Gain on Underwriting – First Since 2007.” The portion of the insurance industry that writes workers’ compensation insurance made $63 billion in the US last year. But for the first time in six years “underwriting” was a profit item, rather than a loss. more >>
New industry-backed research urges superannuation funds and life insurers to focus on early intervention for mental illness, hoping to curb the growing cost of claims, Brisbane Times reports. "13 super funds covering more than a third of Australia's workforce incurred costs of $201.5 million from suicide claims over the five years to 2011, and $147.9 million in claims for total and permanent disablement linked to mental illness," cites Brisbane Times.
Organisations and individuals involved with the Comcare and Seacare schemes have been recognised for their achievements in workplace health and safety, rehabilitation and return to work. "This year's entries were of extremely high quality, with the finalists demonstrating a high level of impact, innovation and collaboration in their health and safety or rehabilitation." The Australian Defence Force -Army was awarded for its innovative rehabilitation of soldiers in the 8th/9th Battalion, in the Rehabilitation and Return to Work Management, an organisation category. Claims Manager of the Year was Rachael Passlow, of Comcare.
Attending work while suffering a depressive illness could help employees better manage their depression more than taking a sickness absence from work, a new study has found. "We found that continuing to work while experiencing a depressive illness may offer employees certain health benefits, while depression-related absence from work offers no significant improvement in employee health outcomes or quality of life," said researchers. "Cost associated with depression-related absence and attending work while depressed were also found to be higher for white collar workers who also reported poorer quality of life than blue collar workers."
A report reveals that people who stopped driving and started walking or cycling to work benefited from improved wellbeing. In particular, active commuters felt better able to concentrate and were less under strain than if they travelled by car. These benefits come on top of the physical health benefits of walking and cycling that are already widely documented. "Our study shows that the longer people spend commuting in cars, the worse their psychological wellbeing. And correspondingly, people feel better when they have a longer walk to work."
Brief online mindfulness interventions requiring only two hours of training and practice per week are effective at reducing fatigue and negative work-related rumination and at improving sleep quality. Persistent work-related rumination, in particular where individuals experience negative emotional thoughts (affective rumination), has previously been shown to be related to increased levels of stress and work-related fatigue. “Online mindfulness interventions may provide a cost effective way for organisations to improve the health of their employees whilst help reduce the long-term negative health consequences of work stress.”
As the amount of time employees spend at their desks increases, so does musculoskeletal discomfort and other health issues associated with the office environment. New research demonstrates that a comprehensive and proactive workplace ergonomics program can help to prevent discomfort and injury. “A good ergonomics program...is a highly cost-effective way to improve performance, health and well-being, and happiness."