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Revamped workers’ compensation laws take effect in Western Australia

Published on Jul 23, 2024

WA’s Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 2023 came into effect on 1 July 2024.  WorkCover has also launched a refreshed website to coincide with this development. ...

WorkSafe Victoria is recruiting Independent medical examiners

Published on Jul 09, 2024

WorkSafe is currently recruiting suitably qualified specialists to join its panel of Independent Medical Examiners. Applications close on 28 July 2024. ...

SIRA releases new allied health treatment request form for health practitioners

Published on Jul 23, 2024

SIRA has released a new interactive form to make sure that health practitioners provide the right information when they request approval for allied health treatment and care. ...

Comcare releases results of its 2024 survey of employers

Published on Jul 09, 2024

Every year Comcare surveys employers to understand how they experience Comcare’s services. The 2024 highlights are now out. ...

Professor Alex Collie featured on the ABC Conversation Hour

Published on Jul 23, 2024

Listen to Professor Alex Collie in conversation with the host of ABC Conversation Hour Richelle Hunt on workers’ rights and navigating workers’ compensation. ...

Independent panel to review Commonwealth workers’ compensation scheme

Published on Jul 09, 2024

A Federal Government-appointed panel will review the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988. The panel will seek input from key stakeholders to ensure the experiences and needs  ...

UK government calls for evidence on fit note reform

Published on Jul 23, 2024

The UK government has called for evidence to reform the fit note process in England to support return to work.  ...

More support for female firefighters in South Australia

Published on Jul 09, 2024

South Australian government announces changes to give female firefighters who develop firefighting-related cancers fairer access to compensation and support. ...

WorkCover changes affect Victorian GPs

Published on Jul 23, 2024

GPs need to know what the changes to Victoria’s WorkCover scheme mean for patients with short-term stress or burnout. ...

SafeWork NSW announces psychosocial hazard blitz on large employers

Published on Jul 09, 2024

Workplaces with 200 or more employees will be targeted by SafeWork inspectors conducting ‘psychosocial WHS checks’ in the next 12 months. ...

SafeWork NSW announces its Psychological Health and Safety Strategy 2024–2026

Published on Jul 09, 2024

SafeWork NSW’s Psychological Health and Safety Strategy 2024–2026 sets out how it intends to continue to raise awareness of psychological hazards in the workplace and foster a culture of compliance  ...

First Australian physiotherapy guidelines for spinal cord injury

Published on Jul 23, 2024

Australian-first guidelines have been developed for use by physiotherapists who treat people with spinal cord injuries. ...

Podcast on how workplace sexual harassment is being managed globally

Published on Jun 25, 2024

The effort to prevent, manage and respond to workplace sexual harassment is a global one. Hear from legal experts in 8 countries about how different governments, legislators and regulators are responding and what employers can do.  ...

Nominations are open for the 2024 WorkSafe Awards

Published on Jun 11, 2024

The WorkSafe awards recognise those who have made a significant contribution to reducing workplace harm and improving outcomes for injured workers. Victorian-based employers and workers can nominate themselves or someone else until Friday 21 June. ...

What should schools be doing to address psychosocial hazards?

Published on Jul 23, 2024

As regulators turn their attention to how employers are managing psychosocial health, schools are being forced to consider what features of school environments present psychosocial hazards for their staff. ...

‘It’s the safe way or no way’ campaign

Published on Jun 25, 2024

SafeWork NSW’s campaign has one message for workers and employers — ‘It’s the safe way or no way’. It aims to create safer workplaces by driving awareness of the importance of reducing workplace risks and promoting safer work practices.  ...

Have a say in WorkSafe Victoria’s provider survey

Published on Jun 25, 2024

WorkSafe is inviting providers and business managers to complete a survey to help them deliver good outcomes and experiences for injured workers.  ...

Audit campaign targets insurer rehabilitation and return to work plans

Published on May 25, 2024

Until 31 July 2024, Workers’ Compensation Regulatory Services is auditing Queensland insurers for rehabilitation and return to work plans. ...

Outcry as ACC cuts jobs

Published on Jun 11, 2024

Concerns have been raised that the Accident Compensation Commission’s intention to cut staff prioritises costs at the expense of worker safety. ...

Early promotions may compromise Australian companies

Published on Jun 11, 2024

Burnout is high among Australian middle managers. A recent survey showed that middle managers are looking for a new job, and a premature promotion may be the catalyst. ...

Model Code of Practice on how to eliminate or reduce the risk of sexual and gender-based harassment at work

Published on Jun 11, 2024

Employers should consider the interaction between sexual and gender-based harassment and other psychosocial hazards when managing risks to the health and safety of workers and others. ...

Early intervention works in workers’ comp

Published on Jun 11, 2024

An independent report commissioned by Safe Work Australia highlights the importance of early intervention approaches to reduce recovery times and improve RTW outcomes for injured workers. ...

Queensland expands firefighter access to workers’ comp

Published on May 28, 2024

Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme improves coverage for firefighters, includes default payments for accepted claims, requires insurers to reduce the chances of a worker developing psychological illness and better support gig-economy workers. ...

SIRA publishes report on insurer recovery through work rates

Published on Jun 11, 2024

SIRA's quarterly workers’ compensation insurer recovery through work performance report measures insurer performance based on the 13-week return to work, stay at work and working rates.  ...

Scottish government reviews its scheme to support injured workers

Published on May 28, 2024

The Scottish government is consulting about how its industrial injuries scheme can better meet the needs of the modern workforce. The eligibility criteria for the current scheme don’t account for the injuries and illnesses that are most likely to affect women, young people...

ISCRR’s funding secure for 3 more years

Published on Jun 11, 2024

WorkSafe Victoria and Monash University continue their commitment to injured worker recovery by renewing funding for the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research until 2027. ...

Self-care guides for musculoskeletal pain conditions

Published on Jun 11, 2024

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire have developed online self-care guides with advice and tips on how to self-manage muscle and joint aches and pains symptoms and information when it may be important to seek healthcare. ...

Businesses urged to report on fear in P&L statements

Published on May 28, 2024

A study reveals that fear-driven leadership among Australian managers is costing firms $2.3 billion in productivity and creates unsafe work environments. It urges businesses to report on and reduce psychologically safe workplaces.    ...

Surgeon says surgery not a ‘silver bullet’ for chronic pain

Published on May 28, 2024

An orthopaedic surgeon from New Zealand says the over-reliance on surgery to treat chronic pain ‘should join bloodletting on the list of outdated medical practice’.  ...

Bill to amend Queensland’s workers’ comp scheme introduced

Published on Apr 30, 2024

The Queensland government has introduced a Bill into Parliament to enhance care and support for injured workers and ensure the sustainability of the scheme.  ...

Is there really a ‘premium freeze’ for Victorian employers?

Published on May 14, 2024

Despite some simple commentary about there being a workers’ comp ‘premium freeze', it may be that the reality for Victorian employers is more nuanced than that. ...

An assessment of the changes to Victoria's WorkCover scheme

Published on Apr 30, 2024

An analysis of what the changes to Victoria’s workers’ compensation scheme are and what they mean for workers in that State. ...

Updated guidelines on how to diagnose and treat post-traumatic stress disorder in emergency services workers

Published on May 28, 2024

The Black Dog Institute, UNSW School of Psychology and Employers Mutual Limited have recently updated a set of Expert Guidelines on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Emergency Services Workers. ...

Common sense guidelines for movement and exercise

Published on May 28, 2024

Cor-Kinetic provides practical, evidence-based education to help health professionals treat their patients better about injury and pain. Check out these messages about movement and exercise. ...

How performance reviews can be, or avoid, psychosocial risks

Published on May 14, 2024

Research from The Leaders lab shows what workplaces and leaders can do to make performance reviews psychologically safer and more effective. ...

Should every organisation have a Chief Happiness Officer?

Published on May 14, 2024

Many employers understand that the success of their company depends on how happy their workers are at work. Which is why many companies have the Chief Happiness Officers to promote a work environment that achieves the happiness and well-being of employees. ...

WA’s recommended premium rates for workers’ comp insurance released

Published on May 14, 2024

The average recommended premium rate for workers’ compensation insurance for 2024/25 is set at 1.732% of total wages — a 0.3% increase from the 2023/24 rate.  ...

Auditor’s report of icare and SIRA released

Published on Apr 30, 2024

An audit of the effectiveness of icare’s management of workers compensation claims and SIRA’s oversight of claims makes findings and recommendations. ...

ADF charged with failing to properly address psychosocial risks

Published on Apr 16, 2024

The Department of Defence has been charged with breaching federal work health and safety laws by failing to prevent psychosocial risks at an army base. This failure allegedly exposed a worker to a risk of death or self-harm due to stressors they experienced. ...

Four Corners exposes the dark side of the chronic pain industry

Published on Apr 16, 2024

A Four Corners investigation into the chronic pain industry has uncovered how Australia’s healthcare system is being abused by some medical practitioners. ...

Dedicated service to help injured workers and families

Published on Apr 30, 2024

Comcare now has a Family Liaison Officer to help seriously injured workers and bereaved families understand and navigate investigations and prosecutions and access counselling, legal advice and support groups. ...

Sex, disability and personal injury schemes

Published on Apr 30, 2024

In an episode of The Intelligent Rebellion Podcast, Rhea Mercado talks, with Saul Isbister, President of Touching Base Inc, about intimacy and sex as important aspects of the biopsychosocial approach in the personal injury and disability space. ...

Changes to Victoria's WorkCover scheme take effect

Published on Apr 16, 2024

Amendments to Victoria's WorkCover scheme came into effect on 31 March 2024. See what’s changed. ...

Lessons for RTW from a Work Well Awards 2023 winner

Published on Apr 16, 2024

John’s RTW journey illustrates that better outcomes can be achieved when there is a positive workplace culture and a person-centred approach to RTW. ...

Mindspot — a free online assessment tool

Published on Apr 16, 2024

One of icare’s ongoing initiatives to improve workers’ mental well-being is to direct therm to digital treatment programs like Mindspot. This free online assessment tool helps people gain insights into their symptoms of anxiety and depression and access clinically pr...

More enforcement expected after review of SafeWork NSW

Published on May 14, 2024

46 recommendations in the report from the 12-month independent review of SafeWork NSW have been accepted. SafeWork is expected to increase its enforcement activities against workplace psychosocial hazards.    ...

WA’s Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 2023 to start in July

Published on Apr 16, 2024

The Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 2023 will take effect on 1 July 2024. The regulations that support the Act can be found online. ...

The costs of not addressing incivility in the workplace

Published on Apr 02, 2024

There are human and business costs of incivility at work. There are some simple things that employers can do to prevent and address this risk. ...

Trinity Insurance’s videos aim to help workers recover from injury

Published on Apr 02, 2024

New videos from Trinity Insurance’s provide information to support injured workers’ rehab and recovery. ...

Webinar on workplace bullying and harassment claims and reasonable management action

Published on Apr 02, 2024

In this webinar recording, lawyers from WorkCover Queensland and law firm DWF, discuss workplace bullying and harassment claims and reasonable management action. They provide tips to help employers prevent and manage these claims. ...

SafeWork NSW to become a standalone regulator

Published on Apr 02, 2024

SafeWork NSW is to become a standalone regulator after the NSW Government endorsed former judge The Hon. Robert McDougall KC’s recommendations following his inquiry. ...

SIRA releases updated model of care to treat low back pain

Published on Apr 16, 2024

SIRA, the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation have worked with experts to produce updated guidance for the care and treatment of people with low back pain in NSW.  ...

Subscribe to SIRA’s Recovery at work insider

Published on Mar 19, 2024

SIRA’s Recovery at work insider is designed for employers, workplace rehabilitation providers and others who support recovery through work. By subscribing, you’ll receive a monthly newsletter with evidence-based and practical information and tools about recovery thro...

How long is back pain likely to last for most people?

Published on Mar 19, 2024

A study finds that 90 per cent of people with non-specific acute low back pain improve after 3 months. Recovery rates are much lower if you still have pain after this time, and treatment often involves the mind as well as the body. ...

Safe Work Australia publishes code of practice on sexual and gender-based harassment

Published on Mar 19, 2024

Safe Work Australia’s new Code of practice on sexual and gender-based harassment helps employers comply with their positive obligation to eliminate sex discrimination, sexual and sex-based harassment and other conduct.  ...

Early RTW is the key to successful vocational rehabilitation

Published on Mar 19, 2024

In her presentation at the 20th Annual Workers Compensation Insurance ExecuSummit in the USA, an expert in vocational rehabilitation highlighted the benefits of early RTW for injured workers in their recovery and reintegration into the workforce. ...

WorkCover WA releases the Insurance Brokers Principles and Standards of Practice

Published on Mar 05, 2024

Dr Mary Wyatt and Sharon Stratford from the It Pays to Care project shared their insights at an information session at which WorkCover WA launched its Insurance Brokers Principles and Standards of Practice. The Principles and Standards take effect on 1 July 2024 and aim to enhan...

Victorian Government failed to consult on new WorkCover Scheme

Published on Mar 05, 2024

An Upper House Committee has called on the Victorian government to consult quickly and meaningfully with business, unions and injured workers and their advocates before proceeding with the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (WorkCover Scheme Modernisation...

SIRA updates resources for employers

Published on Mar 05, 2024

SIRA has updated the RTW Coordinator training module ‘Tailoring a Return to Work Program’ after identifying a growing number of employers who don’t have a RTW Program that meets the Guidelines for RTW Programs. ...

Popular workplace mental health interventions have ‘little to no’ effect

Published on Feb 20, 2024

A recent study finds that workers who participated in wellbeing offerings like mindfulness seminars, massage and relaxation classes, resilience workshops, coaching sessions, courses in time management or financial health or sleep were no better off than colleagues who didn&rsquo...

New work design toolkit for psychosocial hazards now available

Published on Mar 19, 2024

new practical, evidence-based Work Design Toolkit can help reduce some of the most common psychosocial risks in workplaces. It provides a job description template to improve role clarity, a job demands journal to navigate unachievable job demands, a job crafting compass to addre...

Brands and retailers support initiative to compensate Bangladeshi workers

Published on Apr 02, 2024

Thirty brands and retailers will contribute a percentage of their ready-made garment exports to support the Employment Injury Scheme Pilot to protect Bangladesh workers against workplace injuries and fatalities. ...

Call for abstracts for the Comcare National Conference

Published on Feb 06, 2024

Comcare is inviting anyone interested in presenting at the 2024 Comcare National Conference on 20-21 August to submit an abstract by 5.00 pm (AEDT) Tuesday 12 March. ...

Final report of review of Queensland workers’ comp scheme released

Published on Feb 06, 2024

The 2023 report of the review of the QLD workers’ compensation scheme finds that the scheme is performing well, but there are still opportunities to improve the process for injured workers. ...

NSW to bring in industrial manslaughter law

Published on Feb 06, 2024

The NSW Government intends to join most other Australian jurisdictions by introducing industrial manslaughter legislation in 2024. SafeWork NSW will consult with work health and safety experts, business groups, unions, legal stakeholders and families of people who have been kill...

SIRA’s new guidelines set out expectations for health service providers

Published on Apr 02, 2024

SIRA’s new Guidelines for the Provision of Relevant Services (Health and Related Services) aim to create positive health outcomes for injured people by setting out how providers in personal injury schemes can provide appropriate, timely and cost-effective services.  ...

Report ties teacher shortage and workload to psychological harm

Published on Feb 20, 2024

The NSW Teachers Federation has endorsed a NSW parliamentary committee's recognition that heavy workloads are leading to more psychological injuries. ...

Mobile case management

Published on Feb 20, 2024

Did you know WorkSafe Vic and its partner agents have been providing mobile case management to Victorians recovering from workplace injury since 2016? The service brings face-to-face support to the places where people live, work and recover. ...

Mind Your Head project aims to prevent mental injuries in the workplace

Published on Feb 06, 2024

The Mind Your Head program, led by The Australian Council of Trade Unions and piloted in Victoria, aims to bring employers, workers, unions, insurers and others together to improve workplace mental health and prevent mental health injury. ...

Addressing mental health and wellbeing in the construction industry

Published on Mar 19, 2024

A UK Summit discussed how construction companies can navigate mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. The suggested approach focuses on strategy, governance, and communication. ...

Mental Note resources support managers to prevent and reduce mental health stigma

Published on Mar 05, 2024

Comcare has a suite of practical resources that employers can use to minimise the risks to the psychological health and safety of your workers and promote a mentally healthy workplace. ...

Vouchers for Singaporean drivers hurt on the job

Published on Feb 06, 2024

Delivery riders, private-hire drivers and taxi drivers in Singapore can apply for S$250 vouchers if they are injured while working. There are currently no financial assistance schemes for this group. ...

Musculoskeletal Australia releases first of several self-care plans

Published on Feb 20, 2024

Musculoskeletal Australia has released a Rheumatoid Arthritis Self-Care Plan. It’s the first of several practical tools developed by people who live with rheumatoid arthritis, healthcare professionals, researchers and other experts. ...

Snapshot of the psychosocial regulatory landscape

Published on Feb 06, 2024

Most of Australia has now adopted regulations that require employers to address psychosocial hazards. The regulations differ in their approach to the ‘hierarchy of controls’ to address hazards and risks.  ...

Referral pathways guide to manage sexual harassment at work

Published on Feb 06, 2024

Comcare has developed a practical guide to help employers navigate the referral pathways to manage incidents of workplace sexual harassment. ...

More recent work health and safety developments

Published on Feb 20, 2024

Australian employers need to be aware of several recent developments about psychosocial hazards and other reforms. ...

New data tool tracks opioid-related harms among Ontario workers

Published on Mar 05, 2024

A new data tool can monitor opioid-related adverse health events among Ontario workers, identify workers at the greatest risk of harm and help workers, supervisors, managers, employers and public health professionals understand the harm caused by opioids. ...

Release of 2 new versions of the Job Demands and Accommodation Planning Tool

Published on Feb 20, 2024

The Institute for Work & Health has released 2 new versions of the JDAPT tool to help employers support employees who live with an episodic health condition. ...

New video to help workers at the Medical assessment tribunal

Published on Jan 22, 2024

Worksafe QLD has made a video to help injured workers who need to attend a hearing at the Medical assessments tribunal understand the process and what support they can get. ...

Report of the 2023 Review of the NSW Workers Compensation Scheme released

Published on Jan 04, 2024

The Standing Committee on Law and Justice reviews the workers' compensation scheme once every four years to ensure it operates effectively and efficiently. It’s latest report identifying aspects that require change and improvement. ...

Victorian WorkCover scheme still in trouble

Published on Jan 04, 2024

The proposed legislation to fix Victoria’s workers’ compensation scheme doesn’t satisfy unions or employers’ groups. ...

New powers to enforce employers’ ‘positive duty’ to eliminate sex-based workplace hostility

Published on Jan 22, 2024

From 12 December 2023, the Australian Human Rights Commission has more powers to investigate and enforce employers’ ‘positive duty’ under the Sex Discrimination Act 1985. It can now hold inquiries, issue compliance notices, seek Court-ordered compliance and mor...

ACT now has a Code of practice for managing psychosocial work hazards

Published on Dec 13, 2023

The ACT’s Managing Psychosocial Hazards at Work Code of Practice came into effect on 27 November 2023. The code gives employers practical guidance on how to manage the risks associated with psychosocial hazards. ...

Good communication is a key enabler of recovery and return to work

Published on Dec 13, 2023

Workers’ compensation systems can be complex and how well workers understand and experience the process can affect their recovery and return to work. Clear, effective communication is fundamental to a good outcome. ...

It Pays to Care policy in action in QLD’s construction industry

Published on Dec 13, 2023

By taking a person-centred approach, Construction company SEE Civil significantly reduced injury rates and claim costs and achieved a workers’ compensation premium rate of half the industry rate. ...

icare selects claims service providers

Published on Dec 04, 2023

The NSW state-owned insurer has selected Allianz, DXC Technology, EML, Gallagher Bassett, GIO and QBE to manage claims, under a new model to expand choice and improve the performance of the scheme.   ...

Privately funded elective spinal surgeries rise

Published on Dec 13, 2023

Despite the need for more evidence about how effective back surgery is in helping improve back pain, a study reveals that the rates of privately funded spinal fusion and decompression procedures have increased in New South Wales. ...

A jump in NSW workers’ compensation premiums would hit aged care providers hard

Published on Dec 04, 2023

Employers in New South Wales are bracing for an average increase of 8% a year in workers’ compensation premiums over the next 3 years. Aged care employers are especially concerned. ...

Australian Public Service prioritises psychosocial safety in the workplace

Published on Dec 04, 2023

The APS Commissioner, Gordon de Brouwer, says creating psychologically safe workplaces is at the heart of the government’s reform program agenda.  ...

Worksafe SA resources on psychosocial hazards

Published on Dec 05, 2023

The Worksafe SA website has useful information on psychosocial hazards and work-related stress. Topics include common causes of psychological hazards, employer and worker responsibilities, risk control measures and other resources. ...

SafeWork NSW Respect at work released

Published on Dec 13, 2023

The NSW government has released the SafeWork NSW Respect at work strategy 2023-2027. The 4-year plan sets out how SafeWork NSW will help businesses address workplace sexual harassment.  ...

Victorian companies fined for failing to reduce the risk of psychological injury

Published on Dec 04, 2023

The Magistrates’ Court of Victoria imposed fines totalling $250,000 on 2 companies it found guilty of criminal offences under the Occupational Health & Safety Act 2004 (Vic) for not having adequate sexual harassment policies to reduce the risk of psychological injury t...

Victorian Bill to modernise WorkCover scheme introduced

Published on Dec 13, 2023

The Victorian Government has introduced a bill to Parliament to modernise WorkCover and reinforce its financial health. The Bill is supported by the creation of Return to Work Victoria, which will provide a renewed focus on injury recovery and return to work. ...

Behavioural science shines a light on the quality of care for injured workers

Published on Dec 04, 2023

WorkSafe Victoria partnered with a behavioural science research firm to identify the factors that support and challenge treating health providers in delivering quality care to injured workers.  ...

The downsides of digital health care

Published on Jan 22, 2024

A UK survey reveals that what policymakers and the industry focus on in digital health doesn't always match what people with health issues need and want. ...

Lessons from Ontario for police service workers

Published on Jan 22, 2024

Ontario police service members face RTW challenges that relate to 5 main themes — context, culture, accommodation, communication and trust-building.  ...

Investigation data can help address psychosocial risks

Published on Nov 21, 2023

Businesses can use data from workplace investigations as a valuable source of information to proactively identify psychosocial and other workplace hazards. ...

Victoria workers’ comp bill introduced

Published on Nov 21, 2023

The Victorian Government has introduced a bill to overhaul the state workers’ compensation scheme to combat rising financial pressures and a spike in claims from mental health issues.  ...

Winners of the 2023 Comcare National Work Health and Safety Awards announced

Published on Nov 21, 2023

The winners of the 2023 Comcare National Work Health and Safety Awards have been recognised for their success in eliminating and reducing risks and hazards in their workplaces. ...

Coroners Court’s ‘toxic workplace culture’ results in $380,000 fine

Published on Nov 21, 2023

Court Services Victoria has been convicted and fined $379,157 for failing to provide a safe workplace. A toxic workplace culture at the Coroners Court of Victoria contributed to the suicide of one worker and many others taking stress leave. ...

National Musculoskeletal Consumer Survey is now open

Published on Nov 02, 2023

Musculoskeletal Australia, together with the Australian Rheumatology Association and Painaustralia, are conducting a survey. Australians living, or caring for someone, with a musculoskeletal condition can have their say to drive positive, systemic and lasting improvements to mus...

Online resource to help support workers’ mental wellbeing

Published on Nov 21, 2023

Allianz has developed an online space for employers and workers to support mentally healthy workplaces. You can download action guides for tips, strategies and resources that can be tailored to specific business needs. ...

Study aims to improve Australia's workers’ compensation system

Published on Oct 26, 2023

Monash University's School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine will partner with people who have lived experience of a workers' compensation claim in a major study that aims to improve outcomes for injured workers. ...

WorkCover WA report tracks workers' comp trends

Published on Oct 26, 2023

Did you know that WorkCover WA releases a quarterly Claims Experience Status Report that shows trends in key elements of the WA workers’ compensation scheme? It includes claim numbers, case estimates and payments for reported claim. ...

Victoria addresses psychosocial hazards in the workplace

Published on Oct 26, 2023

Victoria hasn't adopted Safe Work Australia’s regulations to deal with managing psychosocial risks. But WorkSafe Victoria has established a specialist Psychosocial Inspectorate to investigate psychosocial hazards. ...

NSW passes amendments to implement the updated national Model WHS Law

Published on Oct 26, 2023

NSW has passed the Work Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2023. It incorporates recent updates to the national Model WHS law published by Safe Work Australia and makes other changes to the NSW work health and safety laws. ...

Tips from the UK to prevent sickness absence

Published on Oct 26, 2023

Focusing on prevention and listening to employees can help employers reduce the costs and other effects of sickness absence. ...

Business NSW says more needs to be done to improve workers’ comp

Published on Oct 26, 2023

Businesses in NSW remain frustrated by the state of the NSW workers’ compensation scheme, despite some reforms being implemented.  ...

WorkCover WA modernises workers compensation laws

Published on Oct 20, 2023

New laws to modernise WA’s workers compensation scheme were passed on 11 October and will start on 1 July 2024. The new Act is the culmination of an extensive consultation process with key stakeholder groups and the Western Australian public.  ...

Risks and costs of spinal cord stimulation outweigh the benefits

Published on Oct 20, 2023

New Australian-led research finds that spinal cord stimulation did not improve back or leg pain, quality of life or function after 6 months. ...

New changes to Commonwealth work health and safety laws now in force

Published on Sep 27, 2023

Changes to enforcement, the powers of inspectors and investigations are among a suite of amendments to work health and safety laws that came into effect on 21 September 2023. ...

Online delivery of training as good as in-person training for gaining knowledge

Published on Sep 27, 2023

A study finds that face-to-face, online instructor-led distance learning and online self-paced e-learning methods were equally effective in helping learners acquire the knowledge they needed to become Joint Health and Safety Committee members.  ...

Study identifies RTW challenges for police service members

Published on Sep 27, 2023

A study by the Institute for Work & Health identifies the main return-to-work challenges faced by sworn and civilian police service members in Ontario.  ...

WorkSafe Victoria’s WorkWell Toolkit evaluated

Published on Sep 27, 2023

The Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research’s evaluation of a pilot of the WorkWell Toolkit for small to medium-sized businesses has mixed findings about how successful it was at educating employers about identifying workplace psychosocial hazards. ...

‘Preventive’ whole-body MRI screening gaining popularity

Published on Sep 13, 2023

The screening of asymptomatic patients is gaining in popularity in the USA, despite reservations about their effectiveness from many medical organisations. ...

Ways to prevent violence and aggression in healthcare settings

Published on Sep 13, 2023

A study by the Institute for Safety Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR) identifies the most common hurdles to preventing workplace violence and aggression and strategies to manage this behaviour. ...

Research reports from the Collaborative Partnership to improve work participation are now available

Published on Sep 13, 2023

The Collaborative Partnership to improve work participation has been working to remove barriers to enable more Australians to engage in good work. A Legacy Report and reports that combine all their research on each of their focus areas are now available. ...

New report on SMART work design

Published on Sep 13, 2023

Findings in a report from the Design for Care research project will help the healthcare and social assistance industry with strategies to embed SMART work design to improve work design for mental health and wellbeing. ...

‘Micro learns’ for good work design out now

Published on Sep 13, 2023

Comcare has produced a suite of free micro-learning modules to help employers, managers and supervisors design good work to better manage psychosocial risks at work. ...

Jump in teachers receiving workers' compensation

Published on Sep 13, 2023

As more teachers in NSW suffer from work-related psychological injuries from work pressure, bullying and violence in schools, the Department of Education has increased access to phone support services and specialist response teams.  ...

Worrying trend in spinal fusion surgery

Published on Sep 13, 2023

There’s been a big increase in the number of spinal fusions for degenerative spinal conditions in Australia, despite limited evidence supporting this procedure. ...

Safe Work Australia’s checklist helps you check your consultation arrangements

Published on Sep 13, 2023

A person conducting a business or undertaking must consult with workers, health and safety representatives and others to manage work health and safety risks. Safe Work Australia has a consultation checklist to make it easier for you to assess if you have good consultation arrang...

Managers have a major impact on mental health

Published on Sep 04, 2023

New research suggests that for most people, their manager has more influence on their mental health than their therapist or their doctor. Here are 7 approaches that managers can use to lead for wellbeing.  ...

Other return-to-work coordinator arrangements

Published on Sep 04, 2023

Did you know that employers can fulfil their NSW workers' compensation return to work obligations by outsourcing the return to work coordinator role under an alternative hiring arrangement?  ...

What Safe Work Australia’s intended changes to incident reporting mean for businesses

Published on Sep 04, 2023

Safe Work Australia has introduced a consultation paper with suggested amendments to incident reporting obligations. Do they risk increasing the burden on businesses and regulators? A law firm looks at what will change and what this means for businesses. ...

Proactive rather than reactive mental health strategies support employee wellbeing

Published on Sep 04, 2023

A recent article suggests that proactive mental health resources may be more effective than Employee Assistance Programs at cutting employer costs from mental health crises and improving employee wellbeing.  ...

High bar for the ‘reasonable management action’ defence

Published on Sep 04, 2023

A recent case shows that employers must satisfy a high threshold when arguing that the psychological injury of the worker was caused by ‘reasonable management action’. ...

Cases highlight lessons for employers on how to deal with bullying claims

Published on Sep 04, 2023

Recent decisions in cases before the Fair Work Commission provide useful guidance to employers about how to manage and respond to allegations of bullying.  ...

Lessons for employers on how to unmask the invisible face of psychiatric injury

Published on Sep 04, 2023

A recent Victorian Court of Appeal decision helps employers understand when their duty to manage the risk of psychiatric injury arises, and the steps they should take. ...

Lessons for doctors when certifying medical certificates

Published on Sep 04, 2023

Doctors are being reminded to carefully consider what they are certifying when providing a medical certificate after a complaint to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.  ...

Self-compassion — the wellbeing ‘supernutrient’ at work

Published on Aug 16, 2023

Researchers at the Wellbeing Lab have found that the biggest difference between workers who reported high levels or low levels of thriving was the practice of self-compassion. ...

Regulators, unions and workers respond to changes to psychosocial health laws

Published on Aug 15, 2023

Regulators, inspectors, unions and workers are referring and responding to the Queensland Code of Practice: Managing the Risk of Psychosocial Hazards at Work since it took effect earlier this year. ...

Study identifies primary care physicians’ learning needs

Published on Aug 15, 2023

A review finds that physicians have learning needs or training gaps around supporting ill or injured workers to return to work. They include administrative tasks, attitudes and beliefs about work injuries and illnesses, occupational health issues and services and tools. ...

NSW Bill to protect retail workers from assault

Published on Aug 15, 2023

The New South Wales Government proposes tough new laws to protect retail workers from assaults, as research finds that 85% of retail workers have been abused or assaulted at work. ...

Practical guidance for employers to comply with their ‘positive duty’ under new laws

Published on Aug 15, 2023

Since December 2022, organisations have a positive duty to eliminate discrimination, sexual harassment and other hostile workplace behaviours. The Australian Human Rights Commission has released guidance for employers about how to comply with this new duty.  ...

Businesses face risks and opportunities from virtual and AI technologies

Published on Aug 08, 2023

As augmented or virtual reality and artificial intelligence infiltrate workplaces, they create both potential safety hazards and opportunities for employers. ...

Private Members Bill heralds change in how the United Kingdom treats workplace bullying

Published on Aug 08, 2023

A Bill introduced in the UK's House of Commons aims to redefine how workplace bullying is addressed. It proposes a definition for workplace bullying, a Respect at work code and the power of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission to investigate and enforce workplace bullying....

New translated fact sheets for employers

Published on Aug 08, 2023

As part of its commitment to delivering the best outcomes for stakeholders from all backgrounds, WorkCover WA has translated its Workers’ Compensation Essentials: Employer Fact Sheet into Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Arabic and Punjabi to help culturally and l...

Workplaces as the engine room of psychological health and wellbeing

Published on Jul 26, 2023

The American Psychological Association’s 2023 Work in America Survey reveals that psychological well-being is a high priority for workers. The survey tracks the U.S. Surgeon General’s Framework for Workplace Mental Health and Well-Being, which sets out 5 ‘essen...

New report on physical activity interventions for older people

Published on Jul 26, 2023

A report by the US Department of Health and Human Services highlights evidence-based strategies that clinicians, policymakers and other health professionals can use to help adults 65 years or get and stay physically active. ...

Case studies show Comcare’s regulatory activity on psychosocial hazards in workplaces

Published on Jul 25, 2023

Comcare's case studies give examples of how employers can manage psychosocial hazards like work demands, bullying and harassment and poor organisational change management. ...

Safety tool to help you identify hazards and risks in your workplace

Published on Jul 25, 2023

Comcare has developed an online safety tool to help workplaces identify hazards in different office spaces, the tasks and activities of different roles and actions employers can take for a safe and healthy workplace. ...

New requirements for New Zealand employers around health and safety reps and committees

Published on Jul 24, 2023

Changes to New Zealand’s Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 introduce new requirements for employers to improve workers’ access to health and safety representatives and committees.  ...

Emergency services face financial strain from high WorkCover premiums

Published on Jul 24, 2023

Victorian emergency services agencies like police, ambulance and firefighters could face a massive hike in premiums as the industry rate for those high-risk employees increases. ...

Good workplace culture and relationships matter more than money

Published on Jul 12, 2023

50% of employees in the United Kingdom would prefer great relationships at work over a 10% pay increase, and more want workplaces with a culture of trust, understanding and openness and where they can be themselves. ...

Practical guidance on how to identify and manage work demands

Published on Jul 12, 2023

Work demands like excessive workloads, resource constraints, time pressures or repetitive or monotonous tasks are common psychosocial hazards that can cause stress and psychological harm. Comcare’s resources can help employers, supervisors and workers identify and manage t...

Resources help employers comply with new Commonwealth laws about psychosocial hazards

Published on Jul 12, 2023

Comcare has a range of practical guidance and education products to help organisations comply with new Commonwealth Work Health and Safety Regulations that started on 1 April. ...

Snapshot of the psychological health and safety legal lie of the land in 2023

Published on Jul 12, 2023

There have been several legal developments in 2022 and 2023 that relate to psychological health and safety. You can find a summary of the changes in a useful table in this blog post.   ...

Bunnings shows how small changes can keep older workers at work

Published on Jul 12, 2023

Research published in the Journal of Organisational Behaviour shows that high manager support and some simple actions can help older workers stay at work longer. Bunnings is a case in point. ...

Guide to recent changes to Australia’s sexual harassment framework

Published on Jun 27, 2023

Australia’s sexual harassment framework has changed with 3 federal laws enacted between September 2021 and December 2022. Holding Redlich outlines the major changes, dispute resolution options and 6 steps to help employers meet their obligations under the laws. ...

Why organisations need to focus on workplace burnout

Published on Jun 26, 2023

Workplace burnout results from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed and has a range of negative organisational, psychological and physical consequences. There are practical things that employers can do to prevent it from happening. ...

Comcare’s claims management passes Australian National Audit Office audit

Published on Jun 26, 2023

The Australian National Audit Office’s report into Comcare’s management of workers’ compensation claims found its administration of claims is effective and efficient and supported by sound business processes and systems.    ...

Online study into whether text messages help manage low back pain

Published on Jun 26, 2023

Researchers at the University of Sydney want to help people recover from back pain by simply receiving text messages. You can participate in the TEXT4myBACK study by completing a short online survey. The study will assess if education and advice about low back pain delivered by ...

Ombudsman releases third report on Victorian workers' compensation scheme

Published on Jun 26, 2023

The Victorian Ombudsman has released its report on its investigation into what happens when WorkSafe authorises companies to handle their own claims. Its recommendations aim to improve regulatory oversight of self-insurers, the experience and outcomes for injured workers an...

New guide for mental health digital tools and medical devices

Published on Jun 26, 2023

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has released guidance about which digital tools and medical devices for the mental health sector are regulated by the TGA. ...

Survey reveals 2 out of every 3 workers feel burnt out

Published on Jun 26, 2023

A study reveals that 63.6% of workers reported feeling burned out and left feeling emotionally, socially and physically exhausted. It also reveals the top 7 psychosocial hazards they most often report experiencing.  ...

Icare needs immediate $660 million to pay injured workers

Published on Jun 18, 2023

Workers’ compensation insurer icare will need an injection of more than $660 million from the government in the next two weeks so it can pay injured frontline public servants. ...

How to conduct a good workplace investigation

Published on Jun 09, 2023

Employers are responsible for creating safe workplaces and addressing and resolving allegations of misconduct, discrimination, harassment and bullying. An article aims to give employers the knowledge and tools to conduct effective workplace investigations. ...

Ongoing pain is a different kind of injury

Published on Jun 09, 2023

Localised pain, swelling, stiffness or numbness are common signs and symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders. But acute pain can develop into ‘chronic’ pain even after recovery from an injury. A new position paper by the Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention ...

Why the push to get workers back to the office is misguided

Published on Jun 09, 2023

Research shows that recent arguments behind businesses’ push to bring workers back to the office do not result in more collaboration, innovation or productivity. Instead, we should be focussing on creating the work states that will enable us to be at our best. ...

WorkCover WA launches new online course for workplace rehabilitation providers

Published on Jun 05, 2023

WorkCover WA’s new free training course will help workplace rehabilitation providers understand Western Australia’s workers’ compensation and injury management scheme, their role and their clients’s needs. ...

Personal injury strategic claims management course starts in September

Published on Jun 05, 2023

Monash School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine and the Personal Injury Education Foundation have partnered to create a 9-week course for anyone working in the personal injury and disability management industry. The course starts aims to increase knowledge about different...

Comcare’s new resources on supporting recovery and return to work

Published on Jun 05, 2023

Comcare has new resources to help employees and employers better understand the return to work process and support injured workers to recover and return to work safely. ...

Have your say on the RRTW e-bulletin and win a conference ticket

Published on Jun 05, 2023

Workers’ Compensation Regulatory Services in the Queensland Office of Industrial Relations has a short survey about how to improve their RRTW e-bulletin. The bulletin provides information and resources to help injured workers return to work quickly and safely. You might al...

Nominations for ARPA WA Excellence in Workplace Rehabilitation Awards open soon

Published on Jun 05, 2023

Nominations for the Australian Rehabilitation Providers Association WA Excellence in Workplace Rehabilitation Awards are open from 21 June to 21 July 2023. You can nominate someone in the new categories of Outstanding achievement in RTW, Exceptional injury management professiona...

Theme and campaign kit for National Safe Work Month 2023 released

Published on May 31, 2023

Safe Work Australia has released the theme and campaign kit for National Safe Work Month in October. The theme is ‘For everyone’s safety, work safely’. The campaign kit has a range of digital customisable resources to help you take part. ...

Increases to WorkCover premiums an incentive to prevent injuries

Published on May 31, 2023

The Victorian government is increasing the premium rate capping from 30% to 75% for the 2023/24 financial year. Industry rates, which drive increases in workers’ compensation premiums, are about to increase in almost every industry in Victoria.  ...

Best practice toolkit on records management for Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinators

Published on May 22, 2023

WorkSafe QLD has a toolkit on records management for Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinators. It's about understanding the importance of using best practice when dealing with information about a worker’s rehabilitation and return to work. ...

Communications kit for small businesses on how to manage risks of workplace psychosocial hazards

Published on May 22, 2023

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has produced a resource to help small businesses understand the ‘Managing the risk of psychosocial hazards at work Code of Practice’. ...

New resources to support the design of good work

Published on May 22, 2023

How our work is designed can affect how we feel and influence our motivation, engagement and stress levels at work. Comcare has developed a suite of evidence-based resources to help managers design work that creates psychologically safe teams. ...

New workplace injury insurer flagged as Victorian businesses to pay higher premiums

Published on May 22, 2023

The Victorian government has said it will introduce a body called Return to Work Victoria, as criticism mounts over proposed increases to workers’ compensation premiums and tighter criteria around mental health claims. ...

Entries are open for the Work Well Awards 2023

Published on May 17, 2023

Entries are open for the Work Well Awards 2023, previously the Safe Work and Return to Work Awards. Nominate yourself, your business or someone else and showcase achievements and innovation in return to work and work health and safety.  ...

National campaign to reduce physical and psychological injuries to delivery drivers

Published on May 17, 2023

SafeWork SA is supporting the Deliver Yourself Home Safely campaign, a national initiative to improve work health and safety for food delivery workers. The campaign will run until September 2023. It provides a variety of practical resources to promote positive attitudes and beha...

icare to fix historical indexation issue

Published on May 17, 2023

icare has identified mistakes in the benefits injured workers received under claims made between October 2012 and October 2019. About 20,643 claims may need to be remedied, with the total cost amounting to about $40 million. ...

New campaign to reduce workers’ compensation stigma

Published on May 17, 2023

Safe Work Australia has a new campaign and practical resources to raise awareness about, and reduce, the stigma associated with workers’ compensation. Fear of stigmatisation can prevent workers from making claims, affect recovery and lower morale and productivity. ...

First Biopsychosocial Symposium held in Sydney

Published on May 17, 2023

The first of three 2023 symposia from the It Pays to Care policy was held in Sydney in April. It was attended by 80 representatives of various workers’ compensation industry groups and included presentations, panel sessions, discussions and examples of pilot interventions ...

Report of the review of Queensland’s Work Health and Safety Act 2011 released

Published on May 08, 2023

The Palaszczuk Government has accepted all 31 recommendations from the independent review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. The report has now been published. Legislation to implement the recommendations will likely be introduced to Parliament later this year. ...

Eight trends that drive respectful workplace environments and prevent harm

Published on May 01, 2023

Under the Respect@Work Act employers now have a positive duty to eliminate harmful behaviours that create hostile workplaces and cause harm to workers. What should organisations be doing to create safe and respectful workplaces?  ...

Government caps icare’s premium increases at 8% a year

Published on May 01, 2023

The NSW Government has directed icare to limit average premium increases to 8% in each of the next 3 financial years after the insurer flagged increases of 22%. ...

Comcare’s list of FAQs from recent webinars on psychosocial hazards and regulation

Published on May 01, 2023

Comcare has compiled a list of some of the most commonly asked questions they received at their recent webinars on psychosocial hazards and regulation and provides the answers. ...

Call for a scheme to compensate injured workers in Bangladesh

Published on May 01, 2023

A survey by the Institute of Business Administration at the University of Dhaka recommends creating a legal framework to compensate workers for injuries caused by workplace accidents. ...

The JDAPT tool helps workers get the support they need without needing to disclose their condition

Published on May 01, 2023

A new tool helps workers with long-term conditions think about—and ask for—potential accommodations specific to their job demands. These supports can help them continue to work safely, comfortably and productively without having to disclose their health condition. ...

A roundup of the new regulations about psychosocial risks and injuries

Published on May 01, 2023

Psychosocial hazards and injuries have come under the spotlight recently. New regulations have been implemented in New South Wales, Western Australia and Tasmania, with similar regulations about to start in other States. ...

Nominations for Comcare National Work Health and Safety Awards close 30 April

Published on Apr 18, 2023

There’s still time to submit nominations for the National Work Health and Safety Awards. The Awards recognise initiatives in 3 categories: to prevent physical and psychological harm in the workplace, recovery and RTW and individual contribution. ...

5 reasons to see a doctor about persistent pain

Published on Apr 15, 2023

Persistent pain is a common and complex problem that affects 1 in 5 Australians aged 45 and over. Dealing with it can be challenging. But there are things people can do to manage it. The first step is to see a doctor.  ...

New permanent impairment guide takes effect from 1 April

Published on Apr 15, 2023

Comcare’s Guide to assessing permanent impairment has been updated. The Guide to the Assessment of the Degree of Permanent Impairment – Edition 3.0 took effect on 1 April 2023. ...

Review into the list of occupational diseases under the Accident Compensation Act (NZ)

Published on Apr 15, 2023

Women could get better access to compensation as the Aotearoa New Zealand government looks at expanding the scheme's list of occupational diseases. Public submissions on the review are encouraged and are open until 17 May. ...

Warnings continue to sound about Victoria’s proposed overhaul of WorkCover

Published on Apr 15, 2023

Workers and experts in the mental health sector plead with the Victorian government to keep mental health injuries, especially from bullying and harassment, in the scheme, and warn against giving a ‘green light’ to perpetrators. ...

The Rehabilitation counselling podcast interviews Dr Christine Randall

Published on Apr 15, 2023

Dr Christine Randall, President of the  Rehabilitation Counselling Association of Australasia features in the latest Rehabilitation counselling podcast. Dr Randall talks about her experiences working as a professional rehabilitation counsellor, researcher and academic. ...

Safe Work Australia publishes a new report on work-related injuries

Published on Apr 15, 2023

Safe Work Australia has published a new report on work-related injuries in Australia. It analyses survey data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Safe Work Australia’s national dataset and research findings from the Safer, healthier, wealthier research to give a m...

Carer journal provides support to those supporting injured workers

Published on Apr 03, 2023

Carers NSW, with support from icare NSW, has developed a resource with tips for carers who are supporting someone who has been injured. It aims to help them manage their caring responsibilities and capture information like appointments, treatment and progress.  ...

New snapshot of workers’ experiences returning to work after injury or illness during the pandemic

Published on Apr 03, 2023

Safe Work Australia has published a new snapshot of how the COVID-19 pandemic affected workers returning to work after an injury or illness. It’s based on findings from the 2021 National Return to Work Survey summary report and has insights for workers’ compensation ...

Bill for ‘modern’ workers’ compensation laws tabled in Western Australian parliament

Published on Apr 03, 2023

In late February 2023, the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Bill 2023 was tabled in the WA Parliament. It aims to modernise the State's workers' compensation laws to give stakeholders in the workers’ compensation system more clarity and certainty. ...

Workers’ comp system makes workers with mental health injury claims sicker

Published on Apr 03, 2023

Victorian workers with mental health injury claims feel punished by the system. As the Victorian government considers an overhaul of WorkCover, workers ask it not to make it more difficult to lodge or pursue a mental health claim.  ...

New practical guidance for managing the psychosocial risk of work demands

Published on Apr 03, 2023

Work demands like excessive workloads, resource constraints or time pressures are common causes of workplace stress and psychological harm. Comcare has developed a suite of ‘guidance’ to help employers, managers and supervisors and workers identify and manage the ris...

Stage set for a fight over the tightening of WorCover mental injury claims

Published on Apr 03, 2023

The Victorian government is planning to tighten the rules for mental health injury claims after it agreed WorkCover was ‘fundamentally broken’. But the Community and Public Sector Union is poised to fight back, saying the government itself is partly to blame. ...

Valued RTWMatters collaborator Professor Alex Collie appointed to the Australian Research Council College of Experts

Published on Mar 21, 2023

Director of the Healthy Working Lives Research Group, Professor Alex Collie, has been appointed to the Australian Research Council (ARC) College of Experts. The ARC College of Experts plays an important role in identifying research excellence to support the advancement of knowle...

Comcare’s resources help employers comply with new laws about psychosocial risks

Published on Mar 21, 2023

Laws that strengthen and clarify how to manage psychosocial health risks in the workplace come in on 1 April. You can subscribe to Comcare eNews to stay up to date on the changes and find supporting educational resources.  ...

Get involved in a new study on workers’ compensation data standards

Published on Mar 21, 2023

Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine is doing a study to understand how Australian workers’ compensation insurers and regulators capture, code and report on, healthcare and medicines information. You can participate if you work in an Au...

Victoria considering narrowing the criteria for mental health injury claims

Published on Mar 21, 2023

Workers’ compensation for mental health injuries could be restricted to post-traumatic stress disorder and exclude bullying and harassment to address the growing cost of Victoria’s WorkCover scheme. Workers may also have to prove their mental health injury is almost ...

icare's hearing device schedule to continue

Published on Mar 21, 2023

Insurance and Care NSW will continue its schedule of hearing devices for injured workers with industrial deafness after its panel of suppliers expired in November 2022. The schedule contains a list of hearing aids that meet icare's quality standards at a recommended maximum pric...

Victorian workers' compensation scheme 'fundamentally broken'

Published on Mar 07, 2023

The Victorian government has flagged possible higher premiums and other actions to fix the State's workers' compensation scheme, declaring it is no longer financially sustainable or fit for purpose. ...

Major league baseball as a metaphor for dealing with pain

Published on Mar 06, 2023

Metaphors can often help us deal with, or understand, something better than we otherwise would. Thinking about the healing journey for mental or physical pain terms of becoming a major league baseball player is one example.  ...

Verdict is in on the best workplace safety indicator tools

Published on Mar 06, 2023

A tested 5 leading questionnaires that are used to identify workers who are at risk of work-related harm. It rated the Institute for Work & Health’s OHS Vulnerability Measure and the Psychosocial Job Quality Index tool the highest. ...

ISCRR Research Impact Showcase event now available online

Published on Mar 06, 2023

If you missed the Institute for Safety Compensation and Recovery Research’s Research Impact Showcase event in February, you can catch up by watching recorded videos on the ISCRR website. The event showcased research that has led to evidence-informed initiatives. ...

New training course for rehabilitation and return to work coordinators

Published on Mar 06, 2023

You don’t have to complete an approved training course to be a rehabilitation and return to work coordinator. But doing so can equip you with the skills and abilities you need. Check out the training courses that have been approved by the Queensland Workers' Compensation R...

Should burnout be a recognised mental health condition?

Published on Mar 06, 2023

Burnout is real and very common. But unlike in Europe and the United Kingdom, it’s not recognised as a diagnosable medical condition in Australia. A researcher proposes it should be. ...

Why culturally appropriate care in health services matters

Published on Feb 21, 2023

Dr Peter Jansen talks about the importance of thinking about cultural safety from the patient’s perspective and becoming aware of our own cultural and other ‘blind spots’. ...

New provider joins claims service panel for NSW Nominal Insurer scheme

Published on Feb 21, 2023

icare expands its panel of claims service providers with the inclusion of third-party claims administrator, Gallagher Bassett. ...

Mental health recovery at work — a story of hope

Published on Feb 21, 2023

A short video developed for SIRA’s #becauseofyou program shows how peers in the workplace can support mental health recovery.  ...

Listen up: Do you know what psychosocial hazards sound like?

Published on Feb 21, 2023

Safe Work Australia has a helpful infographic to help identify the language workers might use to talk about their exposure to psychosocial hazards.  ...

Nominations for the 2023 Comcare National Work Health and Safety Awards open soon

Published on Feb 21, 2023

The Comcare National Work Health and Safety Awards recognise and reward excellence by employers and individuals in Comcare’s scheme. Nominations in 3 categories for the 2023 Awards open online on 1 March.  ...

‘Gigcover’ for gig economy workers in Singapore

Published on Feb 12, 2023

The Singaporean government has established a network to develop better work injury compensation policies for gig economy workers. It will consider the views of all stakeholders to develop processes for reporting work injuries, dealing with claims and calculating compensation for...

New online tool to help workers consider and communicate support needs

Published on Feb 12, 2023

The Institute for Work & Health has developed an easy-to-use online tool for workers with an ongoing health condition identify the support they need to keep working comfortably, safely and productively. ...

Poor treatment by case managers linked to psychological distress

Published on Feb 09, 2023

Injured workers who felt they weren’t treated with respect or given necessary information during their workers' compensation claims were more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety. ...

Tips for stress-free travel to medical appointments

Published on Feb 09, 2023

Travelling into the city for medical appointments, wherever you live, can be stressful, time-consuming and expensive. Musculoskeletal Australia has information, tips and tricks to help – no matter what transport you use. ...

Queensland Managing psychosocial hazards at work code of practice to start 1 April 2023

Published on Feb 09, 2023

The Managing psychosocial hazards at work code of practice 2022 and amendments to the Work health and safety regulation in Queensland give clarity and certainty about employers’ obligations to remove or reduce psychological health risks.  ...

Evaluation gives the NewAccess workplaces mental health coaching service a thumbs up

Published on Feb 09, 2023

An evaluation of the mental health coaching service, NewAccess workplace, created by Beyond Blue and piloted at 16 government agencies in Australia, showed that the service had a 72% recovery rate and improved worker wellbeing, job satisfaction and productivity.  ...

Best practice design in mental health practices in the workplace

Published on Jan 18, 2023

Recent or proposed changes to laws in various States require employers to identify and eliminate or reduce psychosocial risks in the workplace. Some ‘best practice’ tips can help them to proactively prevent or reduce the risk of mental health-related workers’ c...

The connection between workplace bullying and suicide in Australia

Published on Jan 18, 2023

An expert in workplace bullying explores what the research tells us about workplace bullying and the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviour, and what workplaces can do to prevent it. ...

Good work design prevents musculoskeletal injuries and supports safe RTW

Published on Jan 18, 2023

Employers may invest considerable time and money getting people with a musculoskeletal injury back to work. Ergonomics and redesign are the best way to address risk factors that can cause them and support safe return to work. ...

Heat packs can replace opioids to treat back pain

Published on Jan 18, 2023

There is a way to counter the harmful effects of prescribing opioids for chronic back pain. A new approach in which doctors and nurses at 4 NSW hospital emergency departments were trained to treat back pain with heat packs shows promising results. ...

Pain scientists are starting to think differently about pain and its causes

Published on Jan 18, 2023

Pain scientists are starting to make exciting discoveries about what pain is and how it’s caused — like how the way you think about your pain can change the way it feels. An engaging 5-minute video explains this approach. ...

Sign up to the Comcare LMS for free online training on a range of topics

Published on Jan 13, 2023

Did you know you can access a full list of the training that Comcare offers by simply creating an account on the Comcare learning management system? You can find the training that’s relevant to your role and you can also search the training by topic.  ...

5 elements of self-care for RTW Coordinators

Published on Jan 13, 2023

RTW Coordinators can experience vicarious trauma from exposure to workers who have experienced trauma or who share details of traumatic events. Vicarious trauma can cause burn out and affect your personal and work life. WorkSafe.qld.gov.au has strategies and resources to support...

Should we be talking about workplace bullying less?

Published on Jan 13, 2023

An expert in workplace bullying says instead of talking about workplace bullying, we should be focusing more on prevention and the behavioural early warning signs that indicate a risk of bullying.   ...

Report showed WorkSafe Victoria was on an ‘unsustainable financial trajectory’

Published on Jan 13, 2023

A 2020 report that was only recently made public warned that the Victorian WorkSafe compensation scheme needed to increase premiums or changes to the law, or both, to stay financially viable. The Victorian government will meet with unions, employers and legal experts to ensure t...

Study finds that most injured workers experience ongoing pain after returning to work

Published on Jan 13, 2023

A Canadian study followed 1,100 workers over 18 months. It found that 70% continued to experience pain 18 months after their injury. The study highlights the importance of modified duties and return-to-work planning.  ...

A pain toolkit for managing chronic pain

Published on Jan 13, 2023

The Pain Toolkit website provides information and resources to help people understand and cope with chronic pain and improve their quality of life. It includes self-assessment tools, educational materials and guided exercises ...

New resource to support workers with musculoskeletal conditions

Published on Dec 09, 2022

Musculoskeletal Australia has created WorkWise, a resource for workers who live with musculoskeletal conditions. It has information to help manage symptoms at work, tips and strategies and resources to help you keep working and know your rights.  ...

A ‘rehabbers’ tips for how to have ‘difficult conversations’ in workers comp schemes

Published on Dec 09, 2022

Why are some conversations in the work injury space seen as ‘difficult’? Rhea Mercado, accredited exercise physiologist, author and blogger shares her thoughts about what she has learned along the way. ...

Workers with combined physical and psychological injuries have the worst RTW outcomes

Published on Dec 09, 2022

The NSW SIRA CEO encourages insurers to improve support for workers with a psychological injury as evidence shows they experience worse outcomes. About 11% of NSW workers’ compensation claims relate to a psychological injury and those workers are less likely to return to w...

Comcare releases new videos and resources to support recovery and return to work

Published on Dec 09, 2022

Comcare has a new suite of animated videos and guidance for employees and employers. They explain the return to work process, show the health benefits of a safe, timely and sustainable return to work, roles and responsibilities and better ways to support employees to return to w...

Introducing the Queensland Health Allied Health Framework for Value-Based Health Care

Published on Dec 09, 2022

The framework is a tool to support health professionals to explore how to implement value-based health care. It was developed by the Office of the Chief Allied Health Officer and the Australian Hospital and Healthcare Association with collaboration from the Queensland Health all...

Singapore's ‘gig economy’ workers to get work injury and pension coverage

Published on Dec 01, 2022

About 73,000 food delivery and ride-hailing workers will have access to the same work injury insurance and pension coverage from 2024 if Singapore’s implements its proposed new laws  ...

Did you know about the free MSK Help Line?

Published on Dec 01, 2022

Did you know that a free national Help Line is available for people with musculoskeletal conditions and the health professionals who care for them. Nurses and trained volunteers can talk to you about your condition and dealing with pain, treatment options, self-management, how t...

Changes to Comcare’s Covid-19 notifications

Published on Dec 01, 2022

From 1 December, Comcare has changed its requirement for when workplaces must notify it of COVID-19 cases that arise in the course of their business. The change responds to the National Cabinet decision to remove COVID-19 isolation periods and the winding back or removal of rest...

Help shape future workplace mental health programs and tools for Queensland

Published on Dec 01, 2022

The Psychological Health Unit, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, is conducting a survey on how organisations are implementing mental health initiatives and programs. Your insights into what helps and hinders these initiatives will help inform the direction of future priori...

NSW employers face $1 billion incease in workers comp fees

Published on Nov 21, 2022

NSW Treasury has raised concerns about the financial sustainability of icare, warning that businesses would pay premiums 33% higher in 2025 than in 2021 to cover the shortfall. ...

How leaders can navigate psychosocial hazards

Published on Nov 17, 2022

New research finds that the new legal requirement for employers to do ‘everything reasonably practical’ to deal with psychosocial risks is an opportunity to improve their organisations’ cultures of care. It shows that most workplaces are unaware of the silent h...

Film highlights small business success in workplace mental health

Published on Nov 17, 2022

Small business operators often face psychological stress from high workload, lack of work-life balance and financial pressures. To inspire their own workers and help others deal with these issues, OBE Organic, with support from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, has produce...

Catch up on Comcare videos from Safe Work Month

Published on Nov 17, 2022

October was national Safe Work Month. You can watch 3 webinars Comcare hosted on making safety at work your priority. Hear Professor Sharon Newnam from Queensland University of Technology on how we can review and maintain WHS management systems and the future of work. Georgie Ha...

The Australian Lawyers Alliance says combative approach to workers compensation psychological injury claims causes harm

Published on Nov 17, 2022

A representative from the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) gave evidence to the NSW Standing Committee on Law and Justice’s 2022 Review of the Workers Compensation scheme. The ALA says that the way psychological injury claims are handled and disputed and investigations ar...

Free pain e-guide from Musculoskeletal Australia

Published on Nov 17, 2022

If you or someone you know lives with arthritis, osteoporosis, back pain or another musculoskeletal condition, you can download this free eBook called ‘Managing Your Pain: An A-Z Guide’ from Musculoskeletal Australia. It will give you new ideas to try and also help y...

SIRA partners with rehabilitation provider to support workers with psychological injuries

Published on Nov 02, 2022

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority has teamed up with the Australian Rehabilitation Providers Association to improve the RTW outcomes of people with psychological injuries. Rehabilitation providers will facilitate workplace discussions to increase the support available to ...

Study suggests a link between workers' compensation and self-harm

Published on Nov 02, 2022

According to a recent study, workers’ compensation claimants appear to have higher rates of admission for self-harm than non-claimants. ...

Value-based health care resources

Published on Nov 02, 2022

The Australian Centre for Value-Based Health Care has collated practical resources that can support your work in value-based health care. They include how to define value, create value in partnership with patients, measure outcomes and costs, provide integrated and patient-focus...

Submit an abstract for the 23rd World Congress on Safety and Health at Work

Published on Nov 02, 2022

The 23rd World Congress on Safety and Health at Work is one of the largest international conferences for work health and safety. It on in Sydney next year. If you have a work safety story, opportunity, case study or research that you’d like to present you have until ...

Years of inappropriate billing for spine surgery revealed

Published on Oct 24, 2022

A 2018 review conducted by spine surgeon Dr Roy Carey reveals that more than 85% of health insurance claims for spinal fusion were inappropriately billed. The revelation coincides with 2 new studies that show just how little expensive spine surgery actually helps patients. ...

Respect at Work Bill 2022 places a positive obligation on employers to eliminate sex discrimination and sexual harassment

Published on Oct 18, 2022

The Bill responds to recommendations in the Australian Human Rights Commission Respect@Work 2020 report. Employers will need to show they took all reasonable steps to prevent sex discrimination, sexual harassment and hostile working environments. ...

icare announces new claims service providers for workers compensation scheme

Published on Oct 18, 2022

After consultation on a new claims model and a tender process, icare has appointed Allianz, Employers Mutual Limited (EML), DXC, Gallagher Bassett (GB), GIO, and QBE to manage claims for the NSW Nominal Insurer workers compensation scheme. ...

Evaluation of WorkSafe Victoria’s Clinical Hotline Pilot

Published on Oct 18, 2022

A Clinical Hotline Pilot trialled by WorkSafe Victoria to give health care professionals up-to-date access to the best evidence-based clinical services for their patients has been evaluated — with positive results. ...

It’s ok for injured workers to not be ok

Published on Oct 16, 2022

Telling injured workers to be positive can help them get through a challenging period. But it’s also important that they can feel and express their vulnerabilities and difficult emotions. A doctor with personal experience of the ups and downs of injury, pain and recovery o...

Review of SafeWork SA is open for public consultation

Published on Oct 05, 2022

An independent review of SafeWork SA has started. Feedback is invited on the regulator’s compliance and enforcement functions and measures to ensure that workers have a genuine voice in the complaints, investigation and enforcement process. The public consultation period w...

New online work, health and wellbeing training

Published on Sep 22, 2022

WorkSafe Queensland has a new 4-module work health and wellbeing online learning course. Learn how to embed work health and wellbeing into your business to improve the health of your workers and workplaces. The course is aimed at managers, health and wellbeing coordinators, huma...

Safe Work Australia releases a report comparing workers’ compensation arrangements in Australia and New Zealand

Published on Sep 22, 2022

Safe Work Australia’s report compares the different ways the schemes in Australia and New Zealand deal with coverage, benefits, return to work provisions, self-insurance, common law, dispute resolution, and cross-border arrangements.  ...

Free online video on managing musculoskeletal conditions at work

Published on Sep 22, 2022

Musculoskeletal Australia held a free lecture on tips, strategies and resources to help people manage their musculoskeletal conditions at work. It also has information and advice about staying at work, changing jobs, understanding your rights, and more. If you missed it, you can...

Code of Practice: Managing psychosocial hazards at work

Published on Sep 22, 2022

SafeWork NSW recently released a new Code of Practice: Managing psychosocial hazards at work. The code has information about common psychosocial hazards. It gives businesses and workers practical guidance on how to manage them and prevent psychological and physical injuries at w...

Have input into the draft new National Permanent Impairment Guide

Published on Sep 22, 2022

Comcare has drafted a new Guide to the Assessment of the Degree of Permanent Impairment. The guide is for assessing claims for permanent impairment and non-economic loss under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988. You can have input by making a submission by...

Workplace bullying is bad for business too

Published on Sep 19, 2022

We know bullying is prevalent in Australian workplaces. Research in recent years shows Australia ranked third worst in workplace bullying rates compared to 34 countries in Europe and two thirds of employees suffered from bullying at work. It causes harm to workers. But it can al...

SafeWork SA using mock trials to educate the public about workplace health and safety prosecutions

Published on Sep 19, 2022

As part of National Safe Work Month, SafeWork SA will hold a mock trial in Adelaide to educate the public about workplace health and safety laws. On 19 October the public will have the opportunity to gain insights into how work and safety offences are tried and prosecuted. ...

Victoria updates compliance code on communicating OHS in multiple languages

Published on Sep 19, 2022

A new compliance code gives practical guidance to employers in Victoria on how to communicate safety information in languages other than English. The updates include revisions to definitions and terminology, best practice in translation and interpreting and clarity on the role a...

New digital toolbox to tackle workplace sexual harassment

Published on Sep 19, 2022

One in 3 people experience workplace sexual harassment. But only one third does anything about it. Chief Executive Women has launched a digital ‘toolkit’ of resources to stamp out poor behaviour in the workplace. ‘Respect is Everyone’s Business’ inc...

Return to work rates in NSW fall to a historic low

Published on Sep 19, 2022

As iCare loses $900 million over the 2021-2022 financial year, statistics show that workers injured on the job in NSW are less likely to get back to work than ever before. As at April, about two thirds of workers were back at work after 4 weeks and 4 out of 5 after 13 weeks. ...

New model code addresses psychosocial hazards

Published on Sep 19, 2022

Safe Work Australia has published a model code of practice on managing psychosocial hazards at work. The code is intended to help people conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) comply with their duty to manage psychosocial risks in the workplace, comply with their duties to ...

Study finds that ‘dealing with other people’ is our biggest workplace challenge

Published on Sep 08, 2022

Most workers say ‘dealing with others’ has become the biggest struggle when it comes to caring for their wellbeing at work. High-quality connection at work build our psychological and emotional resources. Find out what organisations can do to promote it. ...

WorkCover Tasmania announces winners of the Tasmanian 2022 Healthier, Safer and Productive Workplaces Grant Program

Published on Sep 08, 2022

The grants support initiatives to improve workplace health and safety in Tasmania. The University of Tasmania’s initiative to improve return to work outcomes for workers experiencing mental health conditions will provide insights into processes, experiences, challenges and...

New clinical guidelines prescribe exercise for back pain

Published on Sep 08, 2022

New clinical guidelines for treating lower back pain call for a focus on movement and addressing psychological barriers to recovery rather than inadequate and outdated remedied like painkillers and bed rest. (RTWMatters will cover the new Low Back Pain Clinical Care Standard in ...

Have your say on the review of Queensland’s Work Health and Safety Act 2011

Published on Sep 08, 2022

A 5-yearly independent review of Queensland’s Work Health and Safety Act 2011 is about to start. The Queensland Government is seeking public feedback. The consultation period ends on Friday, 23 September 2022. The review’s findings and recommendations will be present...

Workers compensation benefit amounts have gone up across Australia

Published on Sep 08, 2022

Workers compensation benefits in these jurisdictions increased from 1 July 2022: Australian Capital Territory, Commonwealth, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and Western Australia. Benefits in the Northern Territory, South Australian and Tasmania changed on 1 January 2022....

Putting workers in the driver’s seat helps with recovery and return to work

Published on Aug 28, 2022

Nearly half of workers who’ve had a workplace injury also then experience a psychological response. This may include anxiety, stress and fear of reinjury. Workers who feel confident and positive about, and actively participate in, their recovery and who have support from t...

New Workplace Injury Commission to start on 1 September

Published on Aug 28, 2022

A new arbitration service to help injured workers in Victoria will start on 1 September 2022. The Workplace Injury Commission will be established in the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service. It will provide another option for workers to resolve their disputes without havin...

Bullying is 'kryptonite' to psychological safety

Published on Aug 28, 2022

Psychological safety is important for workers’ wellbeing and workplace success. But bullying behaviours are ‘kryptonite’ to psychological safety. Research shows that around 10% of workers will experience bullying in a 6 month period, and 40% will have experienc...

Trial to help people with chronic pain retrain their brain to 'unlearn' a bad back

Published on Aug 28, 2022

A clinical trial of a ‘sensorimotor retraining program’ for chronic back pain found that participants reported less pain and disability after treatment than those who didn't do the program. The intervention involves pain education to help people with a bad back under...

Report into workplace activities that contribute to risk of future injury or illness

Published on Aug 28, 2022

The Healthy Working Lives Research Group at Monash University has released a report on a study on the leading indicators of workplace health and safety — that is, aspects of workplace activities that contribute to the risk of future injury or illness. It estimates that bet...

An American resource to help employers support workers with Long Covid

Published on Aug 11, 2022

Symptoms of Long Covid vary from person to person. But they can be severe enough to affect a person’s ability to work. The Job Accommodation Network in the United States had developed a guide called Supporting Employees with Long COVID: A Guide for Employers. This resource...

A toolkit for a ‘person-centred approach’

Published on Aug 11, 2022

‘Jargony’ language is used in all industries, including in the workers’ compensation field. For example, we often talk about the importance of taking a ‘person-centred’ approach to recovery and RTW. But what exactly does this mean? WorkSafe Queensla...

Resources on mind-body approaches that can support health and wellbeing

Published on Aug 11, 2022

Research has found that mind-body approaches such as relaxation, breathing or guided imagery can help improve many physical and mental health conditions. A site that has been developed for veterans is useful for anyone looking for resources about the role the power of the mind c...

Attorney General flags laws for employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace

Published on Aug 11, 2022

The Sex Discrimination Act and the Fair Work Act will both be amended in response to the recommendations in the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Respect@Work report. Employers will have a positive duty to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, unions or other...

WorkCover WA releases 2 new products to support claims managers

Published on Aug 11, 2022

WorkCover WA has released 2 free resources for claims managers. Foundations of Workers’ Compensation: Claims Managers is an online training course that provides practical tools and information to help claims managers better understand the workers’ compensation and in...

WorkSafe Victoria launch a new, improved WorkWell Toolkit

Published on Jul 29, 2022

The WorkWell Toolkit is a resource that organisations can use to build a positive and mentally healthy workplace where everyone can thrive. The Toolkit has a new feature that brings tailored information and resources from OHS specialists and mental health professionals directly ...

Musculoskeletal Australia's focus on self-care for Self-Care Day

Published on Jul 29, 2022

Self-care can help manage our health and wellbeing, but it's not just the responsibility of the individual. It’s a partnership between health professionals, government, families, communities and organisations to support people to manage their health. For Self-Care day Musc...

Law to improve work injury scheme passes both houses of South Australian parliament

Published on Jul 18, 2022

The Return to Work (Scheme Sustainability) Bill 2022 has been passed by the lower and upper houses. The South Australian Government introduced the Bill after negotiations with union and business groups. It aims to balance the protection of injured workers and the protection of b...

Updates to The Model Work Health and Safety Act means changes to the law are afoot

Published on Jul 13, 2022

The Model Work Health and Safety Act (WHS Act), regulations and related materials have been updated. One of the main changes is to define ‘psychosocial hazards’ and ‘psychosocial risk’, and a requirement to implement control measures to eliminate or minim...

The McKell Institute and Unions NSW launch a damning report of the NSW workers compensation system

Published on Jul 13, 2022

A new report by the McKell Institute and Unions NSW says the NSW workers’ compensation system has failed to achieve the objectives set out in the 2012 reform process. It reveals the cost of administering the NSW workers' compensation system has steadily increased, suicidal...

Adopting an advocacy approach to workers' compensation

Published on Jun 29, 2022

Navigating the unfamiliar workers’ compensation experience can lead to frustration, fear, disengagement and further harm to a worker’s mental health. An advocacy approach that takes care of people can improve recovery, return-to-work outcomes and prevent further harm...

Resources for workplaces to help workers after a psychological injury

Published on Jun 29, 2022

WorkSafe QLD has developed a toolkit that workplaces can use to support workers after a psychological injury. ...

Survey finds ‘toxic workplace behaviour’ is a big driver of burnout and intent to leave work

Published on Jun 29, 2022

The McKinsey Health Institute’s global survey to assess some of the workplace factors contributing to burnout found that high rates of burnout are a sign that the employer organisation needs change, not just the individual employees. It suggests workplaces should use a hol...

Review finds differences in injury or illness risks faced by men and women in the same occupations

Published on Jun 29, 2022

An Institute for Work & Health review finds that women and men in the same occupations face different injury and illness risks. ...

New report: workers’ understanding of workers’ compensation systems

Published on Jun 29, 2022

As part of the National Return to Work Strategy 2020-2030 Safe Work Australia commissioned an independent report into how workers access and understand information about workers’ compensation and what their communication preferences are. Information was gathered from worke...

Queensland takes a year-long view of Safe Work Month

Published on Jun 28, 2022

Safe Work Month is in October. But this year Queensland is taking a new approach. Work Well 365 encourages Queensland businesses and workers to focus on the importance of work health and safety, mental health and wellbeing and best practice rehabilitation and return to work 365 ...

Occupational safety interventions directed at the group or organisational level are better than those that target individuals

Published on Jun 28, 2022

A review that assessed the effectiveness of various safety interventions in preventing accidents at work found that those directed towards the group or organisational level rather than at the individual level were more effective. Occupational safety intervention efforts should f...

Comcare’s calendar of instructor-led virtual training for the second half of 2022 is out now

Published on Jun 28, 2022

Comcare training gives employers, managers and supervisors, workplace rehabilitation providers and case managers skills and knowledge they can apply in their workplace to promote a safe and healthy environment and work participation. ...

Legislation on accrued leave for injured workers, sexual assaults and work health and safety offences introduced in the ACT

Published on Jun 28, 2022

Legislation introduced into the ACT Legislative Assembly proposes a series of amendments to the territory’s workers' compensation and work health and safety frameworks. The Workplace Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 aims to strengthen worker protections and improve regulato...

International Labour Organisation launches pilot employment injury scheme for workers in Bangladesh

Published on Jun 28, 2022

A pilot employment injury protection scheme launched by the ILO, Netherlands and Germany in the readymade garment sector will provide income protection to Bangladeshi victims of work-related accidents and occupational diseases. ...

SafeWork NSW develops new resources to help workplaces identify and manage risks to psychological health

Published on Jun 19, 2022

SafeWork NSW has developed 2 resources that workplaces (not just those in NSW) can use to identify and manage risks to psychological health. The Code of Practice for Managing psychosocial hazards at work gives practical guidance on how to comply with the work health and safety s...

Positive experiences at work can decrease claims costs and improve employee retention

Published on Jun 19, 2022

Looking for opportunities to create positive experiences at work can counter the negativity the is common in workers compensation systems. Here are some ideas for how businesses can create positive cultures.  ...

Safe Work Australia launches ‘Know your duties — a tool for working safely’

Published on Jun 19, 2022

Safe Work Australia has developed an online tool to help people working in the agriculture industry to understand and meet their duties under the model Work Health and Safety laws. ...

South Australian workers can still claim multiple injuries caused by same incident after government, unions and business compromise

Published on Jun 19, 2022

Pressure from unions after the South Australian government proposed laws to make it more difficult for workers to claim compensation for multiple injuries caused by the same workplace incident has resulted in a backdown. However, the threshold for ‘serious injury’ wi...

Comcare releases results of its 2024 survey of employers

Published on Jul 09, 2024

Every year Comcare surveys employers to understand how they experience Comcare’s services. The 2024 highlights are now out. ...

Professor Alex Collie featured on the ABC Conversation Hour

Published on Jul 23, 2024

Listen to Professor Alex Collie in conversation with the host of ABC Conversation Hour Richelle Hunt on workers’ rights and navigating workers’ compensation. ...

Independent panel to review Commonwealth workers’ compensation scheme

Published on Jul 09, 2024

A Federal Government-appointed panel will review the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988. The panel will seek input from key stakeholders to ensure the experiences and needs  ...

First Australian physiotherapy guidelines for spinal cord injury

Published on Jul 23, 2024

Australian-first guidelines have been developed for use by physiotherapists who treat people with spinal cord injuries. ...

What should schools be doing to address psychosocial hazards?

Published on Jul 23, 2024

As regulators turn their attention to how employers are managing psychosocial health, schools are being forced to consider what features of school environments present psychosocial hazards for their staff. ...

Early promotions may compromise Australian companies

Published on Jun 11, 2024

Burnout is high among Australian middle managers. A recent survey showed that middle managers are looking for a new job, and a premature promotion may be the catalyst. ...

Model Code of Practice on how to eliminate or reduce the risk of sexual and gender-based harassment at work

Published on Jun 11, 2024

Employers should consider the interaction between sexual and gender-based harassment and other psychosocial hazards when managing risks to the health and safety of workers and others. ...

Early intervention works in workers’ comp

Published on Jun 11, 2024

An independent report commissioned by Safe Work Australia highlights the importance of early intervention approaches to reduce recovery times and improve RTW outcomes for injured workers. ...

Businesses urged to report on fear in P&L statements

Published on May 28, 2024

A study reveals that fear-driven leadership among Australian managers is costing firms $2.3 billion in productivity and creates unsafe work environments. It urges businesses to report on and reduce psychologically safe workplaces.    ...

Updated guidelines on how to diagnose and treat post-traumatic stress disorder in emergency services workers

Published on May 28, 2024

The Black Dog Institute, UNSW School of Psychology and Employers Mutual Limited have recently updated a set of Expert Guidelines on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Emergency Services Workers. ...

Common sense guidelines for movement and exercise

Published on May 28, 2024

Cor-Kinetic provides practical, evidence-based education to help health professionals treat their patients better about injury and pain. Check out these messages about movement and exercise. ...

How performance reviews can be, or avoid, psychosocial risks

Published on May 14, 2024

Research from The Leaders lab shows what workplaces and leaders can do to make performance reviews psychologically safer and more effective. ...

ADF charged with failing to properly address psychosocial risks

Published on Apr 16, 2024

The Department of Defence has been charged with breaching federal work health and safety laws by failing to prevent psychosocial risks at an army base. This failure allegedly exposed a worker to a risk of death or self-harm due to stressors they experienced. ...

Four Corners exposes the dark side of the chronic pain industry

Published on Apr 16, 2024

A Four Corners investigation into the chronic pain industry has uncovered how Australia’s healthcare system is being abused by some medical practitioners. ...

Dedicated service to help injured workers and families

Published on Apr 30, 2024

Comcare now has a Family Liaison Officer to help seriously injured workers and bereaved families understand and navigate investigations and prosecutions and access counselling, legal advice and support groups. ...

Sex, disability and personal injury schemes

Published on Apr 30, 2024

In an episode of The Intelligent Rebellion Podcast, Rhea Mercado talks, with Saul Isbister, President of Touching Base Inc, about intimacy and sex as important aspects of the biopsychosocial approach in the personal injury and disability space. ...

The costs of not addressing incivility in the workplace

Published on Apr 02, 2024

There are human and business costs of incivility at work. There are some simple things that employers can do to prevent and address this risk. ...

Trinity Insurance’s videos aim to help workers recover from injury

Published on Apr 02, 2024

New videos from Trinity Insurance’s provide information to support injured workers’ rehab and recovery. ...

How long is back pain likely to last for most people?

Published on Mar 19, 2024

A study finds that 90 per cent of people with non-specific acute low back pain improve after 3 months. Recovery rates are much lower if you still have pain after this time, and treatment often involves the mind as well as the body. ...

Safe Work Australia publishes code of practice on sexual and gender-based harassment

Published on Mar 19, 2024

Safe Work Australia’s new Code of practice on sexual and gender-based harassment helps employers comply with their positive obligation to eliminate sex discrimination, sexual and sex-based harassment and other conduct.  ...

New work design toolkit for psychosocial hazards now available

Published on Mar 19, 2024

new practical, evidence-based Work Design Toolkit can help reduce some of the most common psychosocial risks in workplaces. It provides a job description template to improve role clarity, a job demands journal to navigate unachievable job demands, a job crafting compass to addre...

Call for abstracts for the Comcare National Conference

Published on Feb 06, 2024

Comcare is inviting anyone interested in presenting at the 2024 Comcare National Conference on 20-21 August to submit an abstract by 5.00 pm (AEDT) Tuesday 12 March. ...

Mental Note resources support managers to prevent and reduce mental health stigma

Published on Mar 05, 2024

Comcare has a suite of practical resources that employers can use to minimise the risks to the psychological health and safety of your workers and promote a mentally healthy workplace. ...

Musculoskeletal Australia releases first of several self-care plans

Published on Feb 20, 2024

Musculoskeletal Australia has released a Rheumatoid Arthritis Self-Care Plan. It’s the first of several practical tools developed by people who live with rheumatoid arthritis, healthcare professionals, researchers and other experts. ...

Snapshot of the psychosocial regulatory landscape

Published on Feb 06, 2024

Most of Australia has now adopted regulations that require employers to address psychosocial hazards. The regulations differ in their approach to the ‘hierarchy of controls’ to address hazards and risks.  ...

Referral pathways guide to manage sexual harassment at work

Published on Feb 06, 2024

Comcare has developed a practical guide to help employers navigate the referral pathways to manage incidents of workplace sexual harassment. ...

More recent work health and safety developments

Published on Feb 20, 2024

Australian employers need to be aware of several recent developments about psychosocial hazards and other reforms. ...

New powers to enforce employers’ ‘positive duty’ to eliminate sex-based workplace hostility

Published on Jan 22, 2024

From 12 December 2023, the Australian Human Rights Commission has more powers to investigate and enforce employers’ ‘positive duty’ under the Sex Discrimination Act 1985. It can now hold inquiries, issue compliance notices, seek Court-ordered compliance and mor...

Good communication is a key enabler of recovery and return to work

Published on Dec 13, 2023

Workers’ compensation systems can be complex and how well workers understand and experience the process can affect their recovery and return to work. Clear, effective communication is fundamental to a good outcome. ...

Australian Public Service prioritises psychosocial safety in the workplace

Published on Dec 04, 2023

The APS Commissioner, Gordon de Brouwer, says creating psychologically safe workplaces is at the heart of the government’s reform program agenda.  ...

Investigation data can help address psychosocial risks

Published on Nov 21, 2023

Businesses can use data from workplace investigations as a valuable source of information to proactively identify psychosocial and other workplace hazards. ...

Winners of the 2023 Comcare National Work Health and Safety Awards announced

Published on Nov 21, 2023

The winners of the 2023 Comcare National Work Health and Safety Awards have been recognised for their success in eliminating and reducing risks and hazards in their workplaces. ...

National Musculoskeletal Consumer Survey is now open

Published on Nov 02, 2023

Musculoskeletal Australia, together with the Australian Rheumatology Association and Painaustralia, are conducting a survey. Australians living, or caring for someone, with a musculoskeletal condition can have their say to drive positive, systemic and lasting improvements to mus...

Online resource to help support workers’ mental wellbeing

Published on Nov 21, 2023

Allianz has developed an online space for employers and workers to support mentally healthy workplaces. You can download action guides for tips, strategies and resources that can be tailored to specific business needs. ...

Study aims to improve Australia's workers’ compensation system

Published on Oct 26, 2023

Monash University's School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine will partner with people who have lived experience of a workers' compensation claim in a major study that aims to improve outcomes for injured workers. ...

Risks and costs of spinal cord stimulation outweigh the benefits

Published on Oct 20, 2023

New Australian-led research finds that spinal cord stimulation did not improve back or leg pain, quality of life or function after 6 months. ...

New changes to Commonwealth work health and safety laws now in force

Published on Sep 27, 2023

Changes to enforcement, the powers of inspectors and investigations are among a suite of amendments to work health and safety laws that came into effect on 21 September 2023. ...

Ways to prevent violence and aggression in healthcare settings

Published on Sep 13, 2023

A study by the Institute for Safety Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR) identifies the most common hurdles to preventing workplace violence and aggression and strategies to manage this behaviour. ...

Research reports from the Collaborative Partnership to improve work participation are now available

Published on Sep 13, 2023

The Collaborative Partnership to improve work participation has been working to remove barriers to enable more Australians to engage in good work. A Legacy Report and reports that combine all their research on each of their focus areas are now available. ...

New report on SMART work design

Published on Sep 13, 2023

Findings in a report from the Design for Care research project will help the healthcare and social assistance industry with strategies to embed SMART work design to improve work design for mental health and wellbeing. ...

‘Micro learns’ for good work design out now

Published on Sep 13, 2023

Comcare has produced a suite of free micro-learning modules to help employers, managers and supervisors design good work to better manage psychosocial risks at work. ...

Worrying trend in spinal fusion surgery

Published on Sep 13, 2023

There’s been a big increase in the number of spinal fusions for degenerative spinal conditions in Australia, despite limited evidence supporting this procedure. ...

Safe Work Australia’s checklist helps you check your consultation arrangements

Published on Sep 13, 2023

A person conducting a business or undertaking must consult with workers, health and safety representatives and others to manage work health and safety risks. Safe Work Australia has a consultation checklist to make it easier for you to assess if you have good consultation arrang...

What Safe Work Australia’s intended changes to incident reporting mean for businesses

Published on Sep 04, 2023

Safe Work Australia has introduced a consultation paper with suggested amendments to incident reporting obligations. Do they risk increasing the burden on businesses and regulators? A law firm looks at what will change and what this means for businesses. ...

Cases highlight lessons for employers on how to deal with bullying claims

Published on Sep 04, 2023

Recent decisions in cases before the Fair Work Commission provide useful guidance to employers about how to manage and respond to allegations of bullying.  ...

Lessons for doctors when certifying medical certificates

Published on Sep 04, 2023

Doctors are being reminded to carefully consider what they are certifying when providing a medical certificate after a complaint to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.  ...

Self-compassion — the wellbeing ‘supernutrient’ at work

Published on Aug 16, 2023

Researchers at the Wellbeing Lab have found that the biggest difference between workers who reported high levels or low levels of thriving was the practice of self-compassion. ...

Practical guidance for employers to comply with their ‘positive duty’ under new laws

Published on Aug 15, 2023

Since December 2022, organisations have a positive duty to eliminate discrimination, sexual harassment and other hostile workplace behaviours. The Australian Human Rights Commission has released guidance for employers about how to comply with this new duty.  ...

Case studies show Comcare’s regulatory activity on psychosocial hazards in workplaces

Published on Jul 25, 2023

Comcare's case studies give examples of how employers can manage psychosocial hazards like work demands, bullying and harassment and poor organisational change management. ...

Safety tool to help you identify hazards and risks in your workplace

Published on Jul 25, 2023

Comcare has developed an online safety tool to help workplaces identify hazards in different office spaces, the tasks and activities of different roles and actions employers can take for a safe and healthy workplace. ...

Practical guidance on how to identify and manage work demands

Published on Jul 12, 2023

Work demands like excessive workloads, resource constraints, time pressures or repetitive or monotonous tasks are common psychosocial hazards that can cause stress and psychological harm. Comcare’s resources can help employers, supervisors and workers identify and manage t...

Resources help employers comply with new Commonwealth laws about psychosocial hazards

Published on Jul 12, 2023

Comcare has a range of practical guidance and education products to help organisations comply with new Commonwealth Work Health and Safety Regulations that started on 1 April. ...

Snapshot of the psychological health and safety legal lie of the land in 2023

Published on Jul 12, 2023

There have been several legal developments in 2022 and 2023 that relate to psychological health and safety. You can find a summary of the changes in a useful table in this blog post.   ...

Bunnings shows how small changes can keep older workers at work

Published on Jul 12, 2023

Research published in the Journal of Organisational Behaviour shows that high manager support and some simple actions can help older workers stay at work longer. Bunnings is a case in point. ...

Guide to recent changes to Australia’s sexual harassment framework

Published on Jun 27, 2023

Australia’s sexual harassment framework has changed with 3 federal laws enacted between September 2021 and December 2022. Holding Redlich outlines the major changes, dispute resolution options and 6 steps to help employers meet their obligations under the laws. ...

Why organisations need to focus on workplace burnout

Published on Jun 26, 2023

Workplace burnout results from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed and has a range of negative organisational, psychological and physical consequences. There are practical things that employers can do to prevent it from happening. ...

Comcare’s claims management passes Australian National Audit Office audit

Published on Jun 26, 2023

The Australian National Audit Office’s report into Comcare’s management of workers’ compensation claims found its administration of claims is effective and efficient and supported by sound business processes and systems.    ...

New guide for mental health digital tools and medical devices

Published on Jun 26, 2023

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has released guidance about which digital tools and medical devices for the mental health sector are regulated by the TGA. ...

Survey reveals 2 out of every 3 workers feel burnt out

Published on Jun 26, 2023

A study reveals that 63.6% of workers reported feeling burned out and left feeling emotionally, socially and physically exhausted. It also reveals the top 7 psychosocial hazards they most often report experiencing.  ...

How to conduct a good workplace investigation

Published on Jun 09, 2023

Employers are responsible for creating safe workplaces and addressing and resolving allegations of misconduct, discrimination, harassment and bullying. An article aims to give employers the knowledge and tools to conduct effective workplace investigations. ...

Ongoing pain is a different kind of injury

Published on Jun 09, 2023

Localised pain, swelling, stiffness or numbness are common signs and symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders. But acute pain can develop into ‘chronic’ pain even after recovery from an injury. A new position paper by the Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention ...

Why the push to get workers back to the office is misguided

Published on Jun 09, 2023

Research shows that recent arguments behind businesses’ push to bring workers back to the office do not result in more collaboration, innovation or productivity. Instead, we should be focussing on creating the work states that will enable us to be at our best. ...

Personal injury strategic claims management course starts in September

Published on Jun 05, 2023

Monash School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine and the Personal Injury Education Foundation have partnered to create a 9-week course for anyone working in the personal injury and disability management industry. The course starts aims to increase knowledge about different...

Comcare’s new resources on supporting recovery and return to work

Published on Jun 05, 2023

Comcare has new resources to help employees and employers better understand the return to work process and support injured workers to recover and return to work safely. ...

Theme and campaign kit for National Safe Work Month 2023 released

Published on May 31, 2023

Safe Work Australia has released the theme and campaign kit for National Safe Work Month in October. The theme is ‘For everyone’s safety, work safely’. The campaign kit has a range of digital customisable resources to help you take part. ...

New resources to support the design of good work

Published on May 22, 2023

How our work is designed can affect how we feel and influence our motivation, engagement and stress levels at work. Comcare has developed a suite of evidence-based resources to help managers design work that creates psychologically safe teams. ...

New campaign to reduce workers’ compensation stigma

Published on May 17, 2023

Safe Work Australia has a new campaign and practical resources to raise awareness about, and reduce, the stigma associated with workers’ compensation. Fear of stigmatisation can prevent workers from making claims, affect recovery and lower morale and productivity. ...

First Biopsychosocial Symposium held in Sydney

Published on May 17, 2023

The first of three 2023 symposia from the It Pays to Care policy was held in Sydney in April. It was attended by 80 representatives of various workers’ compensation industry groups and included presentations, panel sessions, discussions and examples of pilot interventions ...

Eight trends that drive respectful workplace environments and prevent harm

Published on May 01, 2023

Under the Respect@Work Act employers now have a positive duty to eliminate harmful behaviours that create hostile workplaces and cause harm to workers. What should organisations be doing to create safe and respectful workplaces?  ...

Comcare’s list of FAQs from recent webinars on psychosocial hazards and regulation

Published on May 01, 2023

Comcare has compiled a list of some of the most commonly asked questions they received at their recent webinars on psychosocial hazards and regulation and provides the answers. ...

The JDAPT tool helps workers get the support they need without needing to disclose their condition

Published on May 01, 2023

A new tool helps workers with long-term conditions think about—and ask for—potential accommodations specific to their job demands. These supports can help them continue to work safely, comfortably and productively without having to disclose their health condition. ...

A roundup of the new regulations about psychosocial risks and injuries

Published on May 01, 2023

Psychosocial hazards and injuries have come under the spotlight recently. New regulations have been implemented in New South Wales, Western Australia and Tasmania, with similar regulations about to start in other States. ...

Nominations for Comcare National Work Health and Safety Awards close 30 April

Published on Apr 18, 2023

There’s still time to submit nominations for the National Work Health and Safety Awards. The Awards recognise initiatives in 3 categories: to prevent physical and psychological harm in the workplace, recovery and RTW and individual contribution. ...

5 reasons to see a doctor about persistent pain

Published on Apr 15, 2023

Persistent pain is a common and complex problem that affects 1 in 5 Australians aged 45 and over. Dealing with it can be challenging. But there are things people can do to manage it. The first step is to see a doctor.  ...

New permanent impairment guide takes effect from 1 April

Published on Apr 15, 2023

Comcare’s Guide to assessing permanent impairment has been updated. The Guide to the Assessment of the Degree of Permanent Impairment – Edition 3.0 took effect on 1 April 2023. ...

The Rehabilitation counselling podcast interviews Dr Christine Randall

Published on Apr 15, 2023

Dr Christine Randall, President of the  Rehabilitation Counselling Association of Australasia features in the latest Rehabilitation counselling podcast. Dr Randall talks about her experiences working as a professional rehabilitation counsellor, researcher and academic. ...

Safe Work Australia publishes a new report on work-related injuries

Published on Apr 15, 2023

Safe Work Australia has published a new report on work-related injuries in Australia. It analyses survey data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Safe Work Australia’s national dataset and research findings from the Safer, healthier, wealthier research to give a m...

New snapshot of workers’ experiences returning to work after injury or illness during the pandemic

Published on Apr 03, 2023

Safe Work Australia has published a new snapshot of how the COVID-19 pandemic affected workers returning to work after an injury or illness. It’s based on findings from the 2021 National Return to Work Survey summary report and has insights for workers’ compensation ...

New practical guidance for managing the psychosocial risk of work demands

Published on Apr 03, 2023

Work demands like excessive workloads, resource constraints or time pressures are common causes of workplace stress and psychological harm. Comcare has developed a suite of ‘guidance’ to help employers, managers and supervisors and workers identify and manage the ris...

Valued RTWMatters collaborator Professor Alex Collie appointed to the Australian Research Council College of Experts

Published on Mar 21, 2023

Director of the Healthy Working Lives Research Group, Professor Alex Collie, has been appointed to the Australian Research Council (ARC) College of Experts. The ARC College of Experts plays an important role in identifying research excellence to support the advancement of knowle...

Comcare’s resources help employers comply with new laws about psychosocial risks

Published on Mar 21, 2023

Laws that strengthen and clarify how to manage psychosocial health risks in the workplace come in on 1 April. You can subscribe to Comcare eNews to stay up to date on the changes and find supporting educational resources.  ...

Get involved in a new study on workers’ compensation data standards

Published on Mar 21, 2023

Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine is doing a study to understand how Australian workers’ compensation insurers and regulators capture, code and report on, healthcare and medicines information. You can participate if you work in an Au...

Major league baseball as a metaphor for dealing with pain

Published on Mar 06, 2023

Metaphors can often help us deal with, or understand, something better than we otherwise would. Thinking about the healing journey for mental or physical pain terms of becoming a major league baseball player is one example.  ...

Verdict is in on the best workplace safety indicator tools

Published on Mar 06, 2023

A tested 5 leading questionnaires that are used to identify workers who are at risk of work-related harm. It rated the Institute for Work & Health’s OHS Vulnerability Measure and the Psychosocial Job Quality Index tool the highest. ...

ISCRR Research Impact Showcase event now available online

Published on Mar 06, 2023

If you missed the Institute for Safety Compensation and Recovery Research’s Research Impact Showcase event in February, you can catch up by watching recorded videos on the ISCRR website. The event showcased research that has led to evidence-informed initiatives. ...

Should burnout be a recognised mental health condition?

Published on Mar 06, 2023

Burnout is real and very common. But unlike in Europe and the United Kingdom, it’s not recognised as a diagnosable medical condition in Australia. A researcher proposes it should be. ...

Listen up: Do you know what psychosocial hazards sound like?

Published on Feb 21, 2023

Safe Work Australia has a helpful infographic to help identify the language workers might use to talk about their exposure to psychosocial hazards.  ...

Nominations for the 2023 Comcare National Work Health and Safety Awards open soon

Published on Feb 21, 2023

The Comcare National Work Health and Safety Awards recognise and reward excellence by employers and individuals in Comcare’s scheme. Nominations in 3 categories for the 2023 Awards open online on 1 March.  ...

New online tool to help workers consider and communicate support needs

Published on Feb 12, 2023

The Institute for Work & Health has developed an easy-to-use online tool for workers with an ongoing health condition identify the support they need to keep working comfortably, safely and productively. ...

Poor treatment by case managers linked to psychological distress

Published on Feb 09, 2023

Injured workers who felt they weren’t treated with respect or given necessary information during their workers' compensation claims were more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety. ...

Tips for stress-free travel to medical appointments

Published on Feb 09, 2023

Travelling into the city for medical appointments, wherever you live, can be stressful, time-consuming and expensive. Musculoskeletal Australia has information, tips and tricks to help – no matter what transport you use. ...

Evaluation gives the NewAccess workplaces mental health coaching service a thumbs up

Published on Feb 09, 2023

An evaluation of the mental health coaching service, NewAccess workplace, created by Beyond Blue and piloted at 16 government agencies in Australia, showed that the service had a 72% recovery rate and improved worker wellbeing, job satisfaction and productivity.  ...

Best practice design in mental health practices in the workplace

Published on Jan 18, 2023

Recent or proposed changes to laws in various States require employers to identify and eliminate or reduce psychosocial risks in the workplace. Some ‘best practice’ tips can help them to proactively prevent or reduce the risk of mental health-related workers’ c...

The connection between workplace bullying and suicide in Australia

Published on Jan 18, 2023

An expert in workplace bullying explores what the research tells us about workplace bullying and the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviour, and what workplaces can do to prevent it. ...

Good work design prevents musculoskeletal injuries and supports safe RTW

Published on Jan 18, 2023

Employers may invest considerable time and money getting people with a musculoskeletal injury back to work. Ergonomics and redesign are the best way to address risk factors that can cause them and support safe return to work. ...

Heat packs can replace opioids to treat back pain

Published on Jan 18, 2023

There is a way to counter the harmful effects of prescribing opioids for chronic back pain. A new approach in which doctors and nurses at 4 NSW hospital emergency departments were trained to treat back pain with heat packs shows promising results. ...

Pain scientists are starting to think differently about pain and its causes

Published on Jan 18, 2023

Pain scientists are starting to make exciting discoveries about what pain is and how it’s caused — like how the way you think about your pain can change the way it feels. An engaging 5-minute video explains this approach. ...

Sign up to the Comcare LMS for free online training on a range of topics

Published on Jan 13, 2023

Did you know you can access a full list of the training that Comcare offers by simply creating an account on the Comcare learning management system? You can find the training that’s relevant to your role and you can also search the training by topic.  ...

5 elements of self-care for RTW Coordinators

Published on Jan 13, 2023

RTW Coordinators can experience vicarious trauma from exposure to workers who have experienced trauma or who share details of traumatic events. Vicarious trauma can cause burn out and affect your personal and work life. WorkSafe.qld.gov.au has strategies and resources to support...

Should we be talking about workplace bullying less?

Published on Jan 13, 2023

An expert in workplace bullying says instead of talking about workplace bullying, we should be focusing more on prevention and the behavioural early warning signs that indicate a risk of bullying.   ...

Study finds that most injured workers experience ongoing pain after returning to work

Published on Jan 13, 2023

A Canadian study followed 1,100 workers over 18 months. It found that 70% continued to experience pain 18 months after their injury. The study highlights the importance of modified duties and return-to-work planning.  ...

A pain toolkit for managing chronic pain

Published on Jan 13, 2023

The Pain Toolkit website provides information and resources to help people understand and cope with chronic pain and improve their quality of life. It includes self-assessment tools, educational materials and guided exercises ...

New resource to support workers with musculoskeletal conditions

Published on Dec 09, 2022

Musculoskeletal Australia has created WorkWise, a resource for workers who live with musculoskeletal conditions. It has information to help manage symptoms at work, tips and strategies and resources to help you keep working and know your rights.  ...

A ‘rehabbers’ tips for how to have ‘difficult conversations’ in workers comp schemes

Published on Dec 09, 2022

Why are some conversations in the work injury space seen as ‘difficult’? Rhea Mercado, accredited exercise physiologist, author and blogger shares her thoughts about what she has learned along the way. ...

Comcare releases new videos and resources to support recovery and return to work

Published on Dec 09, 2022

Comcare has a new suite of animated videos and guidance for employees and employers. They explain the return to work process, show the health benefits of a safe, timely and sustainable return to work, roles and responsibilities and better ways to support employees to return to w...

Did you know about the free MSK Help Line?

Published on Dec 01, 2022

Did you know that a free national Help Line is available for people with musculoskeletal conditions and the health professionals who care for them. Nurses and trained volunteers can talk to you about your condition and dealing with pain, treatment options, self-management, how t...

Changes to Comcare’s Covid-19 notifications

Published on Dec 01, 2022

From 1 December, Comcare has changed its requirement for when workplaces must notify it of COVID-19 cases that arise in the course of their business. The change responds to the National Cabinet decision to remove COVID-19 isolation periods and the winding back or removal of rest...

How leaders can navigate psychosocial hazards

Published on Nov 17, 2022

New research finds that the new legal requirement for employers to do ‘everything reasonably practical’ to deal with psychosocial risks is an opportunity to improve their organisations’ cultures of care. It shows that most workplaces are unaware of the silent h...

Catch up on Comcare videos from Safe Work Month

Published on Nov 17, 2022

October was national Safe Work Month. You can watch 3 webinars Comcare hosted on making safety at work your priority. Hear Professor Sharon Newnam from Queensland University of Technology on how we can review and maintain WHS management systems and the future of work. Georgie Ha...

Free pain e-guide from Musculoskeletal Australia

Published on Nov 17, 2022

If you or someone you know lives with arthritis, osteoporosis, back pain or another musculoskeletal condition, you can download this free eBook called ‘Managing Your Pain: An A-Z Guide’ from Musculoskeletal Australia. It will give you new ideas to try and also help y...

Study suggests a link between workers' compensation and self-harm

Published on Nov 02, 2022

According to a recent study, workers’ compensation claimants appear to have higher rates of admission for self-harm than non-claimants. ...

Value-based health care resources

Published on Nov 02, 2022

The Australian Centre for Value-Based Health Care has collated practical resources that can support your work in value-based health care. They include how to define value, create value in partnership with patients, measure outcomes and costs, provide integrated and patient-focus...

Submit an abstract for the 23rd World Congress on Safety and Health at Work

Published on Nov 02, 2022

The 23rd World Congress on Safety and Health at Work is one of the largest international conferences for work health and safety. It on in Sydney next year. If you have a work safety story, opportunity, case study or research that you’d like to present you have until ...

Years of inappropriate billing for spine surgery revealed

Published on Oct 24, 2022

A 2018 review conducted by spine surgeon Dr Roy Carey reveals that more than 85% of health insurance claims for spinal fusion were inappropriately billed. The revelation coincides with 2 new studies that show just how little expensive spine surgery actually helps patients. ...

Respect at Work Bill 2022 places a positive obligation on employers to eliminate sex discrimination and sexual harassment

Published on Oct 18, 2022

The Bill responds to recommendations in the Australian Human Rights Commission Respect@Work 2020 report. Employers will need to show they took all reasonable steps to prevent sex discrimination, sexual harassment and hostile working environments. ...

It’s ok for injured workers to not be ok

Published on Oct 16, 2022

Telling injured workers to be positive can help them get through a challenging period. But it’s also important that they can feel and express their vulnerabilities and difficult emotions. A doctor with personal experience of the ups and downs of injury, pain and recovery o...

Safe Work Australia releases a report comparing workers’ compensation arrangements in Australia and New Zealand

Published on Sep 22, 2022

Safe Work Australia’s report compares the different ways the schemes in Australia and New Zealand deal with coverage, benefits, return to work provisions, self-insurance, common law, dispute resolution, and cross-border arrangements.  ...

Free online video on managing musculoskeletal conditions at work

Published on Sep 22, 2022

Musculoskeletal Australia held a free lecture on tips, strategies and resources to help people manage their musculoskeletal conditions at work. It also has information and advice about staying at work, changing jobs, understanding your rights, and more. If you missed it, you can...

Have input into the draft new National Permanent Impairment Guide

Published on Sep 22, 2022

Comcare has drafted a new Guide to the Assessment of the Degree of Permanent Impairment. The guide is for assessing claims for permanent impairment and non-economic loss under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988. You can have input by making a submission by...

Workplace bullying is bad for business too

Published on Sep 19, 2022

We know bullying is prevalent in Australian workplaces. Research in recent years shows Australia ranked third worst in workplace bullying rates compared to 34 countries in Europe and two thirds of employees suffered from bullying at work. It causes harm to workers. But it can al...

New digital toolbox to tackle workplace sexual harassment

Published on Sep 19, 2022

One in 3 people experience workplace sexual harassment. But only one third does anything about it. Chief Executive Women has launched a digital ‘toolkit’ of resources to stamp out poor behaviour in the workplace. ‘Respect is Everyone’s Business’ inc...

New model code addresses psychosocial hazards

Published on Sep 19, 2022

Safe Work Australia has published a model code of practice on managing psychosocial hazards at work. The code is intended to help people conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) comply with their duty to manage psychosocial risks in the workplace, comply with their duties to ...

Study finds that ‘dealing with other people’ is our biggest workplace challenge

Published on Sep 08, 2022

Most workers say ‘dealing with others’ has become the biggest struggle when it comes to caring for their wellbeing at work. High-quality connection at work build our psychological and emotional resources. Find out what organisations can do to promote it. ...

New clinical guidelines prescribe exercise for back pain

Published on Sep 08, 2022

New clinical guidelines for treating lower back pain call for a focus on movement and addressing psychological barriers to recovery rather than inadequate and outdated remedied like painkillers and bed rest. (RTWMatters will cover the new Low Back Pain Clinical Care Standard in ...

Workers compensation benefit amounts have gone up across Australia

Published on Sep 08, 2022

Workers compensation benefits in these jurisdictions increased from 1 July 2022: Australian Capital Territory, Commonwealth, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and Western Australia. Benefits in the Northern Territory, South Australian and Tasmania changed on 1 January 2022....

Bullying is 'kryptonite' to psychological safety

Published on Aug 28, 2022

Psychological safety is important for workers’ wellbeing and workplace success. But bullying behaviours are ‘kryptonite’ to psychological safety. Research shows that around 10% of workers will experience bullying in a 6 month period, and 40% will have experienc...

Trial to help people with chronic pain retrain their brain to 'unlearn' a bad back

Published on Aug 28, 2022

A clinical trial of a ‘sensorimotor retraining program’ for chronic back pain found that participants reported less pain and disability after treatment than those who didn't do the program. The intervention involves pain education to help people with a bad back under...

An American resource to help employers support workers with Long Covid

Published on Aug 11, 2022

Symptoms of Long Covid vary from person to person. But they can be severe enough to affect a person’s ability to work. The Job Accommodation Network in the United States had developed a guide called Supporting Employees with Long COVID: A Guide for Employers. This resource...

Resources on mind-body approaches that can support health and wellbeing

Published on Aug 11, 2022

Research has found that mind-body approaches such as relaxation, breathing or guided imagery can help improve many physical and mental health conditions. A site that has been developed for veterans is useful for anyone looking for resources about the role the power of the mind c...

Attorney General flags laws for employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace

Published on Aug 11, 2022

The Sex Discrimination Act and the Fair Work Act will both be amended in response to the recommendations in the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Respect@Work report. Employers will have a positive duty to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, unions or other...

Musculoskeletal Australia's focus on self-care for Self-Care Day

Published on Jul 29, 2022

Self-care can help manage our health and wellbeing, but it's not just the responsibility of the individual. It’s a partnership between health professionals, government, families, communities and organisations to support people to manage their health. For Self-Care day Musc...

Updates to The Model Work Health and Safety Act means changes to the law are afoot

Published on Jul 13, 2022

The Model Work Health and Safety Act (WHS Act), regulations and related materials have been updated. One of the main changes is to define ‘psychosocial hazards’ and ‘psychosocial risk’, and a requirement to implement control measures to eliminate or minim...

Adopting an advocacy approach to workers' compensation

Published on Jun 29, 2022

Navigating the unfamiliar workers’ compensation experience can lead to frustration, fear, disengagement and further harm to a worker’s mental health. An advocacy approach that takes care of people can improve recovery, return-to-work outcomes and prevent further harm...

Survey finds ‘toxic workplace behaviour’ is a big driver of burnout and intent to leave work

Published on Jun 29, 2022

The McKinsey Health Institute’s global survey to assess some of the workplace factors contributing to burnout found that high rates of burnout are a sign that the employer organisation needs change, not just the individual employees. It suggests workplaces should use a hol...

Review finds differences in injury or illness risks faced by men and women in the same occupations

Published on Jun 29, 2022

An Institute for Work & Health review finds that women and men in the same occupations face different injury and illness risks. ...

New report: workers’ understanding of workers’ compensation systems

Published on Jun 29, 2022

As part of the National Return to Work Strategy 2020-2030 Safe Work Australia commissioned an independent report into how workers access and understand information about workers’ compensation and what their communication preferences are. Information was gathered from worke...

Occupational safety interventions directed at the group or organisational level are better than those that target individuals

Published on Jun 28, 2022

A review that assessed the effectiveness of various safety interventions in preventing accidents at work found that those directed towards the group or organisational level rather than at the individual level were more effective. Occupational safety intervention efforts should f...

Comcare’s calendar of instructor-led virtual training for the second half of 2022 is out now

Published on Jun 28, 2022

Comcare training gives employers, managers and supervisors, workplace rehabilitation providers and case managers skills and knowledge they can apply in their workplace to promote a safe and healthy environment and work participation. ...

Positive experiences at work can decrease claims costs and improve employee retention

Published on Jun 19, 2022

Looking for opportunities to create positive experiences at work can counter the negativity the is common in workers compensation systems. Here are some ideas for how businesses can create positive cultures.  ...

Safe Work Australia launches ‘Know your duties — a tool for working safely’

Published on Jun 19, 2022

Safe Work Australia has developed an online tool to help people working in the agriculture industry to understand and meet their duties under the model Work Health and Safety laws. ...

Comcare releases National Return to Work Survey results — Fact Sheet

Published on Jun 03, 2022

The National Return to Work Survey results reveal the experiences of injured workers and what may influence their return to work outcomes. The results show that injured and unwell workers covered under the Comcare scheme are returning to work at high rates. ...

Fair Work Commission clarifies how it will exercise its recent workplace sexual harassment powers

Published on Jun 03, 2022

In 2021 the Fair Work Commission’s anti-bullying powers were extended to workplace sexual harassment cases. In a recent decision the Commission refused to make orders because the worker had resigned and there was therefore no ongoing risk of sexual harassment. ...

Overdiagnosis leads to unhelpful tests, unnecessary costs, overtreatment and harm

Published on Jun 03, 2022

Evidence shows that many orthopaedic procedures are no more effective at relieving pain or improving function than placebo interventions, cognitive interventions or exercise. But hundreds of thousands of people undergo these unnecessary, costly and sometimes harmful procedures. ...

It Pays to Care - An imperative for change and call to action on workers compensation schemes.

Published on May 09, 2022

The Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AFOEM) and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) recently launched two important injury management policy papers. The It Pays To Care Values and Principles Paper and the Evidence-Informed pol...

Navigating the complexity of workplace bullying target support

Published on May 09, 2022

Michael Plowright, founder of Working Well Together, discusses how we can better manage and approach workplace bullying and shares the five core principles of trauma-informed practice that should form the starting point of developing a risk management framework that minimises ha...

Factors that influence successful flexible work arrangements

Published on Apr 22, 2022

Comcare have developed a fact sheet for employers and workers that provides practical information on getting the balance right for successful flexible work arrangements.  ...

ABC's The Anxiety Project

Published on Apr 22, 2022

Hear from Australian's who experience anxiety, as well as experts as ABC News examines the risk factors and how to minimise the impact of anxiety on everyday life. ...

Online survey asks people experiencing back pain about healthcare interactions

Published on Apr 11, 2022

A University of South Australia study seeks patients’ perspectives of low back pain treatment to understand how treatments influence beliefs and behaviours. The survey takes around 20 minutes and will help to improve future care for people experiencing back pain. ...

Safe Work Australia's 2021 National Return to Work Survey Summary Report

Published on Apr 11, 2022

Safe Work Australia’s National Return to Work Survey measures the outcomes of ill and injured workers receiving workers’ compensation. The summary report includes key metrics, insights and time series data. Workers were also asked about the impact of COVID-19 on thei...

How are WorkCover schemes performing?

Published on Mar 11, 2022

Michael Simpson, Managing Director of OccCorp shares his insights on Australian employers' concerns and how Safe Work Australia's recently published 23rd edition of Comparative Performance Monitoring report shows their concerns may be valid.  ...

Damning safety data on spinal cord stimulators meant to ease pain

Published on Feb 28, 2022

A cutting edge treatment for chronic back pain yet to be proven effective has left some patients with serious complications, an investigation into the use of the devices that pump electric pulses into the spine of patients has found. Caitlin Jones, a researcher from the Universi...

Workplace violence increases risk of depression

Published on Feb 10, 2022

A Danish study has shown that people who are exposed to violence and threats at work are more likely to be depressed two years later, with depression measured by psychiatric diagnosis and new prescriptions to antidepressant medication. ...

Mental health bullying and organisational defecits

Published on Feb 10, 2022

People with mental health problems have a greater risk of being bullied in the workplace than people without. However, a recent study has shown that this is not true in organisations with role clarity and an orderly approach to business. The researchers concluded that previous s...

Low cost RTW interventions are sensible

Published on Feb 10, 2022

A review relevant studies and literature has shown that RTW interventions tend to be effective, with better results than standard care. However, the intervention does not have to be high intensity (or high cost) to be effective, and in fact RTW outcomes were similar between dive...

Exoskeleton versus your brain

Published on Jan 17, 2022

Exoskeletons are a type of wearable technology that sits on the hand, lower back or shoulder of a worker, making objects seem lighter and therefore easier for the worker to lift. This has been shown to reduce musculoskeletal injury. However, researchers have now shown that incre...

Up with insomnia, down with productivity

Published on Dec 22, 2021

Reduced productivity may be directly linked to insomnia, suggests a new study. Researchers studying both physical inactivity and sleeplessness among workers found that lack of sleep, in particular, was associated with presenteeism. Workplace interventions focused on better sleep...

Headliners from the National Return to Work Survey

Published on Dec 08, 2021

More than 4,500 workers participated in the 2021 National Return To Work (NRTW) Survey, the fifth conducted since 2012. The average Returned to Work Rate (i.e. workers who've returned to work at any time since their injury) for Australia in 2021 was 91.6%, with Comcare, the Nort...

What does surveillance feel like for injured workers?

Published on Dec 06, 2021

Racing NSW is in the news because of aggressive investigations of workers' compensation claims, including covert surveillance. Our main takeaway from the ABC's coverage is the anger, humiliation and disrespect injured workers feel when under surveillance. Protecting the integrit...

Claim duration rises by 40% over ten year period in Australia

Published on Nov 29, 2021

There were 120,355 "serious" workers compensation claims in Australia in 2019-20, which is what Safe Work Australia calls claims that result in at least one week's absence from work. Labourers had the highest frequency of claims, followed by community and personal services worke...

Bonus benefits of workplace health and wellbeing programs

Published on Nov 29, 2021

Health and wellbeing programs can have positive side effects, improving social relationships at work and reduce bullying, according to a new study. Conducted by researchers from the University of East Anglia, working with insurance and investments company Vitality, the study fou...

Made claim, can't sleep and now recovery is harder too

Published on Nov 04, 2021

Sleep disturbances are common among people with workers' compensation claims, and those who report emotional disturbance are particularly like to find it hard to get enough shut-eye. We know there's a reciprocal relationship between sleep and mental health: getting enough sleep ...

Work-friendly mindfulness practices

Published on Nov 02, 2021

Whether you're returning to work after a long period of working from home; feeling burnt-out and unmotivated; struggling to contain your irritation with a particularly annoying colleague; or just wanting to feel calmer and more content, mindfulness practices can help. Follow the...

Will worker incentives secure return to the working week?

Published on Nov 02, 2021

According to research from the think tank Committee For Sydney, 51% of bosses expect their workers will commute to the office for just three days a week post-pandemic shutdowns, and 36 percent expect their staff will cluster their office days from Tuesday to Thursday. Some big b...

Pandemic mental health puts pressure on poorly utilised EAPs

Published on Nov 02, 2021

A report by PwC and wellbeing company Sonder estimates the productivity cost of the COVID-19 pandemic will exceed $20 billion a year due to projected increases in psychological distress, hospitalisations and suicide. The report also found that while 80% of top 500 companies have...

PIEF winner writes article for RTWMatters!!

Published on Oct 14, 2021

We don't mean to brag (nah, ok, we totally do), but one of our contributing authors this week, the wonderful Sharon Stratford, just took out the top gong for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual or Team at the Personal Injury Education Foundation (PIEF) awards f...

Introducing the systems approach to mental health

Published on Oct 14, 2021

While providing workers with resources to maintain their own mental health is important, Dr Laura Kirby, chief mental health officer at Commonwealth Bank, says a "systems approach" to mental health is required if organisations want to play an active role in helping workers stay ...

Psychological detachment and social support key when working from home.

Published on Oct 05, 2021

The key to increasing productivity and work life balance is to foster psychological detachment and social support among employees, according to new research published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Psychological detachment refers to the feeling of bei...

Have you assessed psychosocial risks at work yet?

Published on Sep 16, 2021

Increasingly, organisations have legislative obligations to protect the psychological health of workers in the same way they protect their physical safety. Resources are available to help meet these obligations including People at Work, a joint venture of Safe Work Australia and...

Subtle incivility cause psychosocial harm at work

Published on Sep 08, 2021

When we think of bullies we tend to think of people who are obvious in their interpersonal aggressions. Think the loathsome Biff from Back to the Future. But workplace bullying is hard to prevent precisely because it can be so subtle. Condescending remarks, doubting a person's j...

Covid-19 death deemed work related, family eligible for compensation

Published on Sep 06, 2021

A dental entrepreneur from Sydney, went to New York during the Covid-19 pandemic to oversee the setup of an American facility. Just over a week later, he was taken to hospital by ambulance and died several months later. Now, his family has been awarded workers' compensation for ...

Reminder: workers' comp liability extends beyond the office

Published on Aug 23, 2021

A government employee who ruptured a ligament in her right knee whilst playing netball has been successful in a workers' compensation claim, despite an initial rejection from Comcare. The tribunal found that, since the Department encouraged the woman to attend the community even...

Covid-19 vaccine Q&A

Published on Aug 23, 2021

In this video from the JAMA Network, two US experts answer common questions about the Covid-19 vaccines. Questions include, "Vaccines have only been available since December 2020, so how do I know they're safe long-term?"; "What is the Delta variant? And should I be worried?"; a...

People pleasing and psychiatric injury

Published on Aug 09, 2021

People-pleasing personality types, writes Jemma Barnard, are less likely than others to raise concerns about workload, bullying, levels of support and inadequate training at work, meaning that they may also be more prone to work-related stress and psychiatric injury. She advises...

Patients effective champions of high value care

Published on Jul 30, 2021

Low value health care can be ineffective, harmful, or simply confer "marginal benefit at disproportionately high cost”. According to recent research in published in the Medical Journal of Australia, patients (not health experts) may be best placed to combat overtreatment, ...

Psychosocial research funding opportunity

Published on Jul 30, 2021

Safe Work Australia has released a grant opportunity to fund high-quality research projects into interventions that answer questions like...What strategies work best to manage psychological risks in the workplace? Are current approaches to managing psychosocial hazards effective...

Worrying about lockdown mental health

Published on Jul 26, 2021

With Sydney and Melbourne facing extended lockdowns, technology billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes has urged Australian employers to watch rising mental health risks amongst workers. The Altassian founder (whose business facilitates remote work) is concerned about the increasingly ...

Don't disclose at work, mental health advocate advises

Published on Jul 16, 2021

Don't tell your employer about your mental health issue, is the advice from Lucy Brogden, chair of the National Mental Health Commission - advice she herself describes as disappointing. "“It really points to the low level of understanding of what mental health issues are a...

Tell Safe Work Australia what YOU think

Published on Jul 07, 2021

Safe Work Australia (SWA) want to do a better job of collecting and publishing data on workers' compensation, return to work, time lost to injury and so on. You have until the 19th of July to provide your feedback via a two minute survey, so now is the time to congratulate SWA o...

Videos on preventing musculoskeletal injuries at work

Published on Jul 07, 2021

In four new videos produced by Safe Work Australia, leading researchers in the prevention of workplace musculoskeletal injuries explain what needs to be done to combat the huge burden caused by musculoskeletal disorders in Australia. There is also discussion of how "systems thin...

What makes a great leader

Published on Jun 23, 2021

Leaders need moral imagination, according to this insightful article in the Sydney Morning Herald. Matt Beard, the author, defines moral imagination as the ability to attend to the needs, interests and experiences of people different from the leader. He also calls for curiosity,...

ACTU perspective on silicosis: strong action required

Published on Jun 14, 2021

The ACTU is calling on the Federal Government to ban high silica content engineered stone products and promote the use of safer alternatives, claiming that one in five engineered stone workers are affected by silicosis. Silicosis is a very serious, sometimes fatal condition that...

Reminder: keep moving with back pain

Published on Jun 02, 2021

If you're a case manager or Return to Work Coordinator looking for a resource to share with people with back pain, look no further: this short article from The Guardian is a winner. Regular readers of this website will recognise all the messages (back pain is unlikely to have a ...

No link between back pain and spine images showing "deterioration" over time

Published on May 31, 2021

More confirmation that diagnostic imaging of the spine should NOT be routine. Researchers behind a new study from the UK followed more than 400 women over 15 years and found no link between changes to the spine seen in radiographic scans and the experience of back pain. ...

Chronic pain conversations at work: help for workers

Published on May 24, 2021

This article focuses on endometriosis, an "invisible" condition that causes chronic pain in some women. However, most of the information is generalisable to other chronic pain conditions and could be helpful for workers deciding whether to talk to their employer about their chro...

Long live lunchtime soccer...

Published on May 17, 2021

...and other brief bouts of exercise in the middle of the day! According to the Sydney Morning Herald, "A 2020 paper estimated that doing 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, five days a week (the 2020 WHO guidelines recommend 150-300 minutes a week), would lead t...

Some Australians facing Covid long haul

Published on May 10, 2021

Two out of every three Australians who had severe Covid-19 are now facing long-haul symptoms including mild shortness of breath and weakness, with a small number having a persistent cough, headache, or loss of taste and smell, according to a study being conducted across 30 diffe...

Dr Mary Wyatt on Insight discussing how to help people hurt at work...

Published on May 03, 2021

There's a positive to the bad RTW / workers' compensation news that has come out of NSW and Victoria in recent years: it's focused national attention on the costs and consequences of poorly managed RTW and sub-par compensation systems. In a just-aired episode of Insight on SBS, ...

Two new "damning" icare reports released

Published on May 03, 2021

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that one review "by former judge Robert McDougall, QC, found icare’s own failures led to “manifold unhappy consequences,” including a poor claims management scheme, plummeting return to work rates and increased costs. He said i...

Workers comp surveillance footage can't show state of mind

Published on Apr 19, 2021

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia has found that covert surveillance footage can not show a worker's state of mind, ruling against an employer's claim that a worker was deceptive about experiencing anxiety after being held at gunpoint whilst working as a security ...

Sensible perspective on "right to disconnect"

Published on Apr 13, 2021

Last week, we reported that Victorian police had won the right to disconnect - that is, be free from the expectation that they will routinely respond to work phone calls or emails outside their normal working hours. However, some employer groups warn that the right to disconnect...

Are you woke to the three types of fatigue?

Published on Apr 09, 2021

We're all familiar with the concept of physical fatigue, but WorkSafe Victoria wants to raise awareness of two additional types of fatigue: mental fatigue ("I've been using my brain too much and now I can't make decisions!") and emotional fatigue ("I've given you everything I ca...

Right to disconnect arrives Down Under

Published on Apr 06, 2021

The French have already given us so much! Champagne, croissants, the etch-a-sketch, stethoscopes, Braille, hairdryers, pasteurised milk, pencil sharpeners - and now the right to disconnect from digital work. First legislated in France, the right to slip the digital leash has now...

Osteopathic manipulation no real help for LBP

Published on Mar 30, 2021

For people with non-specific low back pain (LBP), osteopathic manipulation treatment (OMT) is unlikely to provide clinically meaningful benefits, according to new research published by JAMA Internal Medicine. The researchers compared OMT to a similar, sham treatment: while real ...

Employers urged to manage harassment risk

Published on Mar 30, 2021

Sexual harassment at work is common and toxic, experienced by two in five women and one in four men. Employers who don't actively and effectively manage the risk can be held vicariously liable for the actions of individual workers and may also pay high indirect costs via workers...

Want insight into the lived experience of people with musculoskeletal conditions?

Published on Mar 17, 2021

Musculoskeletal Australia has released the results of its 2020 National Consumer Survey, in a report entitled Making the Invisible Visible. The survey was devised and completed by people with MSDs, so it provides a unique insight into the experiences of this group. Rob Anderson,...

Experts and SWA want us to tackle sexual harassment at work

Published on Mar 08, 2021

If you've consumed any national news over the last few weeks, you've likely been thinking about sexual harassment at work. We all know it doesn't only happen in Canberra and most women would say that it's actually reasonably common - a fact borne out by a 2018 survey from the Au...

Engineering controls still the best for vibration exposure

Published on Mar 04, 2021

Exposure to vibration is one of the top health risks at mining sites, injuring workers and making a significant contribution to workers' compensation costs. Adverse health outcomes include white finger, carpal tunnel syndrome, musculoskeletal disorders and neurological disorders...

Covid risk and the (work) air we breathe

Published on Feb 25, 2021

A new one pager from Safe Work Australia (SWA) encourages employers with indoor workplaces to ensure heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are well-maintained and operating properly as part of the fight against COVID-19 transmission. For more information on re...

Working from...bed?

Published on Feb 22, 2021

The experts have spoken: working from bed is not a thing. Which isn't to say people aren't doing it, just that they shouldn't! According to a study of 1000 American conducted in November last year, nearly three quarters had worked from their bed at some point during the pandemic...

How to recover from workplace bullying

Published on Feb 09, 2021

Disconnecting from the bullies, checking the internal criticisms, being aware of things that may trigger the bad old feelings and finding support to help yourself thrive again all make the grade in Grace Jennings-Edquist's guide to recovering from workplace bullying.  ...

Comcare criticised for bullying and doctor-shopping in IMEs

Published on Feb 05, 2021

Another year, another round of accusations of bad behaviour in workers' compensation. In this case, it's the federal scheme Comcare that's facing scrutiny, with allegations of doctor-shopping and bullying in independent medical examinations (IME). There are also claims from lawy...

Ending harassment and violence at work

Published on Feb 03, 2021

Safe Work Australia has released a suite of new practical guides to help employers prevent sexual harassment, violence, aggression and domestic violence at work. Directly and indirectly, workplace experiences such as being subject to harassment or violence (physical or emotional...

Can call centres accommodate workers who stress out about talking on the phone?

Published on Jan 27, 2021

Sometimes, according to this excellent and practical article from the Job Accommodation Network in the US. If a worker presents with a medical certificate saying they need time away from the phones due to anxiety, stress or some other condition, the employer should ask questions...

Watch out for Super Nurse!

Published on Jan 27, 2021

Health care has a "work till you drop" mentality and it hurts workers, employers and patients, says Kathy Espinoza, assistant vice president of ergonomics and safety at Keenan and Associates. She argues that overtime has a negative impact on occupational injury rates, illness an...

Stay active while working from home

Published on Jan 12, 2021

Exercise snacks, working while on the run, and taking an active, outdoor lunch break are three great tips for staying active in the home office, from Julie Broderick via The Conversation. And here's a hot tip from the pro-work-from-homer collating these news items: the kids' tra...

GPs say telehealth is here to stay

Published on Jan 12, 2021

Around 40% of GP consultations in Victoria between January and September 2020 were via telehealth, and in NSW during the same period, 30% of weekly GP consultations were conducted over the phone. GPs expect telehealth to stick around post-pandemic, as it is convenient for both t...

Overwhelmed healthcare workers say psychological stress becoming a "third wave" of the pandemic

Published on Dec 15, 2020

A Health and Community Services Union survey of almost 400 Victorian mental health workers notes high levels of exhaustion, fatigue, and anxiety within the sector.  With the Victorian healthcare system under pressure, healthcare workers say they face increased stress, exces...

Retail worker mental health hinges on job security and "zero tolerance"

Published on Dec 15, 2020

Misbehaving customers and insecure employment are the biggest stressors on retail worker mental health, according to the report Indicators of a Thriving Workplace Report, Spotlight on the Retail Industry 2020. The report highlights an urgent need to deal with these issues, as tw...

Unions, insurer urge workplace action on mental health

Published on Nov 25, 2020

The Productivity Commission report on mental health estimates that 2.8 million working Australians have mental illness, taking an average of 10 to 12 days off per year due to psychological distress. Now, the Australian Council of Trade Unions has joined forces with insurer Emplo...

Do you need help making your workplace psychologically safe?

Published on Nov 09, 2020

Comcare has released a new guide for employers and managers with practical introductory tools, resources and strategies on how to identify and manage psychosocial safety risks. There's information on important topics such as good work, legislative requirements and promoting heal...

Proactively offer support to avoid secondary injury during COVID

Published on Nov 02, 2020

Lawyer Angela Brooks has a sage word of advice for insurers and employers: provide proactive support for injured workers who may have a vulnerability to mental ill-health, including those who have made a claim for a physical injury. Mental health problems are expected to rise ac...

New corporate alliance takes on mental health

Published on Oct 20, 2020

What do Bunnings and Microsoft have in common? We're sure there are many answers to this question, some hilarious, but the relevant answer here is: they're both part of a new alliance of Australian business leaders who want to tackle mental health at work, known as the Corporate...

Power of routine

Published on Oct 20, 2020

This is a really great look at the power of routines, from Lisa Leong of This Working Life on Radio National. It touches on everything from meditation to priority-setting, the 5am club and creating boundaries that help insulate you and your family from an "always on" work cultur...

Looking for the silver bullet on joint pain?

Published on Oct 20, 2020

"Motion is lotion," says A. Lynn Millar, a physical therapist and fellow emeritus at the American College of Sports Medicine. However, people who experience joint pain often feel that they should avoid exercise, perceiving that they are doing more damage to an already sore area....

Failure to return not the end of the road

Published on Sep 07, 2020

Injured while driving a truck on a mine site, Duncan Rush went through months of recovery and difficult physio before realising he could never return to his job. A decade later, ongoing pain from nerve damage still disturbs his sleep, but he's found a new trade and a new passion...

Red flags for worker mental health

Published on Sep 07, 2020

This is a challenging time for many people, healthcare workers especially. In this article, psychiatrist Dr Frank Chow lists some of the warning signs that a worker may be struggling with their mental health (e.g. problems relating to performance and out-of-character irritabilit...

Woofing and purring our way to workplace wellbeing

Published on Sep 07, 2020

Pets in the workplace may remind "employees to pause, take a break through short walks and a little playtime providing small distractions to allow mental breaks and reduce stress. Some studies have shown that not only do pets have calming effects but can also induce more cordial...

Dreading return to a toxic workplace?

Published on Aug 24, 2020

Here's a depressing reason for a millennial to like working from home: at least now when her toxic boss berates her in front of colleagues she can now get an actual hug from her mum rather than sneaking off to the bathroom for a teary phone call. Amidst the angst, this article f...

Tax, small business and mental health

Published on Aug 11, 2020

We talk a lot about employee mental health, but what about the mental health of business owners - specifically, small business owners, who find tax time really stressful? “So far, the idea that tax and mental health can be connected has been an unfamiliar one, but ours wil...

Abbatoir accused of seeking early RTW for COVID-positive workers

Published on Jul 28, 2020

We'll file this in the "are you for real??!" basket: Business News Australia reports that meat processor JBS Australia has asked COVID-positive staff to return to work, and conducted on-site testing in unsafe conditions, according to reports from the United Workers Union. (JBS d...

More workers' comp woe for NSW and Victoria

Published on Jul 28, 2020

SIRA has referred icare to the NSW anti-corruption authority, as questions about the scheme's financial viability and underpayment of workers become more pressing, according to a joint investigation by The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and ABC TV's Four Corners. Meanwhile, the ...

42% of Indigenous Victorians experience racism at work

Published on Jun 30, 2020

A few years ago, VicHealth surveyed 755 Aboriginal Victorians, some living in the city, some in rural areas. 97% had experienced racism in the last year. 44% said they experienced racism once a week. 42% said they'd confronted racism at work. Racism causes psychological distress...

Genes and work-related disease

Published on Jun 30, 2020

The language the linked article uses ain't pretty (full disclosure: it's written in legalese) but the question it raises is fascinating: namely, is compensation owed to a worker when a work injury (in this case, PTSD) later transforms an existing genetic predisposition (in this ...

Six tips for supporting a mentally healthy transition back to work

Published on Jun 18, 2020

As many of us head back to the office for the first time in months, our friends at Superfriend have put together a tip sheet to help employers manage the transition. We love the way they acknowledge the emotions of post-pandemic RTW: "It is important that employers and people...

Q: Are opioids pain-killers or pain-feeders?

Published on Jun 18, 2020

A: "The longer you are on high doses of the medications, for at least three quarters of people on long-term opioids, it's actually making their pain worse," pain management expert Associate Professor Michael Vagg recently told the ABC. Click through for an excellent article that...

Retail therapy, post lockdown

Published on Jun 16, 2020

Pandemics put retail staff on the frontline, directly in contact with the sneezing, wheezing, germ-ridden general public, so it makes sense retail workers might need some extra mental health support in these trying times. Retail organisations could do worse than follow the lead ...

Shift work shifts injury risk

Published on Jun 16, 2020

Shift workers on night shifts are approximately 25–30 per cent more at risk of injury than those working day shifts, and working a 12-hour rather than an eight-hour shift increases the risk of injury, again by 25–30 per cent with risk increasing evenly over four cons...

The AFP allegedly gave a bully free rein, so WorkCover wants the compo back

Published on Jun 01, 2020

WorkCover is seeking to recover more than $303,000 in workers' compensation payments, plus indemnities against related future costs, claiming that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) failed to stop the long-running misconduct of a known bully. The alleged bullying tactics includ...

Understanding the mental health of frontline workers

Published on May 22, 2020

A "supportive work culture is like giving everyone in the organisation a mental health inoculation," says Julia Gillard, in her foreword to Answering the Call, Beyond Blue's national survey on the mental health and wellbeing of frontline workers. The report, which focuses on Aus...

Are we ready for increased mental health demands?

Published on May 18, 2020

A 30% spike in mental illness; a 25% spike in the suicide rate: these are some of the dire predictions mental health experts are making about the pandemic aftermath. They're urging the government to take action now to improve Australia's "dysfunctional" public mental health syst...

Does the colour of your collar influence coronavirus safety?

Published on May 18, 2020

Physical distancing is often impossible in manufacturing and construction workplaces. Now, blue collar workers in the UK are saying they're being pressured to return to work, putting them at greater risk of contracting COVID-19. ...

Don't soldier on: A message to health care workers

Published on May 18, 2020

Research conducted at the Australian National University has shown that 60% of healthcare workers go to work when they have the flu - and ALL (99%) go to work if the flu symptoms seem minor (e.g. a sore throat and mild cough). The RACGP wants health workers (and the rest of us) ...

"Rough riding" compensation battle for female train driver

Published on May 04, 2020

A Victorian train driver has struggled to secure compensation for work-related injuries to her chest and breast that she says developed due to riding a rough line. She says other female drivers suffer the same painful symptoms she did, but are too embarrassed to speak out in the...

Safe Work Australia's COVID info gets specific...

Published on May 04, 2020

Really specific! The SWA website now allows you to drill down by industry, business size and topic (e.g. workers' compensation). They've promised to update the website regularly, with new guidance and information as the situation evolves.  ...

Case in point: One of THOSE disputes

Published on May 04, 2020

You know, the ones where you go, "They disputed whaaaaat?" In 2018 a child protection worker was trapped in a bathroom for two hours awaiting police assistance, whilst teenagers threatened to kill her and the child she was protecting. Afterwards, the Department of Child Protecti...

COVID-19 workers' comp claims and notifications are happening

Published on Apr 21, 2020

Close to 200 Australians have lodged workers' compensation claims or notifications related to COVID-19, with NSW  accounting for the vast majority. Dr Stacey Jenkins of the school of management and marketing at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga said “Workers&rsq...

Remote workplace wellness

Published on Apr 21, 2020

Exercise, eat healthfully, engage with colleagues and don't forget about the EAP (employee assistance program) are the four Es of workplace wellness, according to John Hilton in Human Resources Director. ...

Planning for post-COVID mass RTW

Published on Apr 15, 2020

With many people temporarily working from home due to COVID-19, some organisations will see a mass RTW when the need for social distancing ends. But the "old normal" is unlikely to return, and employers should start planning the necessary changes now. "Different layouts; stagger...

New package of COVID-19 resources from Safe Work Australia

Published on Mar 31, 2020

Safe Work Australia have made a clear call: they want employers to let people work from home if possible. If that's not possible, they've assembled other resources including template signs, an infographic on what to do if there is a suspected case of coronavirus at work, as well...

Small business owners under strain

Published on Mar 24, 2020

For many small businesses, profit margins are slim at the best of times and the business has no chance of coping with a sharp, unexpected drop in revenue that could last months or longer. In the Sydney Morning Herald, Tony Featherstone is urging us to start thinking now about th...

Employers are responsible for OHS of remote workers

Published on Mar 17, 2020

Employers have the ultimate responsibility for ensuring a safe work environment, wherever that work is carried out. ...

Handwashing, the right way

Published on Mar 17, 2020

Sing happy birthday twice, TWICE!, whilst comprehensively covering every inch of skin on your hands with soap. And don't touch the tap! ...

Harassment claims rising, gender divide widening

Published on Mar 09, 2020

Women make twice as many workers' compensation claims for harassment, bullying and workplace violence as do men, and rates have been trending upwards for the last five years, according to new data from Safe Work Australia.  Australian Council of Trade Unions assistant se...

Can I get workers' comp for coronavirus?

Published on Mar 09, 2020

Probably not, according to lawyers from Cooper Grace Ward...unless I drive a minibus full of infected tourists to and from the airport, or (less likely) I attended a non-negotiable work meeting in a contagion hot-spot. In fact: "Given the low numbers of infections and, just a...

Women more likely than men to lose sleep over work stress

Published on Mar 09, 2020

Women working full-time trail their male colleagues on two-thirds of the indicators that contribute to a thriving workplace, according to SuperFriend's Indicators of a Thriving Workplace report. The Australian Financial Review says, "Major wellbeing issues faced by women rela...

Rockhampton servo fuels workers comp drama

Published on Feb 24, 2020

Pink hair, sexual harassment scapegoating and shoulder pain were all in the mix when the Fair Work Commission ruled in a favour of an unfairly dismissed service station worker in February, ordering her employer to pay more than three months workers' compensation (minus a month f...

Bushfires and workers' compensation

Published on Feb 11, 2020

Firies aren't the only workers who may see a jump in workers' comp claims following our horror fire season, according to Kate Ralph - pharmacists, charity workers and/or wildlife rescue personnel may have suffered work injury too. ...

Multitasking Mums need formal flexibility at work

Published on Feb 11, 2020

Formal workplace flexibility arrangements boost parents’ wellbeing and help them manage both work and family life but informal flexiblity (e.g. taking personal calls at work, rearranging meetings or leaving early but catching up at home) are associated with more distress, ...

Long hours double mental health risks

Published on Jan 28, 2020

Australian research supported by Beyond Blue has shown that junior doctors who work more than 55 hours per week have double the risk of common mental health problems and suicidal ideation. Based on data from 2013, around a quarter of junior doctors fall into this category. ...

Choosing and changing culture

Published on Jan 28, 2020

The banking Royal Commission showed us all that culture drives behaviour. In this podcast, ASIC's cultural risk expert Elizabeth Arzadon digs deep into the way leaders can measure and change organisational culture for the better, beginning with the question, "What kind of cultur...

Bush fire donations: a how-to guide

Published on Jan 13, 2020

RTW people are people-people, and we know a lot of our readers will be looking for a way to help the many Australians - not to mention animals and ecosystems - impacted by this terrible fire season. The Guardian has some good advice, in tl;dr form: do your homework, give cash an...

Four healthy, happy habits to beat back to work blues

Published on Jan 13, 2020

Pedestrian TV shares their best blues-beating tips for January, including getting healthy, practicing gratitude, taking breaks and scheduling like a boss. ...

NSW and Vic, where is the safety net for injured workers?

Published on Jan 13, 2020

Questionable claims models and inadequate oversight of workers' compensation systems in NSW and Victoria are drawing national attention. Investigative journalist Adele Ferguson says that workers' compensation schemes may have dodged the "royal commission blowtorch," but "serious...

Wellness factory

Published on Dec 11, 2019

Move over Google! Workplace wellness is no longer the domain of tech companies: the giants of industry are muscling in too. From plants to airconditioning to green outdoor spaces, workers in industrial spaces will likely be the next beneficiaries of the wellness revolution. But ...

Would you like a mental illness with that?

Published on Dec 11, 2019

Many injured people develop a mental health problem (e.g. depression or anxiety) on top of the original injury. In fact, a recent report from Deloitte "showed that insurance claims for secondary conditions such as depression or anxiety were rising at a faster rate than primary c...

Positive workplace culture could cut antidepressant costs

Published on Dec 11, 2019

Researchers say there's a link between work-related stress and antidepressant medication use, which costs Australia around $212 million per year. Global expert on work health and professor at UniSA, Maureen Dollard, wants us to know that it's not all about work pressure and...

Wisdom gleaned whilst recovering from depression

Published on Dec 03, 2019

Whether you suffer from depression yourself, or simply support others who do, this article written by Jennifer Wong and published on ABC Life is enlightening. Wong writes about the non-linear road to recovery, the need for social support and simple pleasures, and also shares too...

Innovation hacks, for when you need to get things moving at work

Published on Nov 19, 2019

If you find yourself up against the staid and hidebound at work, organisational psychologist Dr Amantha Imber might be able to help. You can mine her wisdom online, as she speaks to Lisa Leong on the always excellent This Working Life (Radio National).  ...

Comcare acknowledges adversarial nature of compensation processes

Published on Oct 30, 2019

What we want to know is, what are they going to do about it? The ABC has detailed some of the problems faced by federal police officers who develop PTSD as a result of repeated exposure to stress and trauma whilst serving Australian interests overseas, only to be further stresse...

Reality of workers comp hits renovation show House Rules

Published on Oct 29, 2019

“After my episode aired I wanted to kill myself and I started drinking more alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate my injury,” Nicole Prince told the New South Wales Compensation Commission, describing her experiences on reality TV show House Rules. Prince presented ...

Get the legal perspective on IMEs

Published on Oct 22, 2019

The Workplace Employment Lawyers have launched a blog series on the legal ins and outs of workplace injury and illness. First up, they tackle independent medical examinations (IMEs), providing information on when and how employers can direct workers to have an IME. As yet, they ...

An architect reflects on working with severe mental illness

Published on Oct 08, 2019

Five years ago, architect Kerwin Datu was diagnosed with type 1 bipolar disorder after what he describes as "a period of profound social isolation conducting fieldwork in West Africa". Now he has a message for employers and coworkers: people with severe mental illnesses can and ...

Comcare, it's national mental health week!

Published on Oct 08, 2019

It's a dismal stat: over the last three years, Comcare has rejected three out of every four claims for psychological injury, but only one in ten physical injury claims. According to an unidentified Comcare spokesman, "Determinations for psychological injury claims are invariably...

Put a bird on it! (Or a river. Or a mountain...)

Published on Sep 24, 2019

No, no, we're not advising you to go back and re-watch Portlandia. But we do think you might be interested in a little study from the University of South Australia, which found that nature-based art in the workplace can reduce stress and mental fatigue. The study was conducte...

Bright opportunity for insurance workers

Published on Sep 10, 2019

Are you an insurance professional with a bright idea about workers' compensation (or any other aspect of your field)? Do you want the opportunity to pitch your idea to a panel of people who could help you put it into practice - as well as taking home prize money and accessing me...

Want some workplace wellness? Take a holiday!

Published on Sep 10, 2019

Here's the best idea we've heard since our last overseas jaunt: instead of thinking about retirement as something that happens at the end of your working life, consider taking  a series of "mini-retirements": opportunities to "dial down external pressures while focusing on ...

Jillaroo wants safety net for brain-injured rural workers

Published on Aug 27, 2019

RaeLea Foley was bucked off her horse while working on a cattle station and suffered a brain injury. Although she was back on the job after five weeks, she can no longer do everything she used to, and coming to terms with these limitations has been a struggle.  Ms Foley ...

Industry-wide wellbeing service for performing artists

Published on Jul 24, 2019

We were delighted to read about the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline, a free and confidential phone service for performing artists recently launched in Victoria. Many in the industry do not have access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), either because they are independent th...

Vital info for young workers in physically demanding jobs

Published on Jul 24, 2019

Looking after their bodies isn't necessarily a high priority for young workers in physically demanding industries, but this lack of care may well come back to bite them as they age.  Physiotherapist David Hall told the ABC that young tradespeople and labourers can feel p...

Tips for beating work-related burnout

Published on Nov 19, 2019

Psychologist Dr Marny Lishman says reducing stress is the best way to recover from work-related burnout--the only kind of burnout, according to recent advice from the World Health Organisation. Her tips include exercise, socialising, getting out into nature, and seeing a ps...

Work-related psychological injury: New help for Australian GPs

Published on Jul 24, 2019

You probably don't need another reminder of the grim reality, but here it comes anyway: Australia has a very poor track record when it comes to managing work-related mental ill-health. Now, there's a glimmer of light on the horizon, in the form of new clinical practice guideline...

Preventing overdiagnosis: online resource and conference

Published on Jul 24, 2019

According to the website Preventing Overdiagnosis, "Overdiagnosis happens when people get a diagnosis they don’t need. It can happen when people without symptoms are diagnosed and then treated for a disease that won’t actually cause them any symptoms, and it can happ...

What Australian workplaces can learn from the AFL about mental health

Published on Jul 15, 2019

Earlier this month Collingwood Magpies star Dayne Beams announced he was taking an indefinite break from AFL to deal with his mental health. In the past he's spoken openly about his struggles after the death of his father, as well his distress as a target of online trolling. ...

Workplace injury inspires new life cycle

Published on Jul 15, 2019

An Australian man who had seven operations to his hips and back after falling out of a boom lift at work five years ago is now competing in international cycling races.  Before his injury Daniel Pomering wasn't a cyclist, but decided to follow in his wife's footstep...

Clinical Framework in action: 32 years of passive treatment is enough

Published on Jul 15, 2019

The Clinical Framework for the Delivery of Health Services was published by  the Victorian Transport Accident Commission and Worksafe Victoria in 2012, and subsequently endorsed by Comcare. (We've covered it here and here.) Basically, it encourages evidence-based treat...

Workers' comp reforms could help reduce Ambo's PTSD rates

Published on Jun 26, 2019

Australian paramedics experience Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at around twice the rate of other health professionals. A new review from researchers at Flinders University, commissioned by the Ambulance Employees Association (AEA) has found that: “Paramedics rep...

Have your say on workplace rehab providers

Published on Jun 26, 2019

The Heads of Workers Compensation Authorities (HWCA) invite you to participate in the consultation on the DRAFT Principles for Practice for Workplace Rehabilitation Providers, developed to support Workplace Rehabilitation Providers deliver services to individuals with a compensa...

Should we consider medical lump sums for workers with catastrophic injuries?

Published on May 27, 2019

People who claim workers' compensation in Victoria, NSW, South Australia and the Commonwealth may be entitled to a lump sum for future loss of earnings, but they can't claim a lump sum for future medical needs. For those with catastrophic injuries and permanent impairment, this ...

GP e-learning opportunity on occupational cancer

Published on May 20, 2019

Do you work with GPs who would benefit from learning more about occupational cancer? The Cancer Council has developed an e-learning module to increase GP’s awareness of workplace carcinogens and cancers. The module includes sections on occupational carcinogens in the Au...

Superfriend to men AND women

Published on May 20, 2019

Sarah Guthleben from Equip Super, workplace health expert Niki Ellis and mental health campaigner Mitch Wallis will join the board of workplace wellbeing advocate Superfriend, bringing the board close to an equal gender split. Superfriend CEO Margo Lydon told Investment Magaz...

Are we all sleeping on the job?

Published on May 06, 2019

Australian health and wellbeing technology company WorkScore has released new research claiming that almost 40% of 8,800 workers surveyed report losing sleep because of work stress. According to the research, workers who sleep less than 6 hours a night work more, have higher ...

Compliance without initiative doesn't safeguard against workplace risk

Published on May 03, 2019

Many organisations respond to workplace injury by pushing compliance with new or existing rules and procedures - however safety often hinges on proactive responses to challenging situations. “Our research showed that employees who were compliant with the safety rules in...

No hump day = happier, healthier, more productive workers

Published on Apr 17, 2019

Melbourne-based digital agency Versa abolished Wednesdays 12 months ago, splitting the 37.5-hour working week into two two-day blocks.  Managing director Jonny Clow was initially a sceptic.  "To lose a whole day — 20 per cent of revenues — you know it...

Should doctors trust patients?

Published on Apr 16, 2019

RTW professionals and employer representatives are sometimes frustrated by the doctor-patient bond, especially when there are questions about the legitimacy or work-relatedness of an injury. Should doctors simply believe injured workers' reports, or is a more skeptical attitude ...

Pharmacists prescribe the whys and hows of mentally healthy work

Published on Apr 16, 2019

Working in a pharmacy it's almost inevitable: you're going to have to deal with an agro customer at some point. So it makes sense that pharmacists would be particularly interested in creating mentally healthy workplaces. The Australian Journal of Pharmacy E-Mag has published a f...

Two intense stories of workplace injury

Published on Apr 16, 2019

Warning: this is a story about violent crime in the workplace, so please don't read it if you think it might disturb you... Dr Andrew Taylor was shot at work, by a gunman intent on revenge. The offence? A medical report that he believed underplayed his workplace injuries, result...

How to reject ageism and promote wellbeing and productivity for all

Published on Apr 05, 2019

Aaron Goonrey and Jenni Mandel of Lander and Rogers law firm strongly believe that older workers should be nurtured - not stigmatised. Stereotypes limit everyone. If you're wedded to the idea that older workers are set in their ways and on their way out the door anyway, you'r...

Grand way to improve wellbeing at work

Published on Mar 22, 2019

When you think about musical therapy in a hospital, most likely you think of it as something offered to the patients: the fabulous Hush program comes to mind. The Sunshine Coast University Hospital has taken a different approach, installing a grand piano in the main foyer so ...

Queensland's first, tragic silicosis death

Published on Mar 19, 2019

We're saddened to report that Anthony White, the Queensland stonemason who helped raise the alarm about the dangers of silica dust, has passed away from silicosis aged just 36. Mr White's brother, Shane Parata, also has the disease. In the wake of his brother's death, he's ...

When compensation stops, but disease persists

Published on Mar 10, 2019

Ex-BHP workers with black lung disease (pneumoconiosis, a potentially fatal disease caused by prolonged exposure to coal dust with no known cure) have proposed a one cent per tonne, per week levy on coal produced to create a fund for sick workers and their families once workers'...

World first compensation for journo with PTSD

Published on Mar 10, 2019

In a world first, a woman who developed PTSD working as a crime reporter for The Age has been awarded $180,000 in damages by the Victorian County Court, which deemed her workplace to have been unsafe. Although not strictly speaking a workers' compensation case, we're bringing it...

Pre-shift smoko injury compensated: lawyer explains why

Published on Feb 11, 2019

You've probably heard about the Maccas worker who toppled from the roof after smoking a cigarette up there prior to the start of the night shift. Many people raised their eyebrows when the Industrial Court of Queensland ruled she was eligible for workers' compensation for the br...

Short and sweat. (We mean sweet.)

Published on Jan 15, 2019

We've all said it: "I don't have time to exercise." But what if you could give yourself all the benefits of an hour-long workout (increased fitness, better mood) in just ten minutes. (Full disclosure: you'll also have to find time for a warm up and a shower or two.) Profes...

Rostering for FIFO mental health

Published on Jan 15, 2019

Following on from a recent report that found that FIFO workers are more likely than workers to experience high levels of psychological distress, a West Australian state MP is calling on the resource industry to do more in terms of rostering for good mental health. Labor Membe...

Reminder: Pregabalin (Lyrica) is a potentially dangerous drug

Published on Dec 19, 2018

Pregablin, a nerve pain drug often sold under the brand name Lyrica, is frequently prescribed for back pain. Initially marketed as a non-addictive alternative to opioids, it's becoming increasingly clear that the drug is both addictive and dangerous. Side effects include depress...

Father compares FIFO mental health risks to asbestos

Published on Dec 13, 2018

"I question why should we as a community accept an industry inflicting higher than normal psychological distress and mental harm on its employees," said Peter Miller, whose son Rhys Conner took his own life in a FIFO accommodation camp on July 25, 2013. "We don't accept as a ...

You need to know about pregabalin

Published on Nov 29, 2018

Pregabalin (sold as Lyrica) is a drug commonly prescribed for patients on workers' compensation. Its intended use is as an anti-epileptic and a painkiller for nerve pain.  According to new research, "ambulance call-outs associated with the misuse of pregabalin hav...

So your colleague has said, "No, I'm not ok..."

Published on Nov 29, 2018

In this video link, co-founder and non-executive director of RUOK, Graeme Cowan, spells out his acronym of support for friends and colleagues who tell you they're not doing well. Graeme uses the acronym I CARE: Identify Compassion Access appropriate support...

UK government calls for evidence on fit note reform

Published on Jul 23, 2024

The UK government has called for evidence to reform the fit note process in England to support return to work.  ...

Podcast on how workplace sexual harassment is being managed globally

Published on Jun 25, 2024

The effort to prevent, manage and respond to workplace sexual harassment is a global one. Hear from legal experts in 8 countries about how different governments, legislators and regulators are responding and what employers can do.  ...

Scottish government reviews its scheme to support injured workers

Published on May 28, 2024

The Scottish government is consulting about how its industrial injuries scheme can better meet the needs of the modern workforce. The eligibility criteria for the current scheme don’t account for the injuries and illnesses that are most likely to affect women, young people...

Self-care guides for musculoskeletal pain conditions

Published on Jun 11, 2024

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire have developed online self-care guides with advice and tips on how to self-manage muscle and joint aches and pains symptoms and information when it may be important to seek healthcare. ...

Should every organisation have a Chief Happiness Officer?

Published on May 14, 2024

Many employers understand that the success of their company depends on how happy their workers are at work. Which is why many companies have the Chief Happiness Officers to promote a work environment that achieves the happiness and well-being of employees. ...

Early RTW is the key to successful vocational rehabilitation

Published on Mar 19, 2024

In her presentation at the 20th Annual Workers Compensation Insurance ExecuSummit in the USA, an expert in vocational rehabilitation highlighted the benefits of early RTW for injured workers in their recovery and reintegration into the workforce. ...

Popular workplace mental health interventions have ‘little to no’ effect

Published on Feb 20, 2024

A recent study finds that workers who participated in wellbeing offerings like mindfulness seminars, massage and relaxation classes, resilience workshops, coaching sessions, courses in time management or financial health or sleep were no better off than colleagues who didn&rsquo...

Brands and retailers support initiative to compensate Bangladeshi workers

Published on Apr 02, 2024

Thirty brands and retailers will contribute a percentage of their ready-made garment exports to support the Employment Injury Scheme Pilot to protect Bangladesh workers against workplace injuries and fatalities. ...

Addressing mental health and wellbeing in the construction industry

Published on Mar 19, 2024

A UK Summit discussed how construction companies can navigate mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. The suggested approach focuses on strategy, governance, and communication. ...

Vouchers for Singaporean drivers hurt on the job

Published on Feb 06, 2024

Delivery riders, private-hire drivers and taxi drivers in Singapore can apply for S$250 vouchers if they are injured while working. There are currently no financial assistance schemes for this group. ...

New data tool tracks opioid-related harms among Ontario workers

Published on Mar 05, 2024

A new data tool can monitor opioid-related adverse health events among Ontario workers, identify workers at the greatest risk of harm and help workers, supervisors, managers, employers and public health professionals understand the harm caused by opioids. ...

Release of 2 new versions of the Job Demands and Accommodation Planning Tool

Published on Feb 20, 2024

The Institute for Work & Health has released 2 new versions of the JDAPT tool to help employers support employees who live with an episodic health condition. ...

The downsides of digital health care

Published on Jan 22, 2024

A UK survey reveals that what policymakers and the industry focus on in digital health doesn't always match what people with health issues need and want. ...

Lessons from Ontario for police service workers

Published on Jan 22, 2024

Ontario police service members face RTW challenges that relate to 5 main themes — context, culture, accommodation, communication and trust-building.  ...

Tips from the UK to prevent sickness absence

Published on Oct 26, 2023

Focusing on prevention and listening to employees can help employers reduce the costs and other effects of sickness absence. ...

Online delivery of training as good as in-person training for gaining knowledge

Published on Sep 27, 2023

A study finds that face-to-face, online instructor-led distance learning and online self-paced e-learning methods were equally effective in helping learners acquire the knowledge they needed to become Joint Health and Safety Committee members.  ...

Study identifies RTW challenges for police service members

Published on Sep 27, 2023

A study by the Institute for Work & Health identifies the main return-to-work challenges faced by sworn and civilian police service members in Ontario.  ...

‘Preventive’ whole-body MRI screening gaining popularity

Published on Sep 13, 2023

The screening of asymptomatic patients is gaining in popularity in the USA, despite reservations about their effectiveness from many medical organisations. ...

Managers have a major impact on mental health

Published on Sep 04, 2023

New research suggests that for most people, their manager has more influence on their mental health than their therapist or their doctor. Here are 7 approaches that managers can use to lead for wellbeing.  ...

Proactive rather than reactive mental health strategies support employee wellbeing

Published on Sep 04, 2023

A recent article suggests that proactive mental health resources may be more effective than Employee Assistance Programs at cutting employer costs from mental health crises and improving employee wellbeing.  ...

Study identifies primary care physicians’ learning needs

Published on Aug 15, 2023

A review finds that physicians have learning needs or training gaps around supporting ill or injured workers to return to work. They include administrative tasks, attitudes and beliefs about work injuries and illnesses, occupational health issues and services and tools. ...

Businesses face risks and opportunities from virtual and AI technologies

Published on Aug 08, 2023

As augmented or virtual reality and artificial intelligence infiltrate workplaces, they create both potential safety hazards and opportunities for employers. ...

Private Members Bill heralds change in how the United Kingdom treats workplace bullying

Published on Aug 08, 2023

A Bill introduced in the UK's House of Commons aims to redefine how workplace bullying is addressed. It proposes a definition for workplace bullying, a Respect at work code and the power of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission to investigate and enforce workplace bullying....

Workplaces as the engine room of psychological health and wellbeing

Published on Jul 26, 2023

The American Psychological Association’s 2023 Work in America Survey reveals that psychological well-being is a high priority for workers. The survey tracks the U.S. Surgeon General’s Framework for Workplace Mental Health and Well-Being, which sets out 5 ‘essen...

New report on physical activity interventions for older people

Published on Jul 26, 2023

A report by the US Department of Health and Human Services highlights evidence-based strategies that clinicians, policymakers and other health professionals can use to help adults 65 years or get and stay physically active. ...

Good workplace culture and relationships matter more than money

Published on Jul 12, 2023

50% of employees in the United Kingdom would prefer great relationships at work over a 10% pay increase, and more want workplaces with a culture of trust, understanding and openness and where they can be themselves. ...

Call for a scheme to compensate injured workers in Bangladesh

Published on May 01, 2023

A survey by the Institute of Business Administration at the University of Dhaka recommends creating a legal framework to compensate workers for injuries caused by workplace accidents. ...

‘Gigcover’ for gig economy workers in Singapore

Published on Feb 12, 2023

The Singaporean government has established a network to develop better work injury compensation policies for gig economy workers. It will consider the views of all stakeholders to develop processes for reporting work injuries, dealing with claims and calculating compensation for...

Singapore's ‘gig economy’ workers to get work injury and pension coverage

Published on Dec 01, 2022

About 73,000 food delivery and ride-hailing workers will have access to the same work injury insurance and pension coverage from 2024 if Singapore’s implements its proposed new laws  ...

International Labour Organisation launches pilot employment injury scheme for workers in Bangladesh

Published on Jun 28, 2022

A pilot employment injury protection scheme launched by the ILO, Netherlands and Germany in the readymade garment sector will provide income protection to Bangladeshi victims of work-related accidents and occupational diseases. ...

Canadian study finds poor communication by case managers linked to risk of mental illness

Published on May 23, 2022

The Institute of Work & Health (IWH) found that poor interactions with case managers during an injured workers’ claim can lead to them developing serious psychological distress. Christa Orchard, research associate at IWH and lead author of the study says the findings &...

Small doses of physical activity reduces risk of depression

Published on May 10, 2022

A UK study into the dose-response association between physical activity and the incidence of depression in adults has found that the most benefits were found when moving from no activity to at least some, suggesting substantial mental health benefits can be achieved, even at low...

84 years on the job, 100-year-old record breaker's "proudest achievement"

Published on May 09, 2022

"You need to get busy with the present, not the past or the future. Here and now is what counts." Brazillian centenarian, Walter Orthmann shares his secret to longevity in the workplace after breaking the Guiness World Record for working at the same company for 84 years. ...

WHO and ILO call for measures to protect workers' health while teleworking

Published on Mar 11, 2022

Two UN agencies have published a technical brief to healthy and safe teleworking that warns of significant impacts on the physical and mental health of employees working from home and the role governments, employers, workers and health services should play in protecting workers'...

Caring nurses need sleep, but shiftwork disturbs it

Published on Feb 10, 2022

Nurses who work the night shift report more sleep disturbances and are more likely to suffer from psychological and physical health symptoms including PTSD, insomnia and inflammation, according to a recent study. "I think the main finding here is that sleep is important and shou...

WHO knows how to protect health during remote work

Published on Feb 10, 2022

A report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) warns that without proper planning, organisation and health and safety support, the impact of teleworking on the physical and mental health and social wellbeing of workers can be significant. Isolation, burnout, depression, home ...

Workjerkery, meet Good Trouble

Published on Feb 10, 2022

Workjerkery, a term coined by  psychologist Tesa West, associate professor of psychology at New York University, refers to being jerked around by colleagues behaving badly and workplace toxicity. It includes the fear, intimidation and uncertainty that result from unrealisti...

Workplace injury from "pulsed electronic energy" attacks?

Published on Feb 10, 2022

It's one of the most intriguing and disturbing claims of workplace injury in living memory: US diplomats, first in Cuba in 2016 and then around the world, experiencing unexplained medical symptoms including severe headaches, dizziness, tinnitus, problems with sight and hearing, ...

Four simple mental health strategies

Published on Jan 28, 2022

Many of us are looking for mental health strategies these days. Here are four suggestions for the workplace: Train managers in mental health protocol, raising confidence by clarifying their responsibilities, the tools and resources on offer and letting them know about any ...

Bring back the leech!

Published on Jan 28, 2022

Leeches, those staples of 19th century quackery, beat exercise therapy when it comes to easing chronic low back pain, according to a small study looking at the impact of the bloodsucking worms on the troublesome musculoskeletal disorder. Limitations of the research include the s...

Presenteeism, Sickness Absence and Return to Work

Published on Jan 17, 2022

During the pandemic, we've all become more aware of the costs of working while unwell. However, issues related to sickness absence and return to work remain crucial for employers and workers. Every article in a new collection published by journal Occupational Medicine aims to ra...

Lumbar fusion outcomes in workers' comp

Published on Dec 13, 2021

Lumbar spinal fusion (LSF) outcomes for workers' compensation patients are worse than for the general population. Using data from WorkSafe Victoria, researchers have found that two years after LSF surgery, 282 (32.3%) of the 874 injured workers included in a study had substantia...

Looking for some conversation starters for the work Christmas party?

Published on Dec 08, 2021

This "52 things I learned" annual list, compiled by Tom Whitwell, covers vast, surprising and sometimes hilarious terrain, from a popular Turkish app that uses pictures of coffee grounds to predict the future, to fact-checking the way we all draw butterflies. Along the way, ther...

Undercover prevention strategies for depression

Published on Nov 25, 2021

Stigmas around acknowledging mental health struggles can prevent some people from seeking help before they have a full blown mental illness such as major depression. One potential work-around is offering people at-risk of developing a mental illness an intervention that DOES NOT...

Virtual reality back pain treatment

Published on Nov 22, 2021

In a world-first, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized a virtual reality (VR) system designed to help reduce chronic lower back pain. Drawing on cognitive behavioural strategies, the system comprises a VR headset with controller, and an attachment dubbed a &ldquo...

Research shows depression and anxiety rising

Published on Nov 08, 2021

High quality research published in The Lancet confirms that the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on people's mental health, with significant increases in major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders seen around the world, compared to pre-pandemic levels. However, important ...

Domestic violence can impede recovery from work injury

Published on Nov 04, 2021

Unexplained injuries. Personality changes. Changes in clothing and personal style, including suddenly wearing more make-up. Working late and not wanting to go home. RTW delayed for unexplained reasons, or claims decisions that seem to be made by a pushy romantic partner. All the...

Don't give up on workers with PTSD - but don't diagnose them either

Published on Oct 11, 2021

At work, PTSD (like other mental health problems) can present as memory problems, lack of concentration, fear/anxiety, poor relationships with coworkers, unreasonable reactions to situations that trigger memories of the traumatic event and absenteeism. If you observe a change in...

Supporting struggling workers through the pandemic

Published on Oct 05, 2021

Research in the US and UK shows that employees continue to struggle emotionally and psychologically throughout the pandemic and are not comfortable sharing such with employers. Meanwhile, there is a lack of mental health resources (or perception of such) across many organisation...

On anger and letting go

Published on Sep 27, 2021

We're a big fan of the work of Dr David Hanscom, who lived with chronic pain before dedicating himself to helping others recover from it to live full, rich lives. In the linked blog post, Dr Hanscom talks about the link between chronic pain and anger, and explains why some peopl...

Do companies need a CMO (i.e. Chief Medical Officer)?

Published on Sep 20, 2021

Most organisations these days have a CFO (that's chief financial officer): do they also need a CMO (chief medical officer) in order to ensure that issues around worker health and wellbeing are properly considered by senior management? The role involves advising "corporate leader...

Trust is the key to high vaccination rates

Published on Sep 13, 2021

While we debate the ethics and effectiveness of compulsory vaccination, one country is showing that trust is the key to high vaccination rates. In Denmark, the government has been upfront about the potential risks of vaccines as well as the known benefits, and focused the public...

Doctor confesses to MRIs; talks LBP, scans and communications

Published on Sep 06, 2021

We were intrigued by this tweet from Dr James Noake. Follow the link to see the whole thread. I use MRI in lower back pain 🤭I also get asked frequently how I manage the scan follow up consults & handle patient QsSo here is a mini-thread which gives a little comms s...

Questions in the ED can predict PTSD

Published on Sep 02, 2021

Researchers in the US have established that a series of questions put to accident victims in the emergency department of hospital can identify those people more likely to have PTSD three months later. The study focused on people who'd been injured in a car crash. Not all were ad...

The WHO offers tips for staying #HealthyAtHome

Published on Aug 30, 2021

Keep up a routine, recommends the World Health Organisation, and strike a balance between staying informed and avoiding anxiety-inducing news-spirals that make surviving lockdown with equanimity intact even harder. For many, that will be easier said than done, but it's a good go...

For most, mental health likely to rebound post pandemic

Published on Aug 23, 2021

During the early months of the pandemic, there was a surge in anxiety, depression and psychological distress around the globe. However, in some very welcome good news, experts now say the long-term effects could be far less negative than we've all feared. Although it's important...

Pill popping or physio hopping?

Published on Jul 30, 2021

US studies have found that conservative treatments such as referring a worker with neck pain to see a physiotherapist lessens the chance of more risky treatments such as opioid prescriptions. "Physical therapists help injured workers regain neck function by normalizing alignment...

Psychologically safe RTW

Published on Jul 26, 2021

Courtesy of pandemic-related lockdowns around the world, there's a newly widespread interest in the ins and outs of returning to work. RTW professionals can benefit from the new injection of insights and perspectives this brings. The linked article is about creating a psychologi...

Elite athletes smashing mental health stigma

Published on Jul 26, 2021

"While their achievements and glorious exploits, chronicled in broadcasts around the world, may make it seem like Olympic athletes live charmed and angst-free lives, that’s far from the case...[But now] more athletes are reporting mental health issues such as anxiety, depr...

Sitting on pain and ill-health

Published on Jul 09, 2021

Almost 45,000 Swedish workers contributed data to a new study that shows links between workplace sitting, back pain, neck pain and general health. Looking at a snapshot in time, the researchers found that sitting almost all the time at work and not taking breaks is associated wi...

Large research review connects job strain and diabetes

Published on Jul 09, 2021

Looking at nine studies with more than 200,000 participants in total, a new review has found a connection between job strain and diabetes,  especially for women. Since diabetes increases the risk of other health problems, employers interested in improving the health of thei...

Busting burnout

Published on Jun 23, 2021

Burnout from workplace stress is a common problem, recognised by the World Health Organisation since 2019. It's awful for workers and not great for employers either, since it can lead to mental health claims, turnover, lower productivity and a host of other ills. Canadian psycho...

RTW faster when LBP treatment follows guidelines

Published on Jun 21, 2021

Evidence continues to accumulate that doctors who adhere to clinical guidelines for the treatment of low back pain see better outcomes - in this case, a faster return to work for patients. A large Californian study showed a 30% drop in time away from work when care complied with...

Beware the "fruit and pilates" approach to workplace wellness

Published on Jun 14, 2021

UK-based HR researcher Steven Bevan does not hold back in this article criticising the "fruit and pilates" approach to workplace wellness. While his confrontational tone might be off-putting to some, there is sound advice for employers wanting to make genuine improvements to wor...

US study shows workers comp patients struggle more after spine surgery

Published on May 31, 2021

Research from the US has shown that injured workers have higher readmission or reoperation rates for spinal fusion surgeries than those not in the workers' compensation system. Seventeen percent of workers' compensation patients had reoperation or readmission within 30 days of f...

Diabetes risk, exercise and physical activity at work

Published on May 17, 2021

New research from Canada looking at 7,000 workers aged 35-74 found that the public health recommendation for people to do at least 150 minutes of exercise a week to reduce diabetes risk should be targeted mainly at people who are sedentary at work.  Leisure-time exercise ma...

Easy does it? Graduated RTW good for some....

Published on May 12, 2021

Women and workers with longer term musculoskeletal disorders may benefit from graduated return to work, whilst workers with shorter term problems may actually spend more time away from work in a 12 month period when they take a gradual approach, according to new research. This w...

Work culture and gender impact burnout

Published on May 10, 2021

Women clinicians are more likely to experience burnout than men, according to new research published in Jama Network Open. Clinicians in workplaces where there are lower levels of commitment, belonging, safety, teamwork, and work-life balance, are more likely to burn out than th...

Mental health in construction

Published on May 03, 2021

This thoughtful article from Canada highlights how a slow-to-shift "macho culture", seasonal and unpredictable work, an expectation of overtime and long work hours, exhausting physicality and workplace injuries/illness  can lead to chronic pain and psychological trauma amon...

Ergonomic risks impact knees and hips

Published on Mar 31, 2021

Based on systematic analysis of 8 studies with 378,729 participants in 6 countries, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) have determined that exposure to ergonomic risk factors such as lifting, kneeling and exposure to vibration inc...

Jury still out on occupational noise and heart disease, stroke and hypertension

Published on Mar 31, 2021

We just don't know whether occupational noise contributes to poor heart health, according to joint research from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Some data suggests that exposure to noise at work increases the likelihood of car...

Witnesses who stand up to workplace bullies avoid wellbeing dip

Published on Mar 31, 2021

Seeing another person fall victim to a bully at work can increase mental health problems for the observer, especially if they themselves have been a target of bullying in the past. However, observers who take action about what they see do not experience the same dip in wellbeing...

What costs employers more: having the flu or being blue?

Published on Mar 01, 2021

According to US-based Scott Cherry, MD, chief medical officer of Axiom Medical, there's not contest: “For the flu there is about a $1,000 per case in lost productivity, but then you have over $10 billion in direct medical costs. That's for flu, an acute infectious disease....

Covid treaters hit with poorer mental health

Published on Mar 01, 2021

The larger the proportion of the working day spent treating Covid-19, the higher the levels of depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in US physicians, a new study has shown. These results are based on anonymous online surveys conducted with more than 1700...

Treatment update: hip and knee osteoarthritis

Published on Feb 25, 2021

Hip and knee osteoarthritis are common and disabling conditions, sometimes compensable. Evidence-based management focuses on education, exercise and weight loss, complemented by corticosteroid injections, topical or oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and other medications...

Had Covid claims? Prepare for the long haul...

Published on Feb 18, 2021

“I cringe when I hear the industry saying, ‘well workers' comp isn't impacted by COVID, these are claims that wrap up straight away,' not giving consideration to long haulers and what we will see in the future, but also to what insurers or employers are experiencing,...

Opioids, mental health and chronic pain

Published on Feb 05, 2021

It's fairly common to see people experiencing both a mental health problem and chronic pain. What do mental health professionals need to keep in mind if treating someone who is also taking opioids? Psychiatrist Dr Roger Chou tells the JAMA network there are five things to look o...

Fake commuters describe real benefits

Published on Jan 27, 2021

You don't know what you've got until it's gone, as the old saying goes, but did any of us think commuting to work would be something we'd feel nostalgic about?? Some people working from home due to the pandemic miss that hour of reflection and transition so much that they've ini...

Anxiety, stress and depression for healthcare workers battling Covid-19

Published on Jan 14, 2021

Between March and May 2020, scientists at Utah University Health surveyed nearly 600 doctors, nurses, and emergency responders involved in COVID-19 care. They found that these healthcare workers were at high risk of acute traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, problematic alcoho...

How to recover from the year from hell

Published on Jan 12, 2021

We're heading back to The Conversation with this article for the exhausted, defeated, worried, overwhelmed person we all are at times: five tips for making it through 2021 with optimism and serenity intact. Peter A. Heslin, of UNSW, suggests we get serious about our leisure time...

How workers world wide have been impacted by Covid-19

Published on Jan 12, 2021

In Australia, 45% of workers have felt lonely or isolated when working from home as a result of Covid-19, compared to just 24% in Japan and a whopping 75% in Turkey, according to research conducted by the World Economic Forum. Around the globe, people under age 35, business owne...

RTW outcomes amongst workers hospitalised with Covid-19

Published on Nov 24, 2020

A US study looked at the recovery outcomes of more than 1600 people hospitalised with Covid-19. Of the 195 patients who were employed before hospitalization, 117 (60%) had returned to work 60 days after discharge from hospital but 78 (40%) could not return because of ongoing hea...

Telehealth means no physical examinations - what is lost?

Published on Nov 09, 2020

In a thoughtful opinion piece for the Journal of the American Medical Association, primary care physician Dr Paul Hayman describes how the abrupt move away from the physical examination of patients due to the pandemic has impacted his practice. He says that in the past, a thorou...

Research links inadequate PPE to anxiety and depression

Published on Nov 02, 2020

Research amongst 6,000 Canadian healthcare workers during the height of the pandemic found that just over 40% of workers who felt that all their PPE needs were met experienced anxiety, compared to 60% of workers who said that none of their PPE needs were met. Depressive symptoms...

Spine surgeon who suffered from chronic pain welcomes new definition

Published on Nov 02, 2020

We covered the new definition of pain offered by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) earlier this year. (See our article "Pain has a new meaning," for details.) Now Dr David Hanscom, a spinal surgeon who has suffered from chronic pain himself, calls on mai...

Sugarcoating difficult realities does not breed resilience

Published on Oct 05, 2020

If you're offering support to injured workers facing considerable difficulties, take note. Research into resilience in the context of the COVID pandemic has convinced Global Workplace Study researcher Marcus Buckingham that resilience is created by exposure to suffering, and the...

Do workers have the right to be inaccessible?

Published on Sep 28, 2020

Dutch parliament is currently considering a very 2020 question: do workers have the right to spare time undisturbed by work emails and other forms of "workplace telepressure"? Telepressure refers to the sense that one must respond to digital communications as soon as they are re...

Too little sleep compromises cognition in people aged 45 plus

Published on Sep 28, 2020

A large study of English people aged 50 and older and Chinese people aged 45 and older has found that sleep deprivation (4 or less hours a night) and excessive sleep (10 or more hours a night) are both associated with faster cognitive decline than that seen in those who get an a...

What is it like to have COVID-19?

Published on Sep 14, 2020

This podcast from the Journal of the American Medical Association contains an extended interview with a young, athletic doctor who was diagnosed with COVID-19 in mid-March. He describes his symptoms, including intense body aches, high fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath a...

Home ergonomics

Published on Sep 11, 2020

As short-term working from home stop-gaps become long-term (and in some cases, permanent) arrangements, this helpful article on home ergonomics has advice about choosing the best location for the home-workstation (preview: the kitchen table is usually a bad idea), making the mos...

Yoga treats anxiety, but CBT does it better

Published on Aug 24, 2020

A new study has found that Kundalini yoga indeed improves symptoms for people with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), but it's not as effective as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Yoga can help calm anxiety, but for most patients CBT should remain the first-line treatment. ...

Fatigue and shortness of breath persist 2+ months post-COVID

Published on Aug 12, 2020

Around two months after discharge from hospital, 143 Italian COVID-19 survivors who had repeatedly been given a clean bill of health had their long-term recovery assessed by researchers. None of the patients had fever or any signs or symptoms of acute illness, but only 18 (12.6%...

Understanding physical and mental health risks for transport workers during COVID

Published on Jul 31, 2020

New York University's School of Global Public Health is embarking on a series of studies to evaluate the risks and impact of COVID-19 on transit workers, who have soldiered on through the pandemic to ensure that that doctors, nurses and other essential workers can get to work. I...

Which industries will face the most COVID claims?

Published on Jul 31, 2020

Healthcare and social services will likely see the majority of COVID-related workers' compensation claims, but other service industries, as well as agrictulture, food manufacture (hello, abbatoirs!) and the public service may also be hit harder than average. That's assuming Aust...

Workers recovering from COVID may face long-term challenges

Published on Jul 23, 2020

According to Daniel LeGoff: "The emerging data on the longer-term effects of COVID-19 on survivors is that some will have a long road ahead of them. The rehabilitation process...will involve numerous hurdles, including deconditioning, resulting in a need to strengthen skeletal a...

Spine surgery and opioids

Published on Jul 14, 2020

Spine surgery is sometimes necessary, but it doesn't always achieve its aims (especially reducing pain) and it brings considerable risks, including long-term opioid use. To wit: US research has recently found that spine surgery patients have the highest opioid prescription rate ...

Resilience helps reduce burnout, but doesn't prevent it

Published on Jul 14, 2020

A comparison of more than 5,000 US physicians with 5,000 members of the general working public found that physicians are more resilient than the average, and that this resilience protects against burnout. However, "burnout rates were substantial even among the most resilient phy...

More fit or less fit working from home? That depends on you...

Published on Jul 14, 2020

Here's the takeaway from an excellent article by Carol T Kulik and Ruchi Sinha on The Conversation: "Working from home is not always better or worse for an employee’s health than traditional office arrangements. It will be most beneficial when employees make wise decisions...

Are COVID restrictions also restricting RTW?

Published on Jun 16, 2020

A great piece from Andrea Buhl at Workers Comp Blogwire to help you strategise for RTW in a workplace still facing COVID-restrictions or related downsizing. Topics include the hunt for modified duties, addressing fear and anxiety, and enhanced screening. You may need to enter yo...

Yoga beats depression

Published on Jun 01, 2020

...and not just because it's more fun! A systematic review and meta-analysis of nearly twenty studies looking at the impact of yoga on mental disorders found that yoga reduces depression more than treatment as usual, no treatment and attention control (i.e. yoga-like meditation ...

Fouch! We messed up that pain management technique!

Published on May 26, 2020

More evidence that swearing is good for you (and forgivable in workers with painful injuries), as researchers confirm that the four-letter classics increase pain tolerance while made-up swear words (in this case "fouch" and "twizpipe") do not. A warning, don't follow the link if...

Mental health PPE for frontline workers in a pandemic

Published on May 04, 2020

Are you concerned about mitigating the potential for psychological-ill health for workers during the COVID-19 epidemic? Researchers at the London School of Economics and Political Science prescribe predictability, controllability, and threat reduction - with a generous side serv...

Cochrane has curated the reviews you need to read to safely manage remote work

Published on Mar 27, 2020

 Reviews evaluate the effects of interventions on the following topics: Staying active Optimising the work environment Prevention of eye problems due to computer use and Actions for pain of the lower back, neck, shoulders, arms ...

Virtual IMEs: pros and cons of what might become the new normal

Published on Mar 27, 2020

Many experts believe that independent medical examinations (IMEs) conducted in person are better than those conducted online, but according to one US judge, in the era of COVID-19, “The real issue is not what is absolutely best, but what is going to be sufficient". (You'll...

Pro tips to promote flourishing during a crisis

Published on Mar 24, 2020

Self-care is the key to thriving during crisis lock-down, according to expert advice fresh out of the UK.  ...

Beware loneliness and burnout when working from home

Published on Mar 24, 2020

Missing out on office cooler chat is an obvious consequence of remote work, but the lack of demarcation between working life and home life can also lead to burnout, Forbes warns. ...

Thriving in isolation: advice from outer space

Published on Mar 24, 2020

"Take it from someone who couldn't: go outside," begins this piece from International Space Station veteran, Scott Kelly. His tips for surviving isolation with your mental and physical health intact include setting a routine, keeping a journal and connecting with others as best ...

Bigwigs saying no to remote work?

Published on Mar 17, 2020

Using the power of the workplace collective and presenting clear and practical strategies for how it's all going to work can help persuade senior management to embrace the pandemic-curtailing benefits of remote work.  ...

Does teamwork hurt?

Published on Feb 24, 2020

A thousand US workers recently told researchers that teamwork hurts - and that there's no meaningful way to contribute in groups of six or more. Half of those surveyed said the biggest problem was different working styles. Women in particular tend to feel anxious when they hear ...

Trust versus surveillance - how insurer approaches shape compensation experiences

Published on Feb 24, 2020

Canadian journalist Jessica Peters has been unlucky enough to be involved in two traumatic accidents, entitling her to compensation under two different systems of insurance. One was adversarial, eventually resulting in a lump-sum payment; the other provided "immediate care and a...

UK sees surge in stress absence

Published on Feb 17, 2020

The number of notes issued by doctors saying someone is not fit to work due to stress-related disorders increased by 8% last year, according to research from UK law firm GQ Littler. Overall, certificates were up 4% from the previous year, but there was also an increase in d...

PTSD common for obstetricians and gynaecologists

Published on Feb 11, 2020

Two thirds of obstetricians and gynaecologists surveyed in Britain recently reported exposure to traumatic work-related events; 18% had clinically significant PTSD symptoms.  Professor Pauline Slade said, “Exposure to trauma in obstetrics and gynaecology is a work ...

Inclusive cultures and informal problem-solving cool workplace conflict

Published on Feb 11, 2020

Conflict at work is common, and negatively impacts a whole host of outcomes to do with wellness and performance. It can also derial RTW. According to Cecelia Amador at AllWork, good conflict management strategies include: Preventing problems by building an inclusive cul...

You kneed to get the timing right!

Published on Jan 28, 2020

For workers with knee osteoarthritis, timing matters. Rushing total knee replacement surgery brings risks but no benefits, whilst delaying too long increases the risk of chronic disability. After following nearly three and a half thousand US participants for 8 years, the Journal...

An Amazonian mess

Published on Jan 28, 2020

We missed this Amazon expose when it published two months ago, but it is worth catching up on. The Atlantic investigates the e-commerce giant with the notoriously busy warehouses, in an expose that has it all: robots, rigid productivity quotas, debates about LTIs, failed RTW and...

The latest on how doctors can foster real connection with patients

Published on Jan 13, 2020

Strong connections between doctors and patients are good for recovery. In this podcast from the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers discuss the latest research on "presence" - doctors who convey the impression that they're paying careful attention to their p...

Social support: does your work need to Fika-it-out?

Published on Dec 17, 2019

Two breaks a day for sweet treats, coffee and conversation with colleagues sounds eminently sensible to us. Apparently, the Swedes swear by it, in the form of the Fika tradition.  Erik Fjellborg runs workforce management company Quinyx. He claims that while Fika is good ...

When it comes to physical activity and cardiovascular risk, some work hurts

Published on Dec 03, 2019

Exercise more, we hear. It'll be good for your heart! But it may not be as simple as that, as new, very complex research makes clear(ish). Challenging, repetitive physical activity performed at work may actually increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, medical researchers ha...

Which jobs bring the highest suicide risk?

Published on Nov 19, 2019

You might expect to see first responders on the list of jobs with high rates of suicide amongst workers, but would you expect to see vets? Researchers in the US also identified construction workers, childcare workers, doctors (especially female doctors), nurses, restaurant worke...

Rising mental health tide at work lifts managers too

Published on Nov 19, 2019

Not sure whether workplace initiatives around mental health are worth the investment? Monica Bertilsson, Ph.D., a senior lecturer in Public Health Science at the University of Gothenburg's Sahlgrenska Academy, surveyed 4,737 mangers in Sweden to find out how their management ...

Adidas wants more sport at work

Published on Oct 22, 2019

When your raison d'etre (and bacon home-bringer) is making sports shoes, then it should come as no surprise that you're a fan of sport everywhere and anywhere. But we think Adidas might be onto something when it champions workplace sport as a way to relieve stress, reduce depres...

How to thrive with chronic illness

Published on Oct 08, 2019

Psychological flexibility is the key to thriving with chronic illness, according to Joseph Trunzo, clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at Bryant University. In a long, rich and empathetic article for Aeon Magazine, he lays out strategies for living well despite the...

Walking back to work after stroke

Published on Oct 08, 2019

Recovery from stroke is challenging and unpredictable, making it hard to build confidence and plan for RTW. Now researchers have developed a new prognostic tool, helping stroke survivors assess whether they're ready to get back on the job. There's no equipment needed, apart from...

Better recovery for Texan workers in medical networks

Published on Oct 08, 2019

Workers' compensation networks are a type of managed care plan. Employers who choose to use a workers’ compensation network buy coverage from an insurance company that either contracts directly with doctors and hospitals, or contracts with a certified network, for a panel ...

Grit, elite athletes and RTW

Published on Oct 04, 2019

Mental toughness is the capacity to keep performing despite challenges both ordinary and extraordinary. High-performing athletes tend to have it in spades, and it helps them bounce back after injury. So what can such athletes teach us about RTW? According to sports psychologi...

Fresh perspectives on the process of returning to work

Published on Sep 24, 2019

People take time off work for many reasons: injury, chronic illness, long-service leave, pregnancy and child-rearing, existential crises... If you're supporting a worker who's struggling with the transition back to work, sharing this article might help them think more creatively...

Lonely at work?

Published on Sep 10, 2019

If you thought your job was isolating, spare a thought for the Minister for Loneliness in the UK. But in all seriousness, workplace loneliness is a serious and growing problem. Workers who are different from their colleagues (older, for example, or the only woman in a predominan...

Depression rife in NZ workplaces, but more balanced employers help

Published on Aug 27, 2019

All employers have to strike a balance between productivity and concern for worker wellbeing. In New Zealand, researchers at Massey University have come up with a way to measure that balance, enabling benchmarking and comparison with other organisations. They call it the New Zea...

Robust survey identifies work factors linked to lower risks of mental illness and positive mental well-being

Published on Aug 12, 2019

An Institute for Work and Health study has added to an increasing body of evidence identifying work conditions linked with lower risks of mental illnesses amongst workers. Job control, job security and support at work are all factors that help to reduce the risks of anxiety...

Managers unsure how to respond when an employee returns after cancer treatment

Published on Jul 29, 2019

Research into European workplaces has shown that many managers are confused when it comes to managing an employee's return to work after cancer treatment. The research, published in the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation and led by Dr Kirsten Petersen highlighted the need...

Workplace trust is good for the heart - literally

Published on Jul 24, 2019

Workers who say that their workplace lacks trust are more likely to have cardiovascular risk factors (e.g. high cholesterol, high blood pressure) than workers who reporting a trusting environment, according to a study of more than 400,000 Americans. Reported in the Internat...

Don't go it alone on workplace wellbeing

Published on Jul 24, 2019

Most of us have given and received presents that just aren't the right fit. Employers sometimes do this too, when it comes to workplace wellbeing programs. "Research shows that forging partnerships across sectors increases the likelihood that health-related programs and proje...

Depression, anger, anxiety: Cutting back on opioids unleashes the beast

Published on Jul 24, 2019

Opioid dependency and overuse are dangerous side-effects of some workplace injuries, but cutting back on opioids is no picnic either. On top of the physical symptoms of withdrawal, many injured workers will experience psychological difficulties too. The reason? Opioids flood the...

Crowd-funding success for a film about mind-body treatments for chronic pain

Published on Jul 24, 2019

With an Indiegogo campaign that exceeded its original target and a filmmaker sharing his own - and other's - stories of recovery from chronic pain, new documentary This Might Hurt has a grassroots, genuine and relatable feel. The film follows Dr. Howard Schubiner’s work...

Scholarships for the kids of injured workers

Published on Jul 24, 2019

Believe it or not, it's not all mad or bad news out of the ol' US of A. In fact, we're pleased to report that there are 44 state-based scholarship organisations in America that raise and disburse tuition aid to the family members of injured workers, enabling more than 650 kids t...

After work injury, are people more vulnerable to suicide and death from drug overdose?

Published on Jul 24, 2019

Researchers in the US have called for an increased focus on preventing workplace injury and improving health care for injured workers, after a new study links suicides and overdose deaths to workplace injury.  The study, led by Boston University academics,  looked at d...

Burnout gets workplace makeover from World Health Organisation

Published on Jun 18, 2019

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stressed the work-relatedness of burnout, insisting that it's not a disease but an occupational phenomenon / syndrome. According to WHO, burnout has three key characteristics: Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, Increas...

The dirt on cleaning, work and asthma

Published on Jun 18, 2019

Some ingredients in cleaning products put workers at risk of developing work-related asthma (WRA). At the Centre for Research Expertise in Occupational Disease in Toronto, Canada, researchers delved into a clinical database of 208 workers with WRA. They found that a variety of c...

Five things the Institute for Work and Health wants you to know about RTW

Published on Jun 18, 2019

Our friends in Canada at the Institute for Work and Health (IWH) have compiled a list of five things they think you need to know about RTW... RTW programs should tick at least three boxes, offering injured workers support in the form of health services, case coordination a...

Managing work injury AND other health conditions

Published on Jun 04, 2019

When an injured worker is also grappling with another injury or health condition, costs go up and work absence and disability are prolonged. According to 2016 research from the US, claims with comorbidities had "a 76% increase in claim duration, a 341% increase in incurred costs...

Tuning into workplace wellness

Published on May 27, 2019

Singing in a choir provides a sense of interconnectedness, leading to relaxation and euphoria according to research from the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Science in northern Germany. So perhaps it's not surprising that some employers are encouraging the formation of work cho...

Digital CBT works for insomnia

Published on May 24, 2019

The "always on" digital work and entertainment culture is often blamed for our collective sleep problem, but new research from America demonstrates that digital treatment can actually reduce insomnia and improve quality of life. A rigorous study published in highly reputable jou...

Baby boomers need same workplace supports, chronic disease or no

Published on May 20, 2019

Flex-time and tele-work  benefit older workers with chronic disease and those without, according to research published by the Institute of Work and Health (IWH) in Canada. According to IWH Senior Scientist Dr. Monique Gignac, "This study reminds us to stop focusing exclu...

Worker wellbeing increases with age

Published on May 20, 2019

While many of us look back on our younger selves with some degree of envy - that waistline! those smooth and rosy cheeks! - who amongst us really wants to be young again? The drama, the uncertainty, the angst: ugh, no thanks. Researchers who surveyed 10,000 workers in 131 cou...

What should mental health professionals know about pain?

Published on Apr 05, 2019

Most mental health professionals aren't experts on pain but psychiatric researchers Sara Edmond, Alicia Heapy and Robert Kearns believe they should all be worded-up enough to incorporate the following pain management techniques into treatment, as appropriate: "assessing pain, in...

Older workers more at risk from opioids

Published on Mar 29, 2019

Opioids are commonly prescribed to injured workers and although they can help with pain management they also come with a host of risks and side-effects, including addiction and misuse. Follow the link to access the summary of a recent webinar hosted by  Dr Teresa Bartlett f...

Comprehensive advice: RTW after cancer

Published on Mar 22, 2019

An Irish organisation, the Marie Keating Foundation, has put together an excellent series of tips for people returning to work after recovering from cancer. Here's an example: "After a lengthy leave of absence from the workplace, you will no doubt be questioned about you...

Watch this space: definitive review of workplace role in osteoarthritis is coming

Published on Mar 19, 2019

Deciding what role - if any - workplace factors play in the development of osteoarthritis (OA) has traditionally been a tough call. Canada to the rescue! Our post-colonial buddies are shortly to publish a review of the evidence conducted by the Institute of Work and Health (IWH)...

Solo physician or group effort: which diagnosis will be more accurate?

Published on Mar 10, 2019

One of the challenges of contentious workers' compensation claims is that the worker will likely end up with multiple diagnoses from various health practitioners - second and third opinions, as well as Independent Medical Examinations (IMEs). This can be stressful for the worker...

RTW "aftershock": is it on your radar?

Published on Feb 26, 2019

This is a new one for us - the idea that workers face a kind of "aftershock" when attempting to return after a long absence. Changes in the workplace, as well as changes in their own capacities, can be difficult, physically and emotionally. Managers can help by providing feedbac...

Supportive workplace and positive attitude help RTW with mental illness

Published on Feb 26, 2019

Researchers in England and Sweden have done us all a solid, summarising the results of nearly 80 studies that examine factors affecting sustainable return to work after common mental health conditions.  They found that workers were best placed for a sustainable return to...

How to reduce mental health stigma at work

Published on Feb 26, 2019

The Harvard Business Review has five tips for reducing mental health stigma at work... Pay attention to language - if you throw around phrases like “Mr. OCD is at it again — organizing everything” you're actually contributing to stigma, and reducing ...

Workplace stigma and mental health

Published on Feb 11, 2019

From an interview with UC Berkeley and UCSF professor, and internationally recognized psychologist, Stephen Hinshaw: “If we are in the default position where it’s too shameful to talk about, we’re lost. We have to get away from the noxious default that you can ...

Back injury, addiction and RTW

Published on Feb 11, 2019

In this report from Minneapolis, work injury kicks off a bad-to-worse sequence, in which a meat cutter with a bad back moves from painkiller misuse to a heroin addiction. But work is also playing a role in re-establishing sobriety, with Johnny Petty describing the sense of pride...

Exercise protects against depression - but don't ask me to measure it!

Published on Feb 01, 2019

We've long been aware that people who exercise more tend to be less depressed. But does this mean that exercise prevents depression, or that depression prevents exercise? Drawing on genetic and other data from 611 ,583 adult participants in the UK Biobank Study, ingenio...

Who announces 2019 focus on mental health at work?

Published on Jan 29, 2019

The WHO does. (Sorry.) The World Health Organisation invites you to subscribe to their newsletter so that you can stay up to date with a new initiative: the development of guidelines addressing mental health at work. According to Dr Devora Kestle, Director of Mental Health ...

Workplace harassment hurts physical and mental health

Published on Jan 24, 2019

Follow the link for an enlightening interview with Professor Rebecca Thurston, head of the Women’s Biobehavioral Health Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. Based on recent research, she says that non-smoking women with a history of workplace sexual harassment are t...

One mental health disorder leads to another, research suggests

Published on Jan 22, 2019

A huge Danish study that followed 5,940,778 individuals over 15 years found that co-morbid mental disorders were pervasive. In other words, after an individual receives a diagnosis of a specific mental disorder, they have a significantly higher risk of developing other mental di...

Do employers gaslight workers when they preach safety but demand productivity?

Published on Dec 06, 2018

The Guardian has published the diary of an anonymous Amazon warehouse worker, who describes being "gaslit" by the online shopping giant. According to the diary, Amazon tells new workers that safety is the number one priority in the businesses, but also makes unreasonable product...

Pain management is a struggle - even for an expert...

Published on Dec 06, 2018

Bear with us as we channel a banjo-plucking frog: It's not easy, feeling pain.  Kevin F. Boehnke, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, shares his personal experience of coming to terms with ongoing physical pain. Boehnke de...

Will digitising medical care make things more efficient, or destroy helpful human bonds?

Published on Nov 19, 2018

In the New Yorker, surgeon and public health researcher  Atul Gawande takes a deep dive into the ongoing digitisation of healthcare, concluding that: "We ultimately need systems that make the right care simpler for both patients and professionals, not more complicat...

Ok, opioids are a problem. But how do we get people off problem medication?

Published on Nov 15, 2018

Like a rock rolling down a hill, once a person starts taking a prescription medication it can be hard to halt their progress - even if that medication is harmful or unhelpful. Medical researchers Michael A. Steinman, MD and C. Seth Landefield MD describe it is a form of med...

The mental health costs of no paid sick leave

Published on Nov 06, 2018

American workers who don't have access to paid sick leave "are more likely to worry about paying their monthly bills, achieving their long-term retirement goals or being prepared for an illness or accident," according to a new study from researchers at...

Netflix's keeper test: ruthless or radically effective?

Published on Oct 30, 2018

The Wall Street Journal recently published a (subscriber-only) article about Netflix, which is famous for it's keeper test. The test mandates that the company "keep only our highly effective people". A few years ago, Patty McCord, Netflix's original HR chief...

Digital treatment effective for insomnia

Published on Oct 04, 2018

Those of you looking for solutions after our coverage of the ill-effects of poor sleep on work and RTW, take hope. Digital treatment of insomnia is cost-effective, flexible, scalable and - best of all - effective, according to a new study with 1711 participants. The researche...

Denying then accepting a claim increases cost 55%

Published on Sep 17, 2018

US insurance broker Lockton Companies has released a report showing that "67 percent of denied claims convert to paid claims within a year" and that denying "then approving claims increases costs 55 percent over claims paid without first getting denied". T...

Why is sedentary work tiring?

Published on Sep 10, 2018

UK researchers tracked 12 nurses over two 12-hour shifts, and found that there was no correlation between physical activity and feelings of fatigue. Nor was there a correlation between job demands and fatigue. Instead, nurses who were least likely to feel fatigued from t...

Benefits of activity trackers at work

Published on Sep 10, 2018

According to Ron Goldstein in Forbes magazine, fitness trackers in the workplace provide numerous benefits including: a culture focused on health and wellbeing, enhanced chronic disease management and allowing employers to incentivise healthy habits. If workers actually becom...

With staff and students at risk, how can universities promote better health?

Published on Aug 28, 2018

Regardless of where you work, there's food for thought in the health and wellbeing approach advocated by Brad White and Matthew Winslade in this article on The Conversation, which describes new approaches to better living and working on campus. ...

Always-on email culture linked to anxiety

Published on Aug 17, 2018

Workers and family members experience more anxiety and negative feelings when employers expect emails to be monitored during non-work hours, according to a new study from Virginia Tech.  “Unlike work-related demands that deplete employee resources, physical a...

When depression follows another chronic illness...

Published on Aug 14, 2018

The emotional pain of living with a chronic health condition can seriously impact quality of life, even if the health condition is a physical one.  Some people find that they develop another chronic condition - depression - in the wake of the first. Bustle has colle...

Smart talking managers see less work absence

Published on Aug 09, 2018

A Scottish branch of the Uk's National Health Service (NHS) employing 24,000 people saw a drop in the frequency and duration of sickness absence after establishing an in-house mediation service. Sixty-five managers, selected via a rigorous recruitment program, were traine...

Depressed workers who talk up are more productive

Published on Jul 31, 2018

Workers who feel free to communicate up the management chain about their depression take less time off and are more productive when they're at work, according to research from the London School Of Economics. The researchers talked to 1000 researchers from 15 different cou...

Job engagement reduces workaholic health risks

Published on Jul 27, 2018

The Japanese have a name for the phenomena for unhealthy workaholism: karoshi, which means death from overwork. Working long hours has been linked to stroke, heart disease, mental health problems, diabetes, and abnormal heart rhythms. But new research suggests that long ...

Work-life balance tips for busy, client-facing professionals

Published on Jun 29, 2018

Forbes has published a fantastic set of tips for employers in the finance industry, aiming to help them help finance workers achieve a good balance between work life and home life. With a little tweaking, we reckon the tips are applicable for other professionals in a client-f...

Fatal pair: job strain and chronic illness

Published on Jun 19, 2018

A 14-year study reported in The Guardian has found that "...men with diabetes, heart disease, or who had previously suffered a stroke, were 68% more likely to die over the course of the study if they had demanding jobs with little control over their workload." ...

Travelling away from good health...

Published on Jun 05, 2018

Curiosity piqued by the paucity of post-conference food choices available on his work-related travels (typical dinner options: pizza or fast food!), Andrew Rundle (Associate Professor of Epidemiology in the Mailman School of Public Health) wanted to know whether people who ar...

Do perks and gimmicks keep us happy at work?

Published on Jun 05, 2018

No, say Gary Cooper and Ivan Robertson, who are both Professors of Organisational Psychology at the University of Manchester, and directors of workplace wellbeing provider Robertson Cooper Ltd. Rather: "There is a real difference between happiness gimmicks and working in...

Underestimating depression and burnout

Published on May 08, 2018

The path for trainee surgeons is a difficult one: learning on the job is more stressful in this role than most (the stakes are so high!), shift work predominates and the hours can be extremely long. So it comes as a surprise that both surgeons and surgical trainees under...

What's the worst quality a boss can have?

Published on May 08, 2018

We all have our pet peeves, but according to US workplace culture and compensation data-crunchers Comparably, many of us haaaaaaate micromanaging bosses. In an online survey of 2,248 anonymous workers, 39% said being a micromanager was the worse trait a boss could have. Other...

Don't "tell all" about mental health at work

Published on Apr 10, 2018

Barbara Ricci was once the managing director of UBS and Deutsche Bank, and she's now senior advisor in behavioral health at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy in the School of Social Policy & Practice and a board member at the N...

Back pain mismanagement in the news

Published on Mar 23, 2018

Australian researchers are part of the team behind an international "fact check" on the ins and outs of back pain thanks to new research published in Lancet. Monash University researcher, Professor Rachelle Buchbinder, says a radical shift in thinking is requi...

Care workers get creative about health at work

Published on Mar 23, 2018

Thanks to shift work, a lack of breaks and poor access to healthy food during working hours, care workers can struggle to live a healthy life. To fight the unhealthy trend, care workers in the UK are getting creative: crashing yoga classes, seated workouts and games of "...

Royal gateway for workplace mental health

Published on Mar 09, 2018

The young royals of the UK have announced a new mental health initiative: a website and online training tools to support wellbeing in the workplace. According to the Huffington Post UK, the website will host an "employer gateway and online training to equ...

Light up our (working) lives

Published on Mar 07, 2018

The oracle of the Cochrane Systematic Review has spoken: the research on lighting and wellbeing and performance at work is still in the dark ages. Despite describing the available research as of low to very low quality, the authors of the review found some evidence that: ...

Workplace communication key to wellbeing

Published on Feb 12, 2018

Health and happiness at work depends on good communication, according to CEO insights in the linked article from Raconteur.net. For example: "Lawrence Jones, chief executive of Manchester-based cloud computing and hosting company UKFast, has put employee wellbeing ...

Mathematical model to predict compensable injury

Published on Feb 12, 2018

A mathematical model of all human muscles and bones may soon be available to help physical therapists and clinicians predict compensable injuries and help patients avoid them. According to the researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Haverford College who are develop...

Doctors urged to ask, "What matters to you?"

Published on Feb 12, 2018

The American Medical Association is urging doctors to ask their patients, "What matters to you?" instead of focusing on "What's the matter?". The tactic is particularly effective for patients with chronic conditions. According to the AMA Wire, doc...

Unequal pay for equal work hurts

Published on Jan 29, 2018

Job satisfaction, productivity and wellbeing all "shatter" when a worker finds out that someone performing a similar role is being paid more: and the impact is the worst for people high up in the organisational chain. “When you realise a colleague is high...

Boosting cameraderie at work

Published on Jan 29, 2018

Having a best friend in the office makes work more enjoyable, productive, according to a survey of 120 UK companies, conducted by employee engagement provider Wildgoose. The research showed that cameraderie was valued more highly by women than men: 61% of workers would choose...

Sexual harassment causes physical as well as psychological damage

Published on Jan 16, 2018

A study published in the Journal of Community Health, looks at the results of a national survey on the influence of sexual harassment on the victim’s mental and physical health. Findings indicate how stress can lead to unhealthy behaviours and can lead to “chronic...

The right to ‘disconnect’ – Lessons from France on avoiding burn out

Published on Jan 16, 2018

One year after the French Government implemented a law requiring companies with 50 or more employees to ‘reduce the intrusion of work into private lives’, this article explores the lessons that can be drawn from the intervention to reduce the impact of stress and ...

Research review shows Surgeons at high risk of work-related MSDs

Published on Jan 16, 2018

Another example of how the stress of long hours in “cramped, awkward positions” can increase the risk of temporary and sometimes permanent work disability. Ergonomists cited in the review compare a surgeon’s work environment and risk levels for work-related ...

How to choose a mental health app

Published on Dec 18, 2017

Did you know that there are now more than 10,000 self-help apps for anxiety and depression? Or that many of these apps go unregulated by any medical body? The American Psychiatric Association sees a lot of potential benefit in the realm of digital mental health, but also pote...

Sexism, unwanted attention and harassment bad for health

Published on Dec 18, 2017

"Women can come to dread work," Los Angeles psychologist, Debra Borys, told WebMD. "It affects their concentration. They can become depressed and feel helpless." Physical problems can include headaches and stomach aches. Ann McFadyen, associate professor o...

Family / employer contact vital for burns victims

Published on Dec 15, 2017

“Spending two weeks in bed is the equivalent of aging ten years as far as your muscles and metabolism,” Jeffrey Saffle told the audience at Surviving the Un-survivable: Optimal Clinical and Claims Outcomes in Severe Burn Cases, in Las Vegas. During the presentatio...

Benefits of mental illness at work

Published on Dec 04, 2017

Ever heard of the curb cut effect? It's when "designs intended to benefit people with disabilities often end up benefiting everyone. The curb cut (i.e. a wedge cut into an elevated curb), was originally designed to make sidewalks accessible to wheelchair users. Howev...

The latest on sexual harassment at work

Published on Nov 20, 2017

The President of the American Psychological Association says that "Sexual harassment in the workplace is a significant occupational health psychology problem." He also says that if we want to eradicate the problem, we need to get better at identifying those lik...

Workplace wellness in Romania

Published on Oct 23, 2017

Across the European Union, Romanian workplaces have the highest scores for mental vitality, motivation, staff retention and productivity as measured by the Global Employee Engagement Index. What sets Romania apart? According to Stella Photi of Wellbeing Escapes, Romanian busi...

Happy world mental health day!

Published on Oct 09, 2017

World Mental Day happens annually on October 10. This year, the World Health Organisation wants us all to focus on mental health at work. The legal experts at Lexology say that employers often take a "bury the head in the sand" approach with struggling employees bec...

NZ gets noisy about noise

Published on Sep 29, 2017

Sustained workplace noise increases stress, decreases productivity and can compromise safety - so WorkSafe NZ is drawing attention to companies that are proactive about reducing it. Metco Engineering has managed to reduce noise on the manufacturing floor by 30%, using vibrati...

You better take this news sitting down

Published on Sep 18, 2017

We all know that sedentary work is associated with negative health outcomes; new Canadian research suggests that standing all day at work is bad for us too.  The research, which looked at workers over a 12-year period, found that people who primarily stand on the j...

Corporate wellness in eight steps

Published on Sep 11, 2017

According to HRSoftware, corporate wellness is just eight steps away: Customise Use data to identify what needs to be done Use data to track progress Foster an active culture Match communication channels to employee communication hab...

Find time for a spoonful of sugar at work

Published on Sep 11, 2017

Bums on seats does not necessarily lead to productive working days for all. Presenteeism is one of the scourges of mental ill health.  New research suggests that bringing some positivity into the office could be the answer. According to The Conversation UK: ...

Opioid addiction and worklessness

Published on Sep 11, 2017

Little pills can cause big problems. According to Goldman Sachs courtesy of the New Yorker, in the US "fewer prime working-age men are participating in the labor force than in the past, and ...many of these men have been found to be taking prescription pain medicat...

Mental health: Men point finger at work

Published on Aug 14, 2017

Men are more likely to blame work for mental health problems than women, but less likely to speak up and ask for help, according to research from UK foundation MIND. Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at Mind, said, "Many men work in industries where a macho cu...

Lady Gaga wants you to be kind at work

Published on Jul 31, 2017

Hello, clickbait! But it's true: according to research from Born This Way, a research foundation established by Lady Gaga, mental wellness is majorly impacted by a person’s proximity to kindness and people who behave kindly including at work. As reported ...

Psychological safety and physical safety linked

Published on Jul 31, 2017

Experts in Canada are calling on the construction industry to come to grips with psychological injuries, pointing to a link between psychological safety and physical safety. According to health and safety consultant Jeff Lyth, swearing, bullying and harrassment are not ...

Is the move towards 'mental health days' bad for privacy?

Published on Jul 18, 2017

Lately we've come across several articles praising the concept of a "mental health day". Here's an Australian example. The link in the heading represents a contrasting point of view, from a Canadian magazine that argues that the explanation "I don't...

Cautionary tales from a spine surgeon

Published on Jul 07, 2017

Pain is more unbearable when people are experiencing stress and this can be enough to persuade people to have unecessary spine operations, according to US surgeon David Hanscom. He shares a "road to Damascus" moment, describing how he revolutionised his own practice...

Liberty Mutual research centre closes

Published on Jun 16, 2017

Recently the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety closed. We've brought you a lot of information from this fantastic resource, especially its Centre for Disability Research, and we'll continue to search the back catalogue for relevant RTW gems. In the meantime...

"Improbable beliefs" about chronic pain linked to US opiate deaths

Published on May 05, 2017

In 2015, 33,091 Americans died by overdosing on opioids, the most fatalities from all categories of drugs. Although many of these deaths were heroin-related, experts estimate that 80% of heroin users start their habit with prescription opioids - and "improbable beli...

Interaction needed to do wellbeing training well

Published on Apr 10, 2017

Online training packs more wellbeing punch when it is combined with interactive elements, according to research recently released by a UK team based at the Universities of East Anglia, Sheffield, Reading and Essex. The researchers will now examine the cost-effectiveness ...

Work has to be good to counteract ill-effects of unemployment

Published on Mar 27, 2017

A systematic review of research from the UK, Germany, Australia and the United States shows that the ill-effects of unemployment can be counteracted by work - but that work has to be good. According to Professor Sara Connolly, one of the study authors: “Unemployment is ...

Workplace wellness assessed by health experts and employers

Published on Mar 27, 2017

US employers believe that workplace wellness programs improve employee health, performance and productivity. But according to Ron Z. Goetzel, director of the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health an...

Psychologists recognise excellence in workplace wellbeing

Published on Mar 22, 2017

The American Psychological Association has named Prudential Financial as the recipient of its Organizational Excellence Award, designed to recognize organisations for their efforts to foster employee well-being while enhancing organisational performance. According to PR ...

American footballers launch class action around work, pain and prescription painkillers

Published on Mar 22, 2017

Earlier this month, the Washington Post gained access to a sealed court filing of a class action lawsuit representing 1800 ex-players in America's National Football League. According to Louisa Thomas in the New Yorker, the action alleges that "teams violated sta...

Mental health concerns for PR professionals

Published on Mar 13, 2017

You could argue that it's a recipe for stress and ill-health. "In communications and public relations there’s no longer a clear distinction between work and play, day and night, " writes academic and PR professional, Stephen Waddington. "M...

Do office workers design the happiest, most productive workplaces?

Published on Feb 22, 2017

We loved the insights in this article, which challenges the contemporary fashion for carefully top-down designed office spaces, asking "What if the ideal office isn’t the coolest or the most aesthetically visionary? What if the ideal office is the one, dog pictures...

Workplace psychologist explains mental health safety at work

Published on Feb 08, 2017

Jennifer Newman, a Canadian workplace psychologist, believes that organisations fail to protect workers from mental health problems because bosses tend to see mental illnesses like depression and anxiety as purely personal problems. "If we focus mainly on anxiety a...

Skate ramps for workplace wellness!

Published on Feb 08, 2017

Some UK SMEs have a creative take on workplace wellness, according to this piece from the Guardian: a meeting room that doubles as a skate ramp, a "calming" office dog, a communal worm farm and more.  ...

How many times does an injured worker return to work?

Published on Jan 30, 2017

According to a recent presentation by Dr. Christopher McLeod at the Institute for Work and Health, RTW is not a one-off event but rather a trajectory that may be short or long, simple or complex.  He presents key demographic, clinical and work characteristics that ...

Job redesign and sick leave go hand in hand

Published on Jan 30, 2017

Two thirds of Canadian workers have experienced organisational change at their current workplace and 40% say that it had a negative impact on their health and wellbeing, according to new research from HR consultancy Morneau Shepell. "We have found that among the ty...

An enlightening take on wellness at work

Published on Jan 30, 2017

Winter seems far, far away at the moment but, as loyal Game of Thrones fans know, it is definitely coming. When it arrives, workers who suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or even just the garden-variety afternoon slump could benefit from light therapy. Accord...

Short, regular walks improve worker wellbeing

Published on Jan 16, 2017

The Age reports on new research that shows that "standing up and walking around for five minutes every hour during the workday could lift your mood, combat lethargy without reducing focus and attention, and even dull hunger pangs". The research measured perfor...

"Work related, I presume?" Canada takes mental health claims in good faith

Published on Jan 16, 2017

Canadian province Saskatchewan has removed the need for workers with psychological injuries to prove that their injury is work-related, going a step further than other Canadian provinces which assume work-relatedness only for PTSD. “We know the stigma attached to ...

More American workers say "Namaste"

Published on Jan 16, 2017

Yoga practice amongst US workers almost doubled between 2002 and 2012, with 11% now saying to "Namaste" according to a new study reported by Time Magazine, and initially published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease. Meditation rates also increased, from ...

UK mental health initiative focuses on work, not hospitals

Published on Jan 16, 2017

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced a new partnership between government and employers to improve mental health support in the workplace. Lord Dennis Stevenson and Paul Farmer, who is Chief Executive of mental health charity, Mind, will collaborate with the private an...

Viva la disconnect!

Published on Jan 16, 2017

French organisations employing more than 50 workers are now required to negotiate with employees regarding their rights to "switch off" from work. According to the Guardian newspaper, the "right to disconnect " law came about because of a government-c...

Health costs of paying women less

Published on Dec 19, 2016

The gender pay gap may contribute to problems with physical and mental health according to studies from Australia and the US. As reported on The Conversation, a "recent United States study investigated the role of the gender pay gap on depression and anxiety, match...

Prince William wants us to talk about workplace stress

Published on Dec 12, 2016

Prince William has urged employers to create an environment in which talking about "feeling a bit 'down'" is no harder than admitting to having a cold, during an address to business leaders on behalf of the charity Heads Together.  "Work, as ...

Look out for these workplace mental health mistakes

Published on Dec 05, 2016

The Mental Health Commission of Canada wants employers to make the most of their investment in workplace mental health by avoiding common mistakes including: failing to offer ongoing and integrated initiatives; introducing initiatives without basing th...

Participatory ergonomics reduces MSDs by 30% at Canadian utility

Published on Oct 17, 2016

Ten years ago, Kitchener Wilmot Hydro, a utility company in Canada that now employs about 180 people and serves 91,000 homes and businesses, took part in a research project targeting musculoskeletal injuries. The project focused on participatory ergonomics, a method for preve...

Unpredictable schedules bad for employee health

Published on Oct 03, 2016

Retail workers with more stable working schedules and longer lead-times before shifts have better physical and psychological health, a US study has found. Associate Professor Kristen Harknett used Facebook to recruit nearly 6,000 retail workers aged 18 to 50. After contr...

Globally mobile employees need wellness, too!

Published on Oct 03, 2016

"From apps to employee assistance programmes, forward-thinking employers are using a range of ways to support the wellbeing of their international assignees, expatriates and business travellers," writes Relocate Magazine. Helping globally mobile workers acclimatise ...

Britain's Healthiest Workplaces now come in all sizes

Published on Sep 18, 2016

Each year VitalityHealth, the University of Cambridge, RAND Europe and Mercer survey UK employers and employees to determine Britain's Healthiest Workplaces. In 2016, the awards have recognised Nomura International Plc as the healthiest large workplace, adidas U...

Pizza Hut to tackle mental health stigma

Published on Sep 18, 2016

Pizza Hut will offer staff training tackling stigma in the workplace, after teaming up with Mental Health UK to survey hospitality industry workers about mental health. The survey revealed that 93% of employees in the sector felt uncomfortable talking to their boss about...

$50 billion and counting: Canada estimates cost of NOT treating mental illness

Published on Sep 04, 2016

According to the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Healthcare, unmet mental healthcare needs cost the Canadian economy billions of dollars in lost productivity - and employers have an important role to play in fixing the problem. “A large proportion of working Cana...

Happy music has workers dancing to the same beat

Published on Aug 28, 2016

A new study finds that listening to music in the workplace can promote co-worker cooperation and support - but not any song will do. The hard rockers amongst us may be disappointed to learn that, when it comes to team-work inducing tunes, heavy metal loses out to positive, up...

Canada wins workplace wellness gold with Office Olympics

Published on Aug 21, 2016

The Office Olympics were held in Canada last week, with employees at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans competing in events including chair rowing, cardboard 'boxing' and 'wasketball'. “In order for team morale to be high and to have ...

Rock Stars: a dangerous biz

Published on Jun 29, 2015

A researcher at the University of Sydney has found that between 1940 and 2014, the lifespans for musicians were up to 25 years shorter than the comparable US population. They were also found to be at greater risk of suicide, homicide and accidents. She questioned which other ...

Tutor: injured while teaching chainsaw course

Published on Jun 28, 2015

A New Zealand college has been ordered to pay $40,000 to a tutor after an incident occurred on his first day at work. He was teaching chainsaw operations as part of a forest operations course. Tree felling was not a part of the course. The tutor was severely injured when crus...

Posties & home insurance: When a dog bites...

Published on May 24, 2015

In the US, bites and other injuries caused by dogs account for more than one third of all home insurance claims according to a report from the Insurance Information Institute. Although claims numbers are falling, the cost of claims continues to increase. California appears to...

Depression puts low-income population at even greater risk for obesity and poor nutrition

Published on Mar 16, 2015

In a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers from the RAND Corporation report that for people receiving food assistance there are significant links between depression, poor dietary quality, and high body mass index (BMI). Depressi...

"Perfect storm" of stress, depression may raise risk of death, heart attack for heart patients

Published on Mar 16, 2015

The combination of stress and heavy depression can significantly increase heart patient’s risk of death or heart attack, according to new research. The study examined the effect of high stress levels and high depressive symptoms among nearly 5,000 heart patients. Resear...

New work schedule could cure your "social jetlag"

Published on Mar 16, 2015

Many of us are walking around all the time in a fog caused by "social jetlag." That's what happens when we lose sleep because our daily schedules don't match our bodies' natural rhythms. The condition can be a particular problem for shift workers, who wo...

Heart valve repair lowers anxiety, depression

Published on Mar 09, 2015

 Patients with severe mitral regurgitation (MR) often suffer from psycho-emotional symptoms, such as depression and anxiety, but after undergoing mitral valve repair surgery patients experience a marked improvement in emotional and physical wellbeing, according to an art...

Mindfulness-based stress reduction improving quality of life for overweight patients

Published on Mar 09, 2015

A treatment known as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) may decrease fasting glucose and improve quality of life in overweight and obese women, new research suggests. MBSR is a secular mindfulness meditation program that was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD at the...

40 per cent of UK employers see sickness absence rates improve

Published on Mar 09, 2015

Two in five (40%) UK employers have seen sickness absence rates improve over the past 12 months, according to research. Just under two-thirds (62%) of respondents said that the reduction in absence rates was down to good morale in the workplace. The research found that return...

Pain a significant challenge when it comes to sleep

Published on Mar 09, 2015

A new poll by the National Sleep Foundation finds that pain is a key factor in the gap between the amount of sleep Americans say they need and the amount they’re getting – an average 42 minute sleep debt for those with chronic pain and 14 minutes for those who&rsq...

Workplace Lifestyle Intervention Program improves health, reduces diabetes and heart disease

Published on Mar 09, 2015

 A healthy lifestyle intervention program administered at the workplace and developed by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health significantly reduces risk factors for diabetes and heart disease, according to a study reported in the March issue of t...

Twin study lends new insights into link between back pain and depression

Published on Mar 02, 2015

Genetic factors help to explain the commonly found association between low back pain and depression, suggests a large study of twins in the March issue of PAIN. Questionnaire responses from over 2,100 twins were analysed to determine whether participants with symptoms of depr...

Workplace negativity can hurt productivity

Published on Mar 02, 2015

Employees who point out problems in the office may help the company improve, but could be hurting themselves in the process. Such negative-minded workers are more likely to become mentally fatigued and defensive and experience a drop-off in production, according to a new stud...

Meditation can reduce chronic neck pain

Published on Mar 02, 2015

Meditation might be an effective treatment for reducing chronic neck pain, according to research reported in The Journal of Pain. Chronic neck pain can lead to serious comorbidities like depression. Patients with chronic neck pain frequently experience distress. Meditation ha...

UK 'Fit note' linked to fewer people taking long term sick leave

Published on Mar 02, 2015

There is some evidence that the UK ‘fit note,’ which replaced the ‘sick note’ in 2010 in the UK, is linked to fewer people taking long term sick leave of 12 or more weeks, reveals research published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine. ...

Patients with mental illness less likely to receive diet, exercise advice

Published on Mar 02, 2015

More than half of patients with symptoms of mental illness - and nearly one-third of those who also had diabetes - said their health care providers had never told them to exercise or reduce their intake of dietary fat, according to a new study. People with mental illness have...

How stress can lead to inequality

Published on Feb 23, 2015

Stress is a staple of our lives today, and we know intuitively that it can influence our confidence in competing with others. But how exactly does stress do that? Scientists have found that stress can even be a cause of social inequality rather than just a consequence of it. ...

Treadmill desks offer limited benefits, pose challenges in the workplace

Published on Feb 23, 2015

Treadmill desks can help overweight or obese office workers get out of their chairs and get moving, but a 12-week study by an Oregon State University researcher found that the increase in physical activity was small and did not help workers meet public health guidelines for d...

Workplace bullying a vicious circle

Published on Feb 23, 2015

A study published today reveals a ‘spiral’ of abuse in which the victims of bullying become anxious, leaving them less able to stand up for themselves and more vulnerable to further harassment. The research suggests that employers should not only crack down on wor...

Stress linked to worse recovery in women after heart attack

Published on Feb 23, 2015

Young and middle-aged women experience more stress than their male counterparts, which could contribute to worse recovery from acute myocardial infarction, according to a new study. “Women tend to report greater stress and more stressful life events than men, potentiall...

Higher mortality risk in individuals with mental health disorders

Published on Feb 16, 2015

Individuals with mental health disorders have a risk of mortality that is two times higher than the general population or than individuals without such disorders, according to a study published online by JAMA Psychiatry. The link between mental health disorders and mortality ...

How mindfulness training affects health

Published on Feb 16, 2015

Over the past decade, there have been many encouraging findings suggesting that mindfulness training can improve a broad range of mental and physical health problems. Yet, exactly how mindfulness positively impacts health is not clear. Carnegie Mellon University’s J. Da...

Depression: a barrier to communication in couples?

Published on Feb 16, 2015

A massive 6.7% of the US population are affected by depressive disorders. As well as pessimism, irritability, pain and exhaustion, depression is also proven to affect communication and ability to maintain relationships. Depressed individuals are known to withdraw from negativ...

Higher opioid doses associated with depression increase

Published on Feb 16, 2015

Patients who increased doses of opioid medicines to manage chronic pain were more likely to experience an increase in depression, according to Saint Louis University findings in Pain. Previous research had found depression to be linked with patients' opioid use, but this ...

Widening health inequalities among adolescents internationally

Published on Feb 09, 2015

Over the past decade, rising national wealth across high-income countries has contributed to some improvements in health and well-being among adolescents. But the gap in health between rich and poor has widened, an international study of nearly half a million adolescents from...

Acute psychological stress reduces ability to withstand physical pain

Published on Feb 09, 2015

New research finds that although pain thresholds and pain tolerance seemed unaffected by stress, there was a significant increase in pain intensification and a decrease in pain inhibition capabilities. "Stress can have positive repercussions in a challenging work environ...

Employees may avoid talking about work-related asthma

Published on Feb 09, 2015

Only 15 percent of employed adults with asthma discussed with their doctor how work might affect their condition. However, of the employed adults with asthma, 46 percent had asthma that was possibly work-related. “Work-related asthma is under-diagnosed and under-recogni...

The Wellness Syndrome: Is our obsession hurting people?

Published on Feb 02, 2015

"Wellness is more than just an obsession today," reveal authors Carl Cederstrom and Andre Spicer to the Sydney Morning Herald. "It's a moral demand...when health becomes an ideology, the failure to conform becomes a stigma." In an article published in ...

Feelings of loneliness and depression linked to binge-watching television

Published on Feb 02, 2015

It seems harmless: getting settled in for a night of marathon session for a favourite TV show, like House of Cards. But why do we binge-watch TV, and can it really be harmless? A recent study by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that the more lonely and d...

Parental time pressure and mental health problems among children

Published on Feb 02, 2015

New research has found that children whose parents experience time pressure are more likely to have mental health problems. "Parents’ experienced time pressure appears to be associated with the mental health of both girls and boys," said Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdot...

Study finds texting may be more suitable than apps in treatment of mental illness

Published on Feb 02, 2015

Texting may be a more suitable treatment aid for those with mental illness than mobile applications. “Cell phone technology is in the hands of millions of Americans and early research indicates that this technology can be useful to help Americans who are suffering from ...

Tips for resilience in the workplace

Published on Jan 26, 2015

ABC Health & Wellbeing have some post-holiday tips for building resilience at work. Building resilience is one way we can all reduce our stress at work and contribute to a more mentally healthy workplace, says Dr Sam Harvey, a psychiatrist with Black Dog Institute. T...

Work is good for you

Published on Jan 26, 2015

Work is traditionally associated with negative connotations, writes Sydney Morning Herald, however the reality is that work is vital for good health. "This negative view of work neglects the experiences of those who are laid off or unemployed who want to work...Unem...

Would you tell your manager you had a mental health problem?

Published on Jan 26, 2015

Although nearly four in 10 workers wouldn’t tell their manager if they had a mental health problem, half said that if they knew about a coworker’s illness, they would desire to help, a new survey by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) shows. “S...

Reducing work-family conflicts in the workplace helps people to sleep better

Published on Jan 26, 2015

A multi-institution team of sleep researchers recently found that workers who participated in an intervention aimed at reducing conflict between work and familial responsibilities slept an hour more each week and reported greater sleep sufficiency than those who did not parti...

Poor psychosocial work environments may contribute to heart problems

Published on Jan 26, 2015

A psychosocially poor work environment means that employees experience highly demanding requirements but have little ability to control their work or not feel sufficiently appreciated for the contributions they make. A dissertation at The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Go...

Worksite health promotion programmes: why don’t people participate?

Published on Jan 19, 2015

Worksite health promotion (WHP) programmes are designed to help identify and address health and lifestyle issues, and are offered by 40–75 per cent of employers in Europe and the US. But research suggests that a high proportion (50–75 per cent) of workers do not p...

Insomnia can predict back pain

Published on Jan 19, 2015

Having trouble sleeping? Then you are nearly one-and-a-half times more likely to eventually suffer from back pain, according to a new study. "After controlling for a range of variables, including socioeconomic status and lifestyle issues, we came to the conclusion that i...

Mental health workers don't recognise their own burnout

Published on Jan 19, 2015

Some mental health workers find it difficult to recognise their own burnout. Even when they do, they struggle to admit it to others, says a new study. “Burnout has long been a problem in mental health workplaces and remains so despite much research and considerable know...

Long working hours are linked to risky alcohol consumption

Published on Jan 19, 2015

Researchers report finding that exposure to long working hours was associated with higher odds of alcohol use. "Compared with working 35-40 hours a week, those working 49-54 and ≥55 hours experienced higher incidence of new onset risky alcohol use (>14 drinks/week ...

Obesity-related work absences are "financial drain"

Published on Jan 19, 2015

"Obesity-attributable absenteeism among American workers costs the nation an estimated $8.65 billion per year," states a recent report. Researchers analysed nationally representative data to assess obesity-attributable workdays missed due to health, and the associat...

Fragrances and illness in the workplace

Published on Jan 19, 2015

Perfumes and fragrances can be an unrecognised cause of illness in the workplace, ABC Health and Wellbeing reports. "I see a lot of people who report problems from airborne exposure to perfumes," said Dr Colin Little. "For some of them, I think, it is just an i...

Why don’t people participate in worksite health promotion programmes?

Published on Jan 12, 2015

Worksite health promotion (WHP) programmes are designed to help identify and address health and lifestyle issues, and are offered by 40–75% of employers in Europe and the US. But research suggests that a high proportion (50–75%) of workers do not participate. Rese...

Insomnia can predict the appearance of back pain in adults

Published on Jan 12, 2015

People having trouble sleeping are nearly one-and-a-half times more likely to eventually suffer from back pain, according to a new study conducted by the University of Haifa. “After controlling for a range of variables, including socioeconomic status and lifestyle issue...

Strong connection between burnout and depression

Published on Jan 12, 2015

In a study of more than 5,500 school teachers to estimate the prevalence of depressive disorders in workers with burnout, 90% of the subjects identified as burned out met diagnostic criteria for depression. “The study suggests that the burnout-depression overlap has bee...

Hugs help protect against stress and infection

Published on Jan 12, 2015

Instead of an apple, could a hug-a-day keep the doctor away? "We know that people experiencing ongoing conflicts with others are less able to fight off cold viruses,” said researchers. “We also know that people who report having social support are partly prot...

Health coaching with gym membership works best for obese, mentally ill people

Published on Jan 12, 2015

A health promotion program, called In SHAPE, specifically designed for people with serious mental illness, produced more fit participants and significant weight loss than a control group where participants only received a gym membership. "Upwards of 80 percent of people ...

The protective power of social groups

Published on Dec 29, 2014

Having a strong identification with a social group, such as a choir or a sports club, can help protect you against mental illness. Researchers investigated the link between group identification - one’s sense of belonging to a group, coupled with one’s sense of com...

How to be mentally healthy in 2015

Published on Dec 29, 2014

Medical News Today brings us an evidence-based article outlining the ways in which we can be mentally and physically healthy in the new year. Areas to address include: healthy diet; regular exercise; sleeping more; managing stress; working, volunteering or having a hobby; and...

An exploration of the basis for patient complaints about the oldness of magazines in practice waiting rooms: cohort study

Published on Dec 15, 2014

Cutting-edge research has finally put to rest one of the most plaguing medical questions of our time: "Why are doctor's room magazines so old?" The research, conducted at a New Zealand GP waiting room, involved both "gossipy" and "non-gossipy"...

