INJURY CASE MANAGEMENT

Comprehensive Management for the Injured Worker

Many injuries that occur in the workplace can be handled with simple medical support, however a small costly percentage require more comprehensive management. These cases test the resources available to the employer. Edge People Management is skilled and experienced in dealing with cases just like these. Edge People Management’s team of experienced injury management consultants can assist in solving the problems and overcome the barriers that may prevent an injured worker from returning to productive employment through strategic resolution practices.

Injury Management Consultants

A number of injured workers experience difficulty with a straightforward return to work following their injury. These workers, and their employers, often require assistance in structuring a programme that maximises the worker’s likelihood of returning to productive employment. The coordination of this process is called ‘injury management’. Edge People Management’s consultants assess the barriers impeding full return to work and recommend appropriate services and plans to achieve the most favourable outcome for all parties. This is facilitated through ongoing liaison between the injured worker, employer, treating doctors and insurer.

Specialisations

Edge People Management draws on a range of expertise appropriate for the injured worker’s particular requirements. These include: Psