Work Health & Safety

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Knowing what steps to take if you are injured at work is vital

Many workers experience injuries at work over the course of their lives. For a lot of people an injury at work can be a major event. It very important that every worker knows what to do when they are injured at work. The NUW places a high priority on making sure that our members are employed in safe workplaces. Should an injury occur we will do all we can to ensure that NUW members are given the proper assistance to help them along the road to recovery.

Knowing what steps to take after an injury is vital and can govern whether the road to recovery is a bumpy one or not.

Assess whether the injury requires immediate emergency medical assistance:

If a person sustains a head, neck or spinal injury or a burn or if an individual is experiencing chest pains or breathing difficulties or has lost consciousness for any reason, call an ambulance immediately. For other less serious injuries, access first aid or a doctor as soon you can.

Report the injury to the employer as soon as is possible:

This will assist the worker to receive treatment and income support if necessary.If requested, the employer must give you the contact details of their insurer. Ask your employer for a claim form. Fill it in and give a copy back to your employer with your medical certificate. Keep a copy plus copies of any documents or any receipts etc or any other paperwork involving your circumstance.

You have the right to see your own doctor:

In NSW you have the right to nominate your own treating doctor. Whether this is your own GP or usual medical practitioner, you have the right to choose which doctor you want to treat you. This includes any specialist treatment. Your doctor will review the injury and will complete the Workcover medical certificate which indicates whether you are fit for work or not.

You also have the right to choose your own Return To Work manager or Injury Rehabilitation Provider:

Your employer cannot force you to use the company Rehabilitation Provider or Return To Work adviser. You have to right to choose your own. The NUW recommends that you contact the Workers’ Health Centre on (02) 9749 7666 or visit www.workershealth.com.au

You need a comprehensive Injury Management Plan that suits the injured worker. This plan must be developed by the worker and the Rehabilitation Provider, the treating doctor, the employer and the insurer. The Workers Health Centre can insure that the Injury Management Plan is created and followed. An Injury Management Plan outlines how services and employment will be coordinated and provided to achieve the best outcome for the injured worker. Strategies and goals for the return to work of the injured worker must be included. Your employer is required to provide the injured worker with duties that are safe and suitable for the worker during the period of rehabilitiation.

The Workers Health Centre is an impartial occupational rehabilitation service that will work with the injured worker, the employer, the Union and all other necessary parties to ensure that the injured worker has an Injury Management Plan developed. They are able to help by assessing the workplace and the duties and advising to any changes to improve safety, assisting the injured worker and the employer to find suitable duties for during period of rehabilitation. They can also contact the insurer if there are any delays in the injured workers progress, getting suitable duties or payments.

Could you afford to be without your weekly wage for up to 12 months?

Important information for workers – Whether you are injured at work or not. The facts you need to know:

  1. If you sustain an injury at work, you should choose your own Doctor in the very first instance. The Union advises you not to see the Company preferred Doctor even if you are requested to.
  2. Workcover NSW states that you have the right to choose your own Doctor. Going to the Company preferred Doctor may potentially be detrimental to your claim – even if you go for one visit.
  3. If your Employer or insurer asks you to attend an appointment to see an injury Management Consultant (IMC) you should speak to your Union Delegate URGENTLY before you commit to attend any appointment. You have the right under law to do so.
  4. If your Employer or Insurer asks you to attend an appointment to see an Independent Medical Examiner (IME) you should speak with your Union Delegate URGENTLY before attending any appointment.
  5. If you have been injured and you are on Workers’ Compensation and your Doctor issues you with a Pre-Injury Duties Workcover Medical Certificate you should forward this to your employer.
  6. If your Employer asks you to attend either another Doctor or to attend a Functional Assessment before you return to your normal duties, you should speak to your Union Delegate URGENTLY before committing to go to any appointment.
  7. If you agree to see either the Company preferred Doctor or Injury Management Consultant or Specialist Doctor or Independent Medical Examiner without consulting your Union for advice, you may find your claim may be declined and the Company could withdraw your duties and then while your claim is in dispute, you and your family could be without income for up to 12 months.

Speak with your union delegate before you agree to attend an appointment or speak with the company preferred doctor or any doctor the company of the insurer sends you to or asks you to contact by telephone.

For further information about any matters around workplace injuries contact Frank Sultana on 02 9682 4622 or by  emailing returntowork@nuw.com.au

For further information about the NUW preferred Rehabilitation Provider, The Workers Health Centre, call 02 9749 7666 or email.