Do workplace wellness plans actually improve health?

Published on Dec 15, 2014

Wellness plans are an increasing feature of the workplace, yet there's little evidence to support their effectiveness in improving the health of workers, NPR Blogs reports. "One thing we do know is that wellness is particularly popular with employers right now, ...

Twitter posts may shine a fresh light on mental illness trends

Published on Dec 15, 2014

By reviewing tweets from users who publicly mentioned their diagnosis and by looking for language cues linked to certain disorders, researchers say, they’ve been able to quickly and inexpensively collect new data on post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, bipolar di...

Wealth, power or lack thereof at heart of many mental disorders

Published on Dec 15, 2014

Berkeley researchers have linked inflated or deflated feelings of self-worth to such afflictions as bipolar disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, anxiety and depression, providing yet more evidence that the widening gulf between rich and poor can be bad for your health...

For docs, more biology info means less empathy for mental health patients

Published on Dec 08, 2014

Give therapists and psychiatrists information about the biology of a mental disorder, and they have less - not more - empathy for the patient, a new Yale study shows. Conventional wisdom suggests that biological explanations for psychiatric symptoms should reduce the blame pa...

People in unhappy places are depressed more than a week a month

Published on Dec 08, 2014

People in the country's unhappiest communities spend about a quarter of the month so far down in the dumps that it can harm their productivity, according to economists. "This is a real concern not just in the United States, but across the world," said researcher...

Computer-based therapy for anxiety

Published on Dec 08, 2014

A team of researchers established a fully computerised treatment that does not require a therapist or other mental health specialist, only access to a computer. The new intervention, called the Cognitive Anxiety Sensitivity Treatment, or CAST, is a 45-minute treatment that co...

Social support for men who have cancer

Published on Dec 08, 2014

Researchers have found some key markers for vulnerability to psychological problems in men experiencing cancer. A group of 127 men aged 18 and over with a cancer diagnosis were recruited. The participants were assessed for demographic factors, social support, anxiet...

Commuting linked to lower life satisfaction

Published on Dec 08, 2014

The more time you spend getting to and from work, the less likely you are to be satisfied with life, says a new Waterloo study. The research reveals exactly why commuting is such a contentment killer - and surprisingly, traffic isn’t the only reason to blame.  &ldq...

How to navigate a boozy holiday period

Published on Dec 01, 2014

From holiday parties to happy hours, social events with co-workers and clients often revolve around alcohol, which can put non-drinkers in an awkward position: they don’t want to drink, but they do want to take part in events they feel are important to networking and ca...

"Trigger" for stress processes discovered in the brain

Published on Dec 01, 2014

An important factor for stress has been identified. This is the protein secretagogin that plays an important role in the release of the stress hormone CRH and which only then enables stress processes in the brain to be transmitted to the pituitary gland and then onwards to th...

Legislation on accrued leave for injured workers, sexual assaults and work health and safety offences introduced in the ACT

Published on Jun 28, 2022

Legislation introduced into the ACT Legislative Assembly proposes a series of amendments to the territory’s workers' compensation and work health and safety frameworks. The Workplace Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 aims to strengthen worker protections and improve regulato...

ACT targets psychosocial risks

Published on Mar 17, 2021

Fatigue, workload, workplace stress, occupational violence, harassment and gender-based violence: Canberra's work safety commissioner Jacqueline Agius says that all jurisdictions have an urgent need to  tackle psychosocial hazards in the workplace and broaden the definition...

ACT replaces Comcare with self-insurance and for-profit case management

Published on Jan 22, 2019

The Australian Capital Territory will become a self-insurer on March 1, eliminating Comcare's hands-on role in the workers' compensation scheme and handing over liability decisions and claims management to for-profit firm Employers Mutual Limited. The government will no longe...

Education directorate fails to adequately deal with violence against staff

Published on Oct 23, 2018

ACT's work safety watchdog, issued a $10 million penalty to the Education Directorate for failing to adequately address the health and safety of staff. A kindergarten worker suffering from psychological injury, is in a mental health facility two years after being re...

Capital act on workers compensation

Published on Nov 20, 2017

ACT construction workers, as well as those who work in healthcare, retail, electricity and the arts, beware: your serious workers' compensation claims are the highest in the country. Across all industries in the ACT, 3.5 workers per thousand made a serious claim, mak...

ACT public sector sticks with Comcare

Published on Jun 05, 2017

The ACT government has abandoned plans to ditch Comcare for public sector workers' compensation, deciding instead to stick with the national body. The plan to ditch Comcare was announced in 2015, amidst rising premiums and concerns about claims management.   A ...

Workers Comp: who gets to claim?

Published on Jul 17, 2016

A young concreter was killed four years ago when struck by a 39 metre boom in Canberra. He did not have a will. His mother didn't think he was in a serious relationship, but he had been seeing a woman for eight months. The young woman lodged the claim for the death benefi...

Depression: claim approved

Published on May 15, 2016

A woman began working in the crisis-planning team at Airservice Australia as a coordinator, tasked with developing and instituting training and emergency plans around Australia. She lacked relevant experience to work effectively in the role and was not provided with training....

Comcare: AFP employee loses harassment case

Published on Apr 17, 2016

A worker at the Australian Federal Police has had her compensation win overturned after a successful appeal by Comcare. The worker alleged that she was sexually harassed, bullied and intimidated by her colleagues in Canberra. The claim focused on a meeting in 2013, but she al...

ACT public servants: objecting to compensation changes

Published on Mar 28, 2016

Trades Unions in the ACT are objecting to changes in the workers' compensation system. These changes are expected to impact over 20,000 public servants in the ACT, including emergency services workers, teachers and numbers. The government is in discussions with the coalit...

ACT: emergency workers' concerns over compensation changes

Published on Mar 06, 2016

Eight unions have raised concerns about changes to the ACT workers compensation system, however the government states that the changes are far from being finalised. The ACT is looking at removing its public service workers from the Comcare scheme, believing it can get better ...

ACT fit note: referred to Human Rights Commission

Published on Sep 21, 2015

The sick note system is being replaced with the fit note system in the ACT. The new system which allows doctors to nominate workers for phased RTW, alternative hours, get-well programs or changes in the workplace, is set to be rolled out across 400 general practitioners aroun...

ACT construction: most dangerous in Australia

Published on Jul 12, 2015

According to a new report from Safe Work Australia, ACT construction sites are the most dangerous in the country. The territory suffered 29 serious injury claims during 2012-2012, while in Victoria there were just 12.9, despite the large difference in population size. ACT'...

Gov't leans towards bespoke ACT compensation system

Published on Mar 09, 2015

Since leaving national workers' compensation insurer Comcare, the ACT government appears set to develop a new workers' compensation scheme for public service workers, The Mandarin reports. The plan would see WorkSafe ACT responsible for regulating both safety and...

ACT Government: no longer using Comcare

Published on Mar 02, 2015

The ACT territory's government reportedly became increasingly dissatisfied with the federal workplace insurer in the lead up to the decision. The issues included the bill for premiums approaching $1b and the slow pace of change in Comcare - and they are not alone. The Aus...

Office desk change triggers difficult compensation case

Published on Feb 16, 2015

A chronic pain case sparked by office ergonomics problems has led to an 18-month legal dispute over workers' compensation, Canberra Times reports. A former ATO employee's desk had had "major" adjustments made, with instructions from the employer warning to &...

Canberra scientists discover cheaper, easier way to manufacture drugs

Published on Nov 24, 2014

Researchers from the Australian National University's Research School of Chemistry have made a large amount of a strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic drug. Currently, the molecule is only found in minuscule quantities in a rare coral found off the Bahamas. "Wh...

ACT public service tops mental health claims

Published on Oct 27, 2014

ACT government bureaucrats lodged 3.6 mental health claims per 1000 workers in 2013-14, compared with 1.9 claims per 1000 workers from the Australian Public Service, Sydney Morning Herald reports. The figures come from evidence to a Senate Estimate hearings by Comcare th...

PS workers' comp reforms "harsh and unjust"

Published on Oct 20, 2014

Changes to public service workers' compensation legislation planned by the Federal Government have been called "harsh, unjust" and "gratuitously mean" by the Opposition, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Labor says the changes will leaveover 160,000 p...

PS employee says telling-off from boss caused breakdown

Published on Sep 08, 2014

A public servant has lost appeal for workers' compensation over his claim that a telephone call with his boss left him psychologically unfit for work, The Sydney Morning Herald Reports. "The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has ruled that an Australian Taxation O...

Jennifer Taylor will replace Paul O'Connor as CEO of Comcare

Published on Jul 27, 2014

Department of Employment deputy secretary Jennifer Taylor will replace Comcare's current CEO Paul O'Connor as his term expires late next month, Sydney Morning Herald reports. "Comcare is facing many challenges in the coming years including improving return-to-wor...

Changes to Comcare coverage

Published on Jul 13, 2014

Sydney Morning Herald reports on changes to Comcare that would see public servants injured on a coffee break away from the office not compensated. The changes would deny bureaucrats hurt via ''serious and wilful misconduct'' or by ''voluntarily an...

ACT Gov't accused of ignoring ambulance service bullying claims

Published on Apr 27, 2014

WorkSafe ACT has released a report accusing the ACT government of failing to properly investigate bullying claims made by an intensive care paramedic against senior staff, Canberra Times reports. The finding has prompted union calls for involvement of an external body to ...

ACT Gov't receives $80m premium bill

Published on Apr 07, 2014

The ACT government has the fourth-highest insurance premium of 120 government organisations covered by Comcare, reports Canberra Times.  The territory's workers' comp insurance premium for the 2013-14 period rose 14 per cent on the previous year. This was mostly ...

Employer claims incidence: More needs to be done

Published on Mar 24, 2014

Comcare has released data and a press release stating that while "many employers across the APS are working to reduce workplace harm and return their ill and injured people to work...The data shows that still more needs to be done." The press release encourages &quo...

No compensation for PS workers injured on breaks away from workplace

Published on Mar 24, 2014

Changes tabled in Parliament yesterday will see public service workers no longer entitled to workers' compensation if they are injured while on a break away from their workplace, Canberra Times reports. Further amendments will also see no compensation payments made to wor...

Government signals Comcare changes, no timetable yet

Published on Nov 05, 2013

The Government has committed to reforming Comcare, but won't commit to a schedule for change, Canberra Times reports. Comcare lost $98 million in the 2012-13 year, with long-term liability payments totalling over $2.6 billion. Public Service Minister Eric Abetz has signal...

Bureaucrats urged to use social media to identify workers' comp fraud

Published on Oct 28, 2013

Comcare's latest advice for detecting workers' compensation fraud includes directing government employees to check their claimant colleagues' Facebook page, Canberra Times reports. The circular released by Comcare, Fraud: What Suspicious Behavior Looks Like, tells...

Alleged breach of staffing rules in new Workcover Independent Review Office

Published on Aug 05, 2013

There are concerns that the new head of the WorkCover Independent Review Office (WIRO) may have breached staff procurement rules, News.com.au reports. Finance Minister Greg Pearce appointed Kim Garling as head of the WIRO in September 2012. Mr Garling has since come under fir...

Bureaucrat injured with whiplash wins compensation

Published on Aug 04, 2013

A public servant in Canberra has won a $390,000 compensation payout after being involved in a low speed crash, despite allegations she was "'jumping on the Comcare gravy train," Canberra Times reports. The woman was the passenger in a car that was rear-ended, an...

Dismissed bullying claim defends manager "robustness"

Published on May 27, 2013

A federal tribunal has found that managers may use "robustness" in their interactions with subordinates without fear of being labelled bullies, Canberra Times reports. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has dismissed a workers' compensation claim by a Human Ser...

Compensation payouts double

Published on Jan 14, 2013

For the first time, Comcare - the Federal Government's workers' compensation insurer - has recorded a $564m loss for 2011-2012, News.com.au reports. Comcare reportedly attributes its first-ever loss to an increase in claims, as well as public servants' slow recove...

Comcare workers take average of year off for mental stress

Published on Sep 23, 2012

Public service workers are taking an average of a year to recover from mental health problems, Courier Mail reports. A review ordered by Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten found that mental stress comprises 12 per cent of all Comcare compensation claims, but accounts f...

ACT lobbies to pilot disability scheme

Published on Jul 01, 2012

The ACT government is pushing to become one of the first "launch sites" of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) from July next year, Canberra Times reports. Two sites will be piloted in the first year, with another two being introduced a year later. The N...

Widespread bullying still a 'real problem'

Published on May 20, 2012

The Greens say an online survey shows evidence of widespread bullying in both the public and private sectors, as well as under-reporting by victims, ABC News reports. 135 workers completed the survey, with 75 per cent saying they had been bullied - the majority within the las...

Workplace bullying survey launched

Published on Mar 18, 2012

The Greens have launched an anonymous survey to gauge the level of unreported bullying in ACT workplaces and schools, ABC News reports. "We know that obviously in workplaces it's a very high incidence of bullying," said Greens MLA Amanda Bresnan. "So we act...

Proposed anti-bullying laws receive in-principal support

Published on Dec 11, 2011

The Greens' proposal for tougher anti-bullying laws in the ACT has received in-principle support from the other political parties, Canberra Times reports. The proposed Bill requires WorkSafe to appoint a minimum of three inspectors experienced in dealing with workplace bu...

"Mobbing" should receive as much attention as bullying

Published on Sep 04, 2011

"Mobbing" - an emotional assault on a single worker by a group of others - should be a better-recognised form of bullying and needs to be referred directly to the Human Rights Commission, says the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, The Canberra Times reports. T...

Plan for improved government servant facilities under fire

Published on May 22, 2011

The ACT Government has come under fire for its proposal to build new offices for thousands of public service workers, The Canberra Times reports. Department of Land and Property Services chief executive David Dawes defended the proposal to move from "C and D-grade" ...

Parliament bullying claims

Published on May 02, 2011

Five employees have quit the department responsible for running Parliament house, complaining of workplace bullying, Canberra Times reports. The former employees, from areas including Hansard and security, complained of bullying in 2009-10. "We'd like to have no comp...

Report in on ACT public service sick-leave

Published on Mar 21, 2011

Latest figures show the average personal leave taken by ACT Public Service personnel at 9.58 days in 2009-10, Canberra Times reports. Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services workers were most likely to take an absence, recording an average of 11.7 days sick a...

ACT workers protest comp changes

Published on Dec 19, 2010

Canberra workers rallied against proposed changes to OHS laws that would reduce their access to common law claims, ABC News reports. Hundreds of nurses, bus drivers and tradespeople attended the rally. According to UnionsACT secretary Kim Sattler these, "are the very kin...

ACT moves to cap injury compensation, limit court access

Published on Oct 10, 2010

The ACT Government is making moves to mandate set compensation payments for specific injuries, as well as stopping people with less serious injuries from going to court, ABC News reports. The changes are aimed at reducing the amount of money paid out for small injuries, as we...

"Systemic bullying problem" at ACT Health

Published on Jun 14, 2010

More bullying claims have been made against ACT Health by current and former employees in what the State Opposition describes as a "systemic bullying problem," The Canberra Times reports. These complaints come after those already being investigated in the obstetrics...

Comcare conducting research with injured workers

Published on Apr 18, 2010

In April and May, Comcare is undertaking research to understand injured workers' health outcomes, service experience, perception and expectations of Comcare. They will be speaking with over 400 injured workers from APS agencies and the ACT government. Potential respondants h...

Canberra Hospital makes inclusive employment policies a reality

Published on Apr 11, 2010

Canberra Hospital is leading the way in hiring people with disabilities, ABC News reports. Ben Pattrick, who has cerebral palsy, is one of several people with diabilities to be employed by the hospital. ACT Health Minister Katy Gallagher has acknowledged that governments have be...

Work Safety Commissioner releases anti-bullying material

Published on Feb 22, 2010

ACT Attorney General, Simon Corbell, has launched a new suite of material from the Work Safety Commissioner focusing on workplace bullying, to assist employers seeking to prevent or respond to workplace bullying. It is also designed to provide guidance for workers who feel they ...

ACT: Workers' comp amendments introduced

Published on Nov 23, 2009

Workers compensation amendments introduced in the ACT aim to cut red tape and increase compliance with insurance requirements, reports CCH News. The Workers' Compensation Amendment Bill 2009, introduced to the Legislative Assembly on 19 November will: remov...

WorkCover needs fixing: ACT Greens

Published on Nov 16, 2009

The ACT Greens Industrial Relations  spokesperson, Amanda Bresnan, has called for a shake-up of the ACT’s workplace health and safety watchdog, WorkCover. “We are concerned that WorkCover is unable to provide effective and regular enforcement of the health and s...

SIRA releases new allied health treatment request form for health practitioners

Published on Jul 23, 2024

SIRA has released a new interactive form to make sure that health practitioners provide the right information when they request approval for allied health treatment and care. ...

SafeWork NSW announces psychosocial hazard blitz on large employers

Published on Jul 09, 2024

Workplaces with 200 or more employees will be targeted by SafeWork inspectors conducting ‘psychosocial WHS checks’ in the next 12 months. ...

SafeWork NSW announces its Psychological Health and Safety Strategy 2024–2026

Published on Jul 09, 2024

SafeWork NSW’s Psychological Health and Safety Strategy 2024–2026 sets out how it intends to continue to raise awareness of psychological hazards in the workplace and foster a culture of compliance  ...

‘It’s the safe way or no way’ campaign

Published on Jun 25, 2024

SafeWork NSW’s campaign has one message for workers and employers — ‘It’s the safe way or no way’. It aims to create safer workplaces by driving awareness of the importance of reducing workplace risks and promoting safer work practices.  ...

SIRA publishes report on insurer recovery through work rates

Published on Jun 11, 2024

SIRA's quarterly workers’ compensation insurer recovery through work performance report measures insurer performance based on the 13-week return to work, stay at work and working rates.  ...

Auditor’s report of icare and SIRA released

Published on Apr 30, 2024

An audit of the effectiveness of icare’s management of workers compensation claims and SIRA’s oversight of claims makes findings and recommendations. ...

Mindspot — a free online assessment tool

Published on Apr 16, 2024

One of icare’s ongoing initiatives to improve workers’ mental well-being is to direct therm to digital treatment programs like Mindspot. This free online assessment tool helps people gain insights into their symptoms of anxiety and depression and access clinically pr...

More enforcement expected after review of SafeWork NSW

Published on May 14, 2024

46 recommendations in the report from the 12-month independent review of SafeWork NSW have been accepted. SafeWork is expected to increase its enforcement activities against workplace psychosocial hazards.    ...

SafeWork NSW to become a standalone regulator

Published on Apr 02, 2024

SafeWork NSW is to become a standalone regulator after the NSW Government endorsed former judge The Hon. Robert McDougall KC’s recommendations following his inquiry. ...

SIRA releases updated model of care to treat low back pain

Published on Apr 16, 2024

SIRA, the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation have worked with experts to produce updated guidance for the care and treatment of people with low back pain in NSW.  ...

Subscribe to SIRA’s Recovery at work insider

Published on Mar 19, 2024

SIRA’s Recovery at work insider is designed for employers, workplace rehabilitation providers and others who support recovery through work. By subscribing, you’ll receive a monthly newsletter with evidence-based and practical information and tools about recovery thro...

SIRA updates resources for employers

Published on Mar 05, 2024

SIRA has updated the RTW Coordinator training module ‘Tailoring a Return to Work Program’ after identifying a growing number of employers who don’t have a RTW Program that meets the Guidelines for RTW Programs. ...

NSW to bring in industrial manslaughter law

Published on Feb 06, 2024

The NSW Government intends to join most other Australian jurisdictions by introducing industrial manslaughter legislation in 2024. SafeWork NSW will consult with work health and safety experts, business groups, unions, legal stakeholders and families of people who have been kill...

SIRA’s new guidelines set out expectations for health service providers

Published on Apr 02, 2024

SIRA’s new Guidelines for the Provision of Relevant Services (Health and Related Services) aim to create positive health outcomes for injured people by setting out how providers in personal injury schemes can provide appropriate, timely and cost-effective services.  ...

Report ties teacher shortage and workload to psychological harm

Published on Feb 20, 2024

The NSW Teachers Federation has endorsed a NSW parliamentary committee's recognition that heavy workloads are leading to more psychological injuries. ...

Report of the 2023 Review of the NSW Workers Compensation Scheme released

Published on Jan 04, 2024

The Standing Committee on Law and Justice reviews the workers' compensation scheme once every four years to ensure it operates effectively and efficiently. It’s latest report identifying aspects that require change and improvement. ...

icare selects claims service providers

Published on Dec 04, 2023

The NSW state-owned insurer has selected Allianz, DXC Technology, EML, Gallagher Bassett, GIO and QBE to manage claims, under a new model to expand choice and improve the performance of the scheme.   ...

Privately funded elective spinal surgeries rise

Published on Dec 13, 2023

Despite the need for more evidence about how effective back surgery is in helping improve back pain, a study reveals that the rates of privately funded spinal fusion and decompression procedures have increased in New South Wales. ...

A jump in NSW workers’ compensation premiums would hit aged care providers hard

Published on Dec 04, 2023

Employers in New South Wales are bracing for an average increase of 8% a year in workers’ compensation premiums over the next 3 years. Aged care employers are especially concerned. ...

SafeWork NSW Respect at work released

Published on Dec 13, 2023

The NSW government has released the SafeWork NSW Respect at work strategy 2023-2027. The 4-year plan sets out how SafeWork NSW will help businesses address workplace sexual harassment.  ...

NSW passes amendments to implement the updated national Model WHS Law

Published on Oct 26, 2023

NSW has passed the Work Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2023. It incorporates recent updates to the national Model WHS law published by Safe Work Australia and makes other changes to the NSW work health and safety laws. ...

Business NSW says more needs to be done to improve workers’ comp

Published on Oct 26, 2023

Businesses in NSW remain frustrated by the state of the NSW workers’ compensation scheme, despite some reforms being implemented.  ...

Jump in teachers receiving workers' compensation

Published on Sep 13, 2023

As more teachers in NSW suffer from work-related psychological injuries from work pressure, bullying and violence in schools, the Department of Education has increased access to phone support services and specialist response teams.  ...

Other return-to-work coordinator arrangements

Published on Sep 04, 2023

Did you know that employers can fulfil their NSW workers' compensation return to work obligations by outsourcing the return to work coordinator role under an alternative hiring arrangement?  ...

High bar for the ‘reasonable management action’ defence

Published on Sep 04, 2023

A recent case shows that employers must satisfy a high threshold when arguing that the psychological injury of the worker was caused by ‘reasonable management action’. ...

NSW Bill to protect retail workers from assault

Published on Aug 15, 2023

The New South Wales Government proposes tough new laws to protect retail workers from assaults, as research finds that 85% of retail workers have been abused or assaulted at work. ...

Online study into whether text messages help manage low back pain

Published on Jun 26, 2023

Researchers at the University of Sydney want to help people recover from back pain by simply receiving text messages. You can participate in the TEXT4myBACK study by completing a short online survey. The study will assess if education and advice about low back pain delivered by ...

Icare needs immediate $660 million to pay injured workers

Published on Jun 18, 2023

Workers’ compensation insurer icare will need an injection of more than $660 million from the government in the next two weeks so it can pay injured frontline public servants. ...

icare to fix historical indexation issue

Published on May 17, 2023

icare has identified mistakes in the benefits injured workers received under claims made between October 2012 and October 2019. About 20,643 claims may need to be remedied, with the total cost amounting to about $40 million. ...

Government caps icare’s premium increases at 8% a year

Published on May 01, 2023

The NSW Government has directed icare to limit average premium increases to 8% in each of the next 3 financial years after the insurer flagged increases of 22%. ...

Carer journal provides support to those supporting injured workers

Published on Apr 03, 2023

Carers NSW, with support from icare NSW, has developed a resource with tips for carers who are supporting someone who has been injured. It aims to help them manage their caring responsibilities and capture information like appointments, treatment and progress.  ...

icare's hearing device schedule to continue

Published on Mar 21, 2023

Insurance and Care NSW will continue its schedule of hearing devices for injured workers with industrial deafness after its panel of suppliers expired in November 2022. The schedule contains a list of hearing aids that meet icare's quality standards at a recommended maximum pric...

New provider joins claims service panel for NSW Nominal Insurer scheme

Published on Feb 21, 2023

icare expands its panel of claims service providers with the inclusion of third-party claims administrator, Gallagher Bassett. ...

Mental health recovery at work — a story of hope

Published on Feb 21, 2023

A short video developed for SIRA’s #becauseofyou program shows how peers in the workplace can support mental health recovery.  ...

Workers with combined physical and psychological injuries have the worst RTW outcomes

Published on Dec 09, 2022

The NSW SIRA CEO encourages insurers to improve support for workers with a psychological injury as evidence shows they experience worse outcomes. About 11% of NSW workers’ compensation claims relate to a psychological injury and those workers are less likely to return to w...

NSW employers face $1 billion incease in workers comp fees

Published on Nov 21, 2022

NSW Treasury has raised concerns about the financial sustainability of icare, warning that businesses would pay premiums 33% higher in 2025 than in 2021 to cover the shortfall. ...

The Australian Lawyers Alliance says combative approach to workers compensation psychological injury claims causes harm

Published on Nov 17, 2022

A representative from the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) gave evidence to the NSW Standing Committee on Law and Justice’s 2022 Review of the Workers Compensation scheme. The ALA says that the way psychological injury claims are handled and disputed and investigations ar...

SIRA partners with rehabilitation provider to support workers with psychological injuries

Published on Nov 02, 2022

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority has teamed up with the Australian Rehabilitation Providers Association to improve the RTW outcomes of people with psychological injuries. Rehabilitation providers will facilitate workplace discussions to increase the support available to ...

icare announces new claims service providers for workers compensation scheme

Published on Oct 18, 2022

After consultation on a new claims model and a tender process, icare has appointed Allianz, Employers Mutual Limited (EML), DXC, Gallagher Bassett (GB), GIO, and QBE to manage claims for the NSW Nominal Insurer workers compensation scheme. ...

Code of Practice: Managing psychosocial hazards at work

Published on Sep 22, 2022

SafeWork NSW recently released a new Code of Practice: Managing psychosocial hazards at work. The code has information about common psychosocial hazards. It gives businesses and workers practical guidance on how to manage them and prevent psychological and physical injuries at w...

Return to work rates in NSW fall to a historic low

Published on Sep 19, 2022

As iCare loses $900 million over the 2021-2022 financial year, statistics show that workers injured on the job in NSW are less likely to get back to work than ever before. As at April, about two thirds of workers were back at work after 4 weeks and 4 out of 5 after 13 weeks. ...

The McKell Institute and Unions NSW launch a damning report of the NSW workers compensation system

Published on Jul 13, 2022

A new report by the McKell Institute and Unions NSW says the NSW workers’ compensation system has failed to achieve the objectives set out in the 2012 reform process. It reveals the cost of administering the NSW workers' compensation system has steadily increased, suicidal...

SafeWork NSW develops new resources to help workplaces identify and manage risks to psychological health

Published on Jun 19, 2022

SafeWork NSW has developed 2 resources that workplaces (not just those in NSW) can use to identify and manage risks to psychological health. The Code of Practice for Managing psychosocial hazards at work gives practical guidance on how to comply with the work health and safety s...

Troubled New South Wales insurer’s deficit blows out to $1.5 billion

Published on Jun 19, 2022

NSW’s workplace injury insurer, icare, has seen a rise in longer-term claims at the same time as its financial position deteriorates. NSW Finance Minister says icare is taking steps to find cost savings through return to work improvements and containing medical costs. ...

SIRA implements new return to work Standard of Practice

Published on May 23, 2022

SIRA’s new Standard of Practice focuses on early management of claims and return to work, with the aim of driving a system-wide turnaround in return to work performance.  ...

icare executive bonuses protected as bid to ban the practice rejected

Published on May 23, 2022

The State Insurance and Care Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 (NSW) moves to the upper house, where the Opposition will again attempt to ban bonuses after their amendments were blocked in the lower house last week. The bid to ban the practice comes after revelations in 2020 that ...

Study finds a universal approach best in treating chronic back pain

Published on Apr 08, 2022

Researchers from the University of Sydney reviewed the short and longer-term outcomes of 17 different treatment approaches to treating chronic back pain. The study found that physiotherapy along with adjunctive therapies was up to 20% more effective compared with physiotherapy a...

Three actions for designing mentally safe work

Published on Mar 24, 2022

More practical tips from this month's webinar presenter, Organisational psychologist Dr Sarah Cotton, on how to make employee wellbeing a key priority by taking three easy actions to make your work environment productive and mentally safe. ...

Free mental health chatline for NSW workers

Published on Feb 10, 2022

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) has launched a new mental health service, enabling New South Wales (NSW) workers to access a free peer support line, Hear2Talk. The line provides a safe space to talk to experienced peers who have experience with mental health conc...

Burgeoning compensation costs for NSW cops

Published on Jan 10, 2022

Workers' compensation costs for the NSW police force have more than doubled over the last three years, with even high-ranking police describing a dearth of empathy and support for those with PTSD and other work-related mental health problems.  ...

Do you care about icare?

Published on Nov 15, 2021

If you want to keep abreast of icare-related controversies, you could do worse than follow Richard Gilley's LinkedIn posts. He regularly shares relevant Hansard transcripts, media reports and the like, including this post that keeps the spotlight on declining RTW rates in the be...

Making bad news disappear...or correcting an error?

Published on Nov 02, 2021

SIRA chief executive Adam Dent has defended the deletion of a "red alert" monthly report published on the website of the state insurance regulator. The monthly dashboard report claimed that only 59% of injured workers in the scheme returned to work within four weeks and that thi...

Covid-19 compensation expected to surge in NSW

Published on Oct 14, 2021

SIRA (the State Insurance Regulatory Authority) has predicted a Covid-19 related workers' compensation bill of up to $638 million within the next 12 months. “This estimate does not include costs associated with psychological injuries not associated with COVID-19 diagnos...

NSW releases Code of Practice for Managing Psychosocial Hazards at Work

Published on May 31, 2021

In an Australian first, New South Wales has adopted a code of practice for the management of psychosocial hazards in the workplace. Covering WHS duties, risk management systems, response to reports of psychosocial risks and incidents and RTW, the Code is not mandatory, but may b...

SIRA takes on surgical fees

Published on Feb 22, 2021

Ballooning healthcare costs in NSW workers' comp was one of the big reveals of the independent report into icare that caused such a furor last year. icare's case management practices were heavily criticised at the time, but it's now clear that wasn't the only problem. It's recen...

Gig economy worker rights under spotlight in workers compensation test case

Published on Dec 15, 2020

The death of an Uber Eats rider and a subsequent claim filed on behalf of the family by the Transport Workers Union could lead to a legal precedent as a test case at the Workers Compensation Commission should the claim fail. Recent calls for legislative reform for the rights of ...

Union calls for prison workers to have frontline worker status in workers' comp

Published on Nov 24, 2020

Like paramedics and other first responders, prison workers deal with medical emergencies and violence on the job. However, unlike other frontline workers, prison workers in NSW will soon have their entitlements to long term workers' compensation payments curtailed, with caps on ...

"Sham tender" for icare's 360 million dollar IT disaster

Published on Nov 03, 2020

One of the most perplexing findings of the Dore report into icare's failings was that the IT software used to track claims was inadequate, having (to give just one example) no way to quickly see all the documentation relating to a single claim. Now we learn that the tender proce...

Have your say on icare

Published on Oct 05, 2020

Community and stakeholder feedback is sought to inform the Independent Review of Insurance and Care NSW (icare), the workers compensation scheme and the five-year statutory review of the State Insurance and Care Governance Act 2015 (SICG Act). Public submissions are welcome, and...

NSW seeking input on workplace Psychological Health Code of Practice

Published on Sep 11, 2020

The NSW government has created a draft Psychological Health Code of Practice to help workplaces better address the challenge of rising numbers of compensation claims for psychological injury. The Code aims to provide practical advice for employers, with the aim of creating pscho...

icare's staff ratings plummet, more allegations surface: will the board go?

Published on Sep 07, 2020

Adele Ferguson's sharp reporting on the icare scandal continues, with recent articles targeting $18 million contracts awarded to companies with close ties to the Liberal Party without open tender, brutal mistreatment of whistle blowers, and a plummeting employee Net Promoter Sco...

High court says worker eligible for discrimination payout AND workers' compensation

Published on Aug 24, 2020

A worker who receives damages for a discrimination claim may still eligible for workers' compensation for the same injury, according to a recent decision by the NSW Court of Appeal. The worker in question lodged a claim for workers compensation on the basis that he had suffered ...

Do you know a struggling injured worker in NSW?

Published on Jul 28, 2020

Workers' compensation recipients in NSW who are struggling to cope may be eligible for a free online course--designed by a GP, clinical psychologist, social worker and academic researcher--that has been shown to increase hopefulness, strengthen feelings of belonging and confiden...

Who you gunna call? Mental health hotline!

Published on Jul 14, 2020

If you're a lawyer in NSW, that is. The NSW Law Society recently launched a mental health support service, providing solicitors with three free sessions with a psychologist each year, as well as unlimited access to an SOS hotline. Malcolm Gittoes-Caesar, a solicitor who experien...

NSW workers' comp and COVID: we presume you were infected at work

Published on May 18, 2020

NSW workers in industries including health, education, hospitality, entertainment, construction and retail industries will no longer have to prove they were infected with COVID-19 at work to make a workers compensation claim. Unions say this approach should be used around the co...

Uh oh, icare

Published on Mar 09, 2020

Underpayment is the latest woe to befall the NSW workers' compensation insurer, with a review of 3,000 cases revealing that a quarter were underpaid over a six year period. A similar proportion may have been overpaid.  The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Icare will n...

More on the challenging situation in NSW

Published on Oct 04, 2019

You might hit a paywall when you try to read this article by Tim Boyd for the Australian Financial Review (AFR), which unpacks the woes currently besetting the NSW workers' compensation scheme.  Here are the highlights low-lights: One industry insider told the AFR:...

More and more workers in NSW need 13+ weeks of workers' comp

Published on Aug 26, 2019

In January 2018, around 9% of injured workers covered by icare in NSW accessed workers' compensation payments for 13 weeks or more. By March 2019, that proportion had climbed to around 15%, according to a graph shared online by the Chairman of the Board at Return to Work South A...

Regional injured workers face delays in claim approvals and delivery on approved works

Published on Aug 13, 2019

NSW regional workers are losing out in a complex city-based system that has seen claimants such as Caroline Harte of Central West NSW wait over 12 months for approved accessibility modifications to be completed. While she waits, Caroline who is confined to her bed, has made...

NSW employers vent about workers comp problems

Published on Jul 15, 2019

Delays and confusion continue to plague the NSW workers' comp system three years after the formation of icare, as regional employers complain of "lack of information, lack of investigation and lack of clarity about how premiums are set," according to Janet Dore, the Independent ...

icare performance criticised by former actuary

Published on Jun 27, 2019

Peter McCarthy, a former principal actuarial adviser to the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), has analysed insight articles released by icare. and concluded that claims performance has deteriorated while private hospital costs have jumped.  “When medical...

Criminal comp case against EML in NSW

Published on Jun 25, 2019

A former police officer with an undisputed workers' compensation claim has launched criminal proceedings against case manager Employers Mutual Limited (EML) after waiting more than a year for claims determination. Julie Heise suffered physical and psychological injuries as a res...

Have your say on icare

Published on May 27, 2019

Are you a NSW employer, worker, insurer or other interested stakeholder? Do you have dealings with icare? If so, the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) wants to hear from you. On behalf of SIRA, independent reviewer Janet Gore is seeking feedback on icare premiums, m...

More case managers for stressed NSW system

Published on May 03, 2019

EML, the sole workers' compensation scheme agent for new claims in NSW, is set to employ 150 new staff after burgeoning numbers of complaints about communication problems, lack of staffing, no consistent point of contact for injured workers and their employers and other poor pra...

NSW Business Chamber wants to reform the reforms

Published on Dec 13, 2018

The 2015 overhaul of the NSW workers' compensation system  resulted in a three-way split of responsibilities between the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), Insurance and Care NSW (icare) and SafeWork NSW. NSW businesses were promised financial savings and inc...

Paralympians talk workplace injury in NSW - free to businesses

Published on Oct 30, 2018

Businesses in NSW wanting to raise awareness amongst workers of the potentially life-altering impact of workplace injury need to know about icare's Paralympian speakers program. Paralympians Nigel Smith and Kahi Puru recently toured 5 Visy sites, sharing their person...

Is "harsh" workers comp scheme behind six deaths?

Published on Sep 10, 2018

Last Christmas, more than 3,000 injured workers in NSW lost their weekly workers compensation benefits because they did not meet the new 20% full body impairment payment threshold. Since then, six of these workers have died, one of whom had been previously reported to po...

Injured workers, business dirty over coal mining compensation changes

Published on Aug 28, 2018

The NSW government is being attacked from both sides of the workers' compensation spectrum, with representatives of the Business Chamber of NSW and injured workers crying foul over changes meant to close compensation loopholes for workers injured on mine-sites but employe...

Craig's Table preview

Published on Aug 14, 2018

We're fans of Rosemary McKenzie-Ferguson from way back, and we've got an article interviewing her about Craig's Table lined up for our next newsletter, but to whet your appetite here's a taster from the ABC on her fantastic new NSW-based initiative for injured...

iCARE to invest $5 mil in beating RTW barriers

Published on Jun 08, 2018

iCARE is inviting pitches for new initiative WORKUP, seeking to support and empower workers to overcome complex personal and social barriers to return to work. Amanda Keogh, icare Foundation General Manager, said “With this call, we are inviting different ideas fro...

EAP or EEK?

Published on May 22, 2018

Imagine seeking psychological support after a series of traumatic experiences, only to be told the solution is to go home and sleep with your husband. According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, this was the experience of a NSW police Officer who sought help via the E...

New look dispute resolution for NSW

Published on May 08, 2018

Dispute resolution processes in the NSW workers' compensation system are to be overhauled, with proposed changes including: "All enquiries and complaints from injured workers, not resolved with their insurer in the first instance, will be directed to the Workers Comp...

Independent review of worker complaints to go in NSW?

Published on Mar 07, 2018

The NSW Law Society and Unions NSW are both calling on the government to halt plans to abolish the Workers Compensation Independent Review Office (WIRO), the state's only independent office that reviews complaints from injured workers in dispute over their compensation cl...

NSW hospitals consider “hazard reduction” pre-employment screening

Published on Jan 16, 2018

With the intention to reduce the number of likely workers’ compensation claims and increase resilience across the workforce, a number of NSW hospitals are considering developing a “Health Assessment Program” and have put forward a proposal to address increas...

Poor performance for mental health in NSW

Published on Oct 20, 2017

Employers have dropped the ball when it comes to workplace mental health, according to the results of a survey of 2000 NSW businesses. As reported in the Brisbane Times: Fewer than one in 10 (8.8 per cent) have an integrated and sustained approach to mental health;...

Working on mental health

Published on Oct 09, 2017

SafeWork NSW is emphasising mental health at work, with a summit scheduled for next month in Sydney to develop a strategy to be rolled out in 2018.  Professor Sam Harvey, Head of the Workplace Mental Health Research Program at the Black Dog Institute, said: &...

How should NSW serve long-term workers comp claimants?

Published on Sep 25, 2017

In NSW, thousands of long-term workers compensation claimaints are due to have their payments ceased over the next 12 months, as cost-saving measures come in to effect. One such worker, Shaun Toby, has been out of work for 20 years. Earlier this year, a medical specialist sta...

Lawyers first for mental health claims at NSW Health

Published on Sep 11, 2017

At NSW Health, mental health claims are subject to legal assessment before medical assessment, in a process "designed to put barriers in the way of proper compensation for those workers who suffer psychological injury." Those are the words of Greens MP David Shoebri...

Injured bull rider tests "obscure" definition of worker

Published on Jun 19, 2017

Mitchell Gajkowski, a 22 year old man who, three years ago, sustained catastrophic injuries riding a bull at a rodeo in Camden, NSW, has won an unprecedented legal case entitling him to lifetime cover for medical expenses, travelling expenses, weekly payments of workers compe...

Have you seen excellence in RTW in NSW?

Published on Jun 05, 2017

Entries are now open for the NSW SafeWork Awards 2017. If you’re a worker who has achieved excellence in recovery at work, or you know someone who has, Safework NSW wants to hear from you. If you’re an organisation that has shown great commitment to an...

Big insurers out of NSW icare scheme

Published on May 08, 2017

As of 2018, EML will be the only insurer operating in the NSW workers' compensation scheme, with GIO and Allianz acting as "transition agents" and CGU and QBE out in 2017. According to an icare spokesperson, the selection of scheme agents was based on factual ou...

Room to improve in NSW workers comp

Published on Mar 13, 2017

A parliamentary review of NSW's workers' compensation system has called for a "one stop shop" to handle disputes about claims. Other recommendations were aimed at stopping aggressive covert surveillance, preventing insurers from "doctor-shopping" a...

PTSD claimant criticises NSW workers comp

Published on Feb 08, 2017

A woman who claims to have lost everything because of PTSD that developed as a result of a knock to the head at her Hunter Valley workplace says she was further traumatised by her experiences on workers' compensation. “It’s cost me my marriage, it’...

Black lung returns to NSW

Published on Feb 08, 2017

NSW mine workers, past and present, have been invited to contact Coal Health Services to arrange a medical examination after a worker was diagnosed with the state's first confirmed case of black lung disease since the 1970s. According to SafetyCulture.com.au, the person a...

Parents bully teachers as stress claims surge in NSW schools

Published on Dec 19, 2016

In NSW schools, the cost of workers' compensation claims relating to psychological injuries jumped by 71.5 per cent, from $15.1 million in 2014-15 to $25.9 million in the past financial year. In the same period, the number of claims for psychological injuries increas...

Review into NSW workers' compensation underway

Published on Nov 07, 2016

A parliamentary review of NSW workers' compensation commenced last week, as did a series of union rallies aimed at protesting a system in which they say workers are hounded by insurers until they drop their claims. We'll keep you updated as the specifics emerge. ...

Facebook off-limits for claims investigations

Published on Nov 07, 2016

A Sydney personal injuries lawyer, John Cox, has accused insurer Employers Mutual Limited of breaking the law and engaging in significant breaches of privacy when investigating workers' compensation claims. The insurer - one of five agents operating in the NSW worke...

Stolen workers' comp files sold to injury lawyers

Published on Oct 24, 2016

A contractor for the Ambulance Service of NSW sold paramedics' workers compensation files containing psychiatric reports, details of serious injuries and other sensitive informationto a group of injury lawyers. The privacy breaches occurred in 2013 and 2014 and were repor...

Self serve workers' comp insurance coming to NSW

Published on Aug 28, 2016

NSW businesses and insurance brokers, keep your eyes peeled for a new self-service portal for workers' compensation launching in early 2017, under the aegis of icare. The self-service portal will be part of a raft of changes, as icare adopts responsibility for all workers...

New NSW guidelines for workers' comp claims

Published on Aug 21, 2016

WorkCover NSW has released new guidelines for claiming workers' compensation, combining and replacing the old guildelines for claims, work capacity, work capacity reviews and domestic assistance. For access to a prerecorded webinar explaining the changes, follow the link ...

Auctioneer fined: workplace death

Published on Jun 27, 2016

A Sydney car auctioneer has been fined over breaches to the Work Health and Safety Act which resulted in the death of an employee. The 36 year old forklift operator was unloading a truck at Milperra in 2013. A 19 year old labourer was not provided with instructions on how the...

Lindt siege: tactical operations loses members

Published on Jun 19, 2016

Low morale has been blamed on the exodus of a quarter of their staff. Those who have trasferred blamed poor command and a lack of specialist equipment. A TOU officers who was shot during the Lindt siege has filed a workers' compensation claim, claiming that there was a la...

Quad bikes: NSW government funding

Published on Jun 12, 2016

The NSW government is providing $2 million for quad bike safety improvement rebates. The scheme is being developed in conjunction with SafeWork NSW. In 2015, there were 22 quad bike fatalities in Australia, 15 of which occured on farms. There were also hundred injured. While ...

Truck driver: guilty of fraud

Published on Jun 12, 2016

A man on workers' compensation in NSW has been found guilty of two counts of fraud after he was found to be working full time as a truck driver while continuing to claim benefits. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison which he appealed. On appeal, he was sentenced to a ...

Horse riding: code of practice

Published on Jun 05, 2016

A draft safety code has been introduced by the NSW government, aiming to regulate the horse riding industry. It aims to reduce the number of work-related injuries and fatalities involving horses, and will apply to all people working around horses. In NSW in the past five year...

NSW: injured workers receive little help

Published on Jun 05, 2016

A report from Macquarie University on the impact of the 2012 changes to the workers' compensation scheme has found that injured workers are receiving very little assistance to get back to work. Returning injured workers to the workplace was the aim of the scheme. The repo...

NSW work deaths and injuries: 20 year low

Published on May 15, 2016

The NSW State Insurance Regulatory Authority has found a significant reduction in death and injury rates within the state's workplaces. The rate has decreased by 18 percent since 2013/2014, and work related deaths are at their lowest levels since 1987/1988. Deputy Se...

NSW: second largest safety fine in state's history

Published on May 08, 2016

A NSW-based construction company has been ordered to pay the second highest workplace health and safety fine in the history of NSW. The fine related to the death of a worker on a construction site in Hurstville. The 55 year old bricklayer fell five metres through a penetratio...

Mahjong club: ordered to pay $415,000

Published on May 01, 2016

A Sydney mahjong club had been ordered to pay a worker $415,000 in compensation after breaching state and national workplace laws. They reduced a full time worker to part time after he lodged a workers' compensation claim following an injury to his leg. He had previously ...

Bricklaying company fined almost $750,000

Published on Apr 10, 2016

A bricklaying company and its director have been fined $90,000 after a worker was electrocuted on a worksite. The worker suffered serious injuries when he made contact with overhead powerlines  while installing metal bars into brickwork. He was initially pronounced dead ...

NSW: Boost to workers compensation

Published on Dec 07, 2015

Workers' compensation benefits will be boosted following an announcements from the NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation. The benefits include weekly payments while a work capacity decision is under review, increased entitlement periods for medical expenses, p...

NSW: PTSD guide to be launched

Published on Nov 01, 2015

New guidelines are being released in NSW for the handling of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in emegency workers. Around 10% of workers in the police, fire and ambulance services are thought to suffer from PTSD, although the rate could be higher if retirees from these s...

Injured workers: paralympian mentors

Published on Aug 31, 2015

WorkCover NSW have entered into a $1m partnership with the Australian Paralympic Committee to provide injured young workers and road accident victims with access to mentoring  from paralympians. “This partnership will give young injured people hope and encoura...

NSW: workers' compensation changes

Published on Aug 31, 2015

A NSW Court of Appeals decision means that injured workers will only be able to make one claim for their injury. If the injury deteriorates they will not be able to top up lump sum compensation payments. Although benefits were recently increased in the state for more seious i...

Employee awarded $170,000: no modified duties

Published on Aug 24, 2015

An employee with Chrohn's Disease has been awarded $170,000 from Corrective Services NSW after the employer failed to make reasonable adjustments for her work duties. Her illness meant that she was unable to drive without regular breaks. Her employer provided a return to ...

NSW: Workers' Comp changes being wound back

Published on Aug 03, 2015

$1billion in benefits is set to be restored to the NSW Workers' Compensation Scheme. It will be put to the joint party room on Tuesday. With the scheme now back in the black, there will be increased entitlement to medical expenses, prostheses and hearing aids. The thresho...

NSW: splitting workers' comp

Published on Jul 20, 2015

The NSW Government is planning to split the workers' compensation scheme into three authorities. The aim is to prevent conflicts of interest, and to assuage perceptions that it's pro-employer/pro-insurer. In NSW, WorkCover is currently both the insurer and regulator. ...

WorkCover NSW: criticised for inaction

Published on Jun 28, 2015

WorkCover NSW has been criticised for failing to act on the WorkCover Independent Review, delivered in November 2013. The report found that workers were put at a "double disadvantage" under the 2012 changes whereby each insurer makes a work capacity decision about t...

Cricket injury: compensation approved

Published on May 24, 2015

A settlement has reportedly been reached bteween former fast bowler Nathan Bracken and Cricket Australia for a knee injury, although the matter is still to be resolved. The injury reportedly left Bracken with a limp and was unable to contunue his cricket career. He sured the ...

Parking Rangers: to wear video cameras for protection

Published on Mar 23, 2015

Parking rangers in the City of Sydney will be wearing video cameras to deter disgruntled motorists from antisocial behaviour. In the last three years, the council has paid almost $1.5m in compensation to three injured workers. The council hopes that the cameras will remove so...

Injured worker support improves in NSW

Published on Dec 29, 2014

The NSW Finance and Services Minister and Small Business Minister have declared that small business workers and employers are benefiting from changes to the NSW workers' compensation scheme, Safety Culture reports. "These reforms created real incentives for...

Injured worker costs being shifted to Centrelink and Medicare: NSW Law Society

Published on Dec 15, 2014

While the NSW Government celebrates a reduction in workers' compensation claims, the NSW Law Society says injured workers who are unable to access compensation are being supported by Centrelink and Medicare instead, Sydney Morning Herald reports. "People just gi...

NSW SafeWork finalists announced

Published on Oct 06, 2014

Finalists in the 2014 WorkCover NSW Safe Work Awards have been announced, Manufacturers' Monthly reports. This year's Awards received a record number of entries. “The annual Awards, now in its eleventh year, recognises businesses and individuals making positive ...

NSW injured workers get raw deal

Published on Aug 03, 2014

Changes to the Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2012 (NSW) in 2012 saw increases to weekly benefits, but reduced long-term claim benefits and allowed insurers more power to cease claims. "We believe that the pendulum has swung too far, and we now ...

NSW to reverse cuts to WorkCover benefits

Published on Jul 13, 2014

The NSW Government is set to reverse some changes it made to WorkCover that saw medical benefits being cut to amputees and people with hearing damage, Insurance News reports. This will increase the scheme's liabilities by around $280 million. The opposition says cuts to t...

WorkCover NSW inquiry prompts calls for new anti-bullying laws

Published on Jun 23, 2014

WorkCover NSW has come under strong criticism following a cross-party parliamentary committee, which recommended statewide anti-bullying and independent oversight of WorkCover, Sydney Morning Herald reports. The inquiry described an investigation WorkCover conducted into empl...

Men's health week focuses on increasing GP visits

Published on Jun 09, 2014

Only one in four males have seen their doctor in the past 12 months, says Hunter New England Health Men's health coordinator Ken McKenzie. ABC News reports on Hunter New England Health's focus on the health of men in the region. "We're trying t...

Cuts to workers' comp unnecessary, study finds

Published on May 26, 2014

A new report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers challenges the severity of recent cuts to worker's compensation in NSW, Stacks/The Law Firm writes for Mondaq. "The unfairness of the new WorkCover scheme...leaves only the most catastrophically injured workers receiving ongoing...

Thousands lose access to lump sum compensation

Published on May 19, 2014

Over 16,000 injured workers in NSW will now be ineligible for what was to be their share in over $350 million in workers' compensation lump sum payments, following a high court decision to make WorkCover changes retrospective, Sydney Morning Herald reports. "Bas...

Workers' comp insurer GIO sees complaints drop

Published on Apr 20, 2014

GIO Workers Compensation has seen a “significant decline” in complaints against them made to the NSW Claims Advisory Service since introducing more active communications claims advisers, Insurance Business Online reports. The improvement has been attributed to &qu...

Police WorkCover mental stress claims halved

Published on Apr 20, 2014

The number of WorkCover claims for mental stress coming out of NSW Police have more than halved over the past two years, News.com.au reports. The number of officers filing mental stress claims fell from 4.86 per 100 officers to 2.16 over a 24-month period, helping lower ...

Amputees disadvantaged under WorkCover changes

Published on Mar 24, 2014

An amputated foot is not considered a "serious injury" under NSW changes to WorkCover, Sydney Morning Herald reports. An inquiry by the NSW Legislative Council's Law and Justice Committee into the WorkCover scheme is underway, hearing evidence including that it ...

WorkCover review finds employers favoured by NSW scheme

Published on Mar 10, 2014

An independent review into WorkCover NSW has found the scheme is skewed in favour of employers, ABC News reports. The WorkCover Independent Review Office has found that the NSW workers' compensation system places more restrictions on employers than insurance companies in ...

WorkCover NSW back in surplus, premiums drop

Published on Nov 05, 2013

WorkCover has returned to a surplus, leading to an expected cut in employer premiums, Dynamic Business reports. NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and Minister for Finance and Services Andrew Constance confirm that the workers' compensations scheme is now in surplus for the ...

Workers' comp changes risk "denial of justice" - Australian Lawyers Alliance Chair

Published on Oct 29, 2012

Changes to rules governing the NSW workers' compensation scheme will act as a disincentive to injured workers seeking to pursue a claim, Lawyers Weekly reports. The Nile Amendment, passed earlier this month, will oblige all injured workers making a claim to pay their own ...

No more leave entitlements for workers' comp recipients

Published on Jul 30, 2012

New South Wales employers may no longer have to provide annual leave entitlements to employees claiming workers' compensation, Sydney Morning Herald reports. WorkCover NSW is reviewing its position after receiving legal advice that the issue is governed under the Commonwe...

Tertiary institutions need to target bullying

Published on Jul 23, 2012

Bullying is widespread throughout Australian universities according to a report into one of Sydney's top universities, which calls for an investigation, Sydney Morning Herald reports. The Report into Workplace bullying at UNSW by academic Sarah Gregson described a culture...

Firefighters now safe from compo changes

Published on Jun 24, 2012

Firefighters have been granted an exemption from changes to WorkCover legislation that would have seen them not covered during transit to and from work, ABC News reports. Pressuring the NSW Government with a strike, firefighters managed to win their reprieve shortly before th...

Lawyers warn against compo changes

Published on Jun 24, 2012

All injured workers will be required to cover their legal costs under new workers' compensation laws, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Richard Brennan, a Sydney solicitor who represents injured workers seeking benefits under the workers' compensation scheme, says th...

Critics decry "sham" workers' comp reforms

Published on Jun 17, 2012

A parliamentary report into the proposed cuts to the NSW workers' compensation scheme has adopted nearly all of the government's recommendations, prompting the opposition to brand the process a "sham", Sydney Morning Herald reports. The committee has recomme...

WorkCover's liabilities "wildly exaggerated" to justify cuts

Published on May 27, 2012

The NSW government has been accused of exaggerating WorkCover's unfunded liabilities in an attempt to create a "smokescreen" for cutting benefits to injured workers, Sydney Morning Herald reports. Unions NSW told a parliamentary inquiry into the NSW Workers'...

Injured workers face compensation cuts

Published on Apr 22, 2012

The O'Farrell government will reduce lump-sum payments to injured workers and impose a cutoff period for payments to long-term benefit recipients, Sydney Morning Herald reports. The government is proposing an overhaul to the WorkCover scheme, which is currently facing a $...

Cuts to WorkCover flagged

Published on Mar 12, 2012

WorkCover NSW may be facing drastic budget cuts after Finance Minister Gregg Pearce's announcement that the authority's deficit increased by $1 billion in the six months to June last year, ABC News reports. "It's vital that action is taken to reform the schem...

WorkCover halts prosecutions

Published on Feb 26, 2012

WorkCover NSW OHS prosecutions are currently adjourned while a review establishes whether they fall under a new law introduced last month, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. The new Work Health and Safety Act 2011 replaced the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000, making i...

Scheme approaches $5b deficit

Published on Feb 19, 2012

WorkCover NSW is approaching a $5b deficit, which could result in reduced injured worker payouts and increased employer premums, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Recently resigned chairman of WorkCover Greg McCarthy told The Sun-Herald the situation was a result of the sche...

Draft bullying code may need tweaking

Published on Dec 04, 2011

Experts say the Safe Work Australia's draft code of conduct: Preventing and Responding to Workplace Bullying, may need to be more detailed, in both defining all instances of bullying and protecting employers from unreasonable accusations, reports The Sydney Morning Herald...

WorkCover NSW '$2b in red'

Published on Nov 13, 2011

WorkCover NSW is more than $2b in deficit, according to NSW auditor-general Peter Achterstraat, and may not collect enough revenue through premiums for long-term sustainability, ABC News reports. Mr Achterstraat said the situation was worsened by workers attempting to maximis...

NSW police force sick leave soars

Published on Nov 07, 2011

The number of NSW police on workers' compensation sick leave has increased five-fold over the past seven years, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. That makes the number of officers off sick almost a fifth of those rostered on duty on any given weekday. Figures reveal that...

WorkCover launches online premium estimator

Published on Oct 16, 2011

WorkCover NSW has launched a new online tool to help businesses estimate their annual workers' compensation costs. WorkCover NSW CEO, Lisa Hunt, said the Premium Estimator was designed to provide a service to employers where they were working – online. “With h...

Webinars explain OHS harmonisation

Published on Aug 15, 2011

WorkCover NSW is conducting a series of webinars to inform businesses of the impending implementation of national OHS laws, Australasian Bus News reports. Five interactive webinars will be held, each focusing on different aspects of the new laws, including the role of health ...

Support for smoko ban

Published on Aug 01, 2011

The majority of NSW smokers and non-smokers would support a ban on cigarette breaks at work, and banning smoking outside building entrances, reports The Canberra Times. A Cancer Council NSW study found that 85 per cent of people supported bans on smoking during work hours, in...

WorkCover NSW announces new RTW initiatives

Published on Jul 11, 2011

WorkCover NSW has announced a number of initiatives and reforms to improve return to work outcomes. “The NSW Government is committed to ensuring both employers and employees are provided with incentives and assistance to ensure longer-term injured workers can re-join th...

OHS bill amended for union right to prosecute

Published on May 29, 2011

The Shooters and Fishers Party has succeeded in amending NSW workplace safety harmonisation laws to include a limited union right to prosecute, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Passed in the upper house, the amended laws allow unions to prosecute for offences in the lower c...

Govt accused of keeping new OHS laws secret

Published on May 16, 2011

NSW Industrial Relations Commission president Justice Roger Boland has accused the state government of holding one of the shortest consultation periods in "recorded history," in a move described by Greens MP David Shoebridge as, "(what) looks like the first ste...

Domestic violence leave goes ahead

Published on Feb 13, 2011

The NSW government has approved reforms to employment conditions that grant public sector employees leave if they experience domestic violence, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Victims of domestic violence are now able to use their existing leave entitlements when they requ...

Domestic violence leave policy stalled

Published on Jan 23, 2011

Despite their pledge to protect domestic violence victims' employment rights, there are suggestions the Keneally government is 'stalling' the process, reports The Sydney Morning Herald. The government pledged in their June 'Stop the Violence End the Silence...

NSW public servants' sick leave figures released

Published on Dec 12, 2010

The NSW Auditor-General Peter Achterstraat has found that despite efforts to reduce sick leave to a target of one day per person, per year in 2008-09, there has been a decline of only a quarter of a day (1.84 hours) since 2004-05, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. The highes...

15 per cent of NSW police on long-term sick leave or limited duties

Published on Dec 12, 2010

So many NSW police officers are on long-term sick leave that those remaining are reportedly becoming "stressed, injured or being pushed too hard," according to police association representatives, the Daily Telegraph reports. Partial and permanent incapacitation clai...

Bullying rife at WorkCover NSW?

Published on Sep 20, 2010

An aggrieved former employee has claimed that "controlling" management spy on workers at WorkCover NSW, and likened the workplace culture to Cold-war era East Germany. "It's like the Stasi," he told the Sydney Morning Herald. According to an internal o...

Uni of NSW grants extra paid leave for domestic abuse victims

Published on Aug 29, 2010

The Public Service Association of NSW is negotiating with the University of NSW to grant workers suffering from domestic violence an extra 20 days of paid leave per year, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The historic enterprise agreement will also have a clause to prevent e...

Disciplinary process "worsened" murder-suicide paramedic's mental state

Published on Jul 26, 2010

"The NSW Ambulance Service's failure to consider another way of dealing with a psychologically disturbed individual was ''a major shortcoming'', The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Employee Trent Speering was suspended for workplace bullying in 2008 an...

Taking on bullies

Published on Jul 19, 2010

BULLYING happens at workplaces across Sydney but WorkCover is stepping up the fight to help stamp it out with a nine-month campaign. It will target the retail, hospitality, manufacturing, health and education sectors and involve advisory and compliance visits. ...

Mental health stigma perpetuated by clinic

Published on Jun 27, 2010

A nurse at a psychiatric clinic has been instructed not to return to work by his employer after discovering he had suffered from depression, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Alistair Colgrave thought he had performed well in his first shift at Northside Clinic, with the nur...

WorkCover premium cuts for NSW employers

Published on Jun 27, 2010

161,000 New South Wales employers will soon see cuts to their WorkCover premiums, reports The Sydney Morning Herald. The rates will be reduced by up to 2.5 per cent and will benefit around 55 per cent of employers covered by WorkCover NSW. Businesses who have shown continued ...

Bullying recommendations met with "uninspiring" Government response

Published on May 16, 2010

A NSW goverment committee has recommended that, "The NSW Attorney General examine the adequacy of the existing legal framework for bullying related offences, and identify any legislative changes that could enhance the legal protection provided to victims of bullying and ...

Workplace support for domestic violence victims

Published on Apr 25, 2010

Negotiations are underway to develop Australia's first workplace agreement that will support employees who suffer abuse at home, ABC News reports. The Community and Public Sectors Union and the University of New South Wales are attempting to create an agreement that protects...

Claim-rejected post-traumatic police reach High Court

Published on Apr 13, 2010

David Wicks and Philip Sheehan, two police officers diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after assisting victims of the Waterfall rail disaster in NSW in 2003, were, "denied compensation under the NSW Civil Liability Act", because they only witnessed the ...

Crash course in mental health compo for Qantas

Published on Mar 22, 2010

Qantas is considering appealing a Workers' Compensation Commission of NSW ruling that they pay $160 000 for loss of earnings, plus medical and legal expenses, to ex-pilot Bryan Arthur Griffin, who between 1979 and 1982 was allowed to continue to as a pilot despite advising t...

New online tool to inform young workers

Published on Mar 08, 2010

Did you know that 15 young workers aged between 15 to 25 are injured each day while working? So tells WorkCover NSW's new Young Workers Hazard a Guess website, an interactive online tool designed to give young workers a better idea of their rights and responsibilities in the...

WorkSafe hits Facebook

Published on Mar 08, 2010

WorkCover NSW has launched a new way to spread the safety at work message, which will suit those of you who don't have social networking sites blocked at work, and who fancy the F-B. 'Work safe. Home safe' is the name of the page - once you're a fan you can leave...

Qantas in breach of safety laws

Published on Mar 01, 2010

WorkCover NSW has ordered Qantas to develop emergency procedures for its Sydney domestic terminal after finding the airline in breach of safety laws for failing to train or drill staff on what to do in a disaster, the Brisbane Times reports. Airport staff revealed they had not t...

Free safety workshops for small business

Published on Mar 01, 2010

Learn how to make your business a safe business from a local with expertise in workplace safety. In March WorkCover NSW is running free small business safety workshops across NSW. Local business advisory officers will be on hand with advice and practical assistance. For a full l...

High priced safety law fight

Published on Feb 15, 2010

After a landmark case for future OHS prosecutions, reported at RTWMatters last week, the NSW abattoir which won a case against WorkCover NSW is now demanding a refund from WorkCover of more than $200,000 in fines that followed accidents in 2001 and 2003. It is also demanding Wor...

New WorkCover NSW CEO

Published on Dec 14, 2009

Minister for Finance Michael Daley has announced that Lisa Hunt has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the WorkCover Authority of NSW. Ms Hunt, a former executive at Transurban, has a legal background and wide-spread experience on private and public sector boards includin...

NSW Safe Work Award Winners

Published on Nov 09, 2009

And the gongs go to... Best Workplace Health and Safety Management System winner: Transfield Services for developing an audit process to manage and improve safety across a force of 35 sub-contractors at Port Kembla steelworks. Best Solution to an identified Workplace Healt...

NSW releases data on scheme agent performance

Published on Sep 21, 2009

Worksafe NSW has released a comparison of scheme agent performance in 2008, covering a range of indicators including timeliness of account processing and the percentage of workers still receiving payments at 13, 26, 52 and 134 weeks. None of the schemes had shown any improvement...

Free safety workshops for NSW small businesses

Published on Aug 10, 2009

WorkCover NSW understands safe business is good business, so in August it's running free safety workshops across the state. In just a couple of hours, a local business advisory officer provides practical assistance and advice to improve workplace safety and injury ma...

NSW unions going rogue on OHS harmonisation?

Published on Aug 03, 2009

Unions are urging NSW Labor and the Federal Government to rethink parts of the draft national OHS laws, which will see unions lose the right to prosecute companies for safety breaches, and the onus of proof that an employer has not provided a safe workplace shift to the prosecut...

Pambula Hospital bullying investigated

Published on Aug 03, 2009

An investigation into bullying claims at the Pambula Hospital is underway, amidst allegations that nurses have experienced problems with rostering, diagnostics and bullying at the far south coast institution. RTWMatters readers will be comforted to know that a spokesperson for J...

NSW Workers' Comp stats show some good work - but plenty of room for improvement

Published on Jul 27, 2009

The Workers' Compensation Statistical Bulletin 2007/08, providing information on the causes and effects of workers' compensation claims, has now been published. Workers 'compensation reforms (in 2001) increased the focus on early intervention and return to work - a m...

WorkCover NSW speaks all languages on safety

Published on Jul 27, 2009

In recognition of July as Multicultural Safety Month, WorkCover NSW has created a series of workplace safety posters available in 13 different languages. Copies of the poster are free and can be ordered by phoning the publications hotline on 1300 799 003. ...

WorkCover NSW on the ball over costs of unsafe workplaces

Published on Jul 16, 2009

Employers who cut safety corners to reduce costs have been warned by WorkCover NSW that they risk paying for their "savings" in higher compensation costs and lower moral. According to error-reduction specialist Filomena Sousa, who is chief executive of Talsico Internat...

NSW WorkCover trials individual premium calculation for big business

Published on Jul 13, 2009

From June 30 2009, WorkCover NSW has introduced an optional alternative method for calculating big business' workers' comp premiums. Retro-paid loss, or 'burning costs' arrangements determine premiums using an organisation's individual claims and injury preve...

WorkCover trials individual premium calculation for big business

Published on Jul 06, 2009

From June 30 2009, WorkCover NSW has introduced an optional alternative method for calculating big business' workers' comp premiums. Retro-paid loss, or 'burning costs' arrangements determine premiums using an organisation's individual claims and injury preve...

Mechanic death: S Kidman & Co in court

Published on Jul 10, 2016

A diesel mechanic was killed in 2012 when a 350 kilogram metal pole fell on his on his second day of work at S. Kidman & Co's Helen Spring Station. The coroner found that he was unfamiliar with the loader, that it was defective and that management were aware of the de...

Firefighter: claim rejected

Published on Jul 10, 2016

A Darwin firefighter suffering from cancer has had his compensation claim refused. He was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2013 and became the face of the successful campaign to amend firefighter compensation legislation in the state last year. The cancer may be linked to his...

Airport firefighting truck: crash penalty

Published on May 08, 2016

The Federal Court in Darwin has issued a fine of $160,000 against Airservices Australia for breaching work health and safety laws. The fine was due to a fatal crash involving and airport firefighting truck. The truck, with lights and sirens on, went through a red light in Dar...

TIO: approves firefighter cancer claim

Published on Dec 14, 2015

A firefighter battling bladder cancer has twice had his workers' compensation claim refused, but within a day of the second refusal of his claim, the decision was made to approve the claim. This followed community and media outrage over the initial decisions from TIO. Med...

NT WorkSafe: safety advice for cattlemen

Published on Mar 30, 2015

NT WorkSafe has provided workplace safety advice for the NT Cattlemen’s Association at the Cattlemen’s annual conference. They described their recent visits in the region. Although there was some initial caution from the employers, they soon realised that WorkSafe...

Allegations NT WorkSafe hid critical internal review

Published on Aug 21, 2011

According to NT News, four recommendations of a 2009 internal review of NT WorkSafe have been kept "secret" by the authority. The review made 17 recommendations for improvement, yet only 13 were publicly acknowledged by WorkSafe - until prompted by NT News. WorkSafe...

Police force blamed for officer's mental illness

Published on Sep 12, 2010

A magistrate has ruled the NT police force responsible for an officer's mental stress injuries, a result of improper investigation of sexual harassment claims, NT News reports. Roberta Barnett alleged she was bullied and harassed by senior officers after rejecting a sexua...

Fake sick certificates lands worker conviction

Published on Apr 11, 2010

Micheal Wise, former Darwin IT worker at the Defense Department has pleaded guilty to using six forged documents for sick leave, the ABC reports. Wise took a total of 10 days' sick leave over a three year period, providing fake sick certificates that were identical except fo...

Company fined $60,000 for worker ute death

Published on Mar 21, 2010

A Northern Territory employer has been fined $60,000 after pleading guilty to workplace violations that led to the death of a Philipino visa worker. Pedro Balading, father of three, was killed when he fell out of a ute being driven by another worker. The Sydney Morning Herald re...

Darwin bomber unhappy with workers' comp

Published on Feb 08, 2010

The man responsible for detonating a bomb in a Darwin shopping centre, which left 15 people injured, was reportedly angry with his workers' compensation payout and unsatisfied with insurance service TIO. According to News.com.au, "He allegedly blamed TIO for loss of ear...

Keeping up with the crocs

Published on Jul 12, 2009

Just because we can. ...

Outcry as ACC cuts jobs

Published on Jun 11, 2024

Concerns have been raised that the Accident Compensation Commission’s intention to cut staff prioritises costs at the expense of worker safety. ...

Surgeon says surgery not a ‘silver bullet’ for chronic pain

Published on May 28, 2024

An orthopaedic surgeon from New Zealand says the over-reliance on surgery to treat chronic pain ‘should join bloodletting on the list of outdated medical practice’.  ...

New requirements for New Zealand employers around health and safety reps and committees

Published on Jul 24, 2023

Changes to New Zealand’s Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 introduce new requirements for employers to improve workers’ access to health and safety representatives and committees.  ...

Review into the list of occupational diseases under the Accident Compensation Act (NZ)

Published on Apr 15, 2023

Women could get better access to compensation as the Aotearoa New Zealand government looks at expanding the scheme's list of occupational diseases. Public submissions on the review are encouraged and are open until 17 May. ...

Why culturally appropriate care in health services matters

Published on Feb 21, 2023

Dr Peter Jansen talks about the importance of thinking about cultural safety from the patient’s perspective and becoming aware of our own cultural and other ‘blind spots’. ...

Peter Jackson: resigns over WHS changes

Published on Jan 26, 2016

Film director Peter Jackson has reportedly resigned from his role as a director of New Zealand's Weta Workshop due to changes in the NZ Health and Work Safety Act 2015. Under the legislation whch comes into force on April 4, company directors become personally liable for ...

Healthy eating still hasn't turned up at work

Published on Nov 20, 2011

About half of men and a third of women are not eating enough fruit and vegetables, says a NZ Health Ministry adult nutrition survey, Stuff.co.nz reports. Despite evidence that healthy eating improves productivity and reduces sick days, workers are still reporting difficulty e...

"Prevention" wording cut from compensation managers' title

Published on Jun 19, 2011

Concern over changes to the title of New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation managers has raised concerns of a focus away from injury and illness prevention, Scoop.co.nz reports. ACC managers will see their title change from Injury Prevention Managers to Insurance Produ...

Call for increased flexibility for ageing workers

Published on May 29, 2011

The Public Service Association has called for more flexible working options for older workers in response to recent Victoria University research suggesting widespread workplace underpreparedness for the loss of retiring aging workers, Stuff.co.nz reports. "The idea of mo...

Older workers happier, healthier

Published on Mar 14, 2011

New evidence suggests that older workers enjoying encore careers - e.g. meaningful paid or unpaid work undertaken by people in the "second half" of life - are happier and healthier than those who do not work during the latter stage of their lives, Ageing Workforce N...

NZ doctors propose shift to "fit notes"

Published on Feb 21, 2011

The Harbour Health Primary Health Organisation has proposed a shift from the "sick note" approach to the less prohibitive "fit note" philosophy pioneered in Britain, The NZ Herald reports. The group's two reports last year identified doctor's medic...

Audit campaign targets insurer rehabilitation and return to work plans

Published on May 25, 2024

Until 31 July 2024, Workers’ Compensation Regulatory Services is auditing Queensland insurers for rehabilitation and return to work plans. ...

Queensland expands firefighter access to workers’ comp

Published on May 28, 2024

Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme improves coverage for firefighters, includes default payments for accepted claims, requires insurers to reduce the chances of a worker developing psychological illness and better support gig-economy workers. ...

Bill to amend Queensland’s workers’ comp scheme introduced

Published on Apr 30, 2024

The Queensland government has introduced a Bill into Parliament to enhance care and support for injured workers and ensure the sustainability of the scheme.  ...

Lessons for RTW from a Work Well Awards 2023 winner

Published on Apr 16, 2024

John’s RTW journey illustrates that better outcomes can be achieved when there is a positive workplace culture and a person-centred approach to RTW. ...

Webinar on workplace bullying and harassment claims and reasonable management action

Published on Apr 02, 2024

In this webinar recording, lawyers from WorkCover Queensland and law firm DWF, discuss workplace bullying and harassment claims and reasonable management action. They provide tips to help employers prevent and manage these claims. ...

Final report of review of Queensland workers’ comp scheme released

Published on Feb 06, 2024

The 2023 report of the review of the QLD workers’ compensation scheme finds that the scheme is performing well, but there are still opportunities to improve the process for injured workers. ...

New video to help workers at the Medical assessment tribunal

Published on Jan 22, 2024

Worksafe QLD has made a video to help injured workers who need to attend a hearing at the Medical assessments tribunal understand the process and what support they can get. ...

It Pays to Care policy in action in QLD’s construction industry

Published on Dec 13, 2023

By taking a person-centred approach, Construction company SEE Civil significantly reduced injury rates and claim costs and achieved a workers’ compensation premium rate of half the industry rate. ...

Regulators, unions and workers respond to changes to psychosocial health laws

Published on Aug 15, 2023

Regulators, inspectors, unions and workers are referring and responding to the Queensland Code of Practice: Managing the Risk of Psychosocial Hazards at Work since it took effect earlier this year. ...

Have your say on the RRTW e-bulletin and win a conference ticket

Published on Jun 05, 2023

Workers’ Compensation Regulatory Services in the Queensland Office of Industrial Relations has a short survey about how to improve their RRTW e-bulletin. The bulletin provides information and resources to help injured workers return to work quickly and safely. You might al...

Best practice toolkit on records management for Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinators

Published on May 22, 2023

WorkSafe QLD has a toolkit on records management for Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinators. It's about understanding the importance of using best practice when dealing with information about a worker’s rehabilitation and return to work. ...

Communications kit for small businesses on how to manage risks of workplace psychosocial hazards

Published on May 22, 2023

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has produced a resource to help small businesses understand the ‘Managing the risk of psychosocial hazards at work Code of Practice’. ...

Entries are open for the Work Well Awards 2023

Published on May 17, 2023

Entries are open for the Work Well Awards 2023, previously the Safe Work and Return to Work Awards. Nominate yourself, your business or someone else and showcase achievements and innovation in return to work and work health and safety.  ...

Report of the review of Queensland’s Work Health and Safety Act 2011 released

Published on May 08, 2023

The Palaszczuk Government has accepted all 31 recommendations from the independent review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. The report has now been published. Legislation to implement the recommendations will likely be introduced to Parliament later this year. ...

New training course for rehabilitation and return to work coordinators

Published on Mar 06, 2023

You don’t have to complete an approved training course to be a rehabilitation and return to work coordinator. But doing so can equip you with the skills and abilities you need. Check out the training courses that have been approved by the Queensland Workers' Compensation R...

Queensland Managing psychosocial hazards at work code of practice to start 1 April 2023

Published on Feb 09, 2023

The Managing psychosocial hazards at work code of practice 2022 and amendments to the Work health and safety regulation in Queensland give clarity and certainty about employers’ obligations to remove or reduce psychological health risks.  ...

Introducing the Queensland Health Allied Health Framework for Value-Based Health Care

Published on Dec 09, 2022

The framework is a tool to support health professionals to explore how to implement value-based health care. It was developed by the Office of the Chief Allied Health Officer and the Australian Hospital and Healthcare Association with collaboration from the Queensland Health all...

Help shape future workplace mental health programs and tools for Queensland

Published on Dec 01, 2022

The Psychological Health Unit, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, is conducting a survey on how organisations are implementing mental health initiatives and programs. Your insights into what helps and hinders these initiatives will help inform the direction of future priori...

Film highlights small business success in workplace mental health

Published on Nov 17, 2022

Small business operators often face psychological stress from high workload, lack of work-life balance and financial pressures. To inspire their own workers and help others deal with these issues, OBE Organic, with support from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, has produce...

New online work, health and wellbeing training

Published on Sep 22, 2022

WorkSafe Queensland has a new 4-module work health and wellbeing online learning course. Learn how to embed work health and wellbeing into your business to improve the health of your workers and workplaces. The course is aimed at managers, health and wellbeing coordinators, huma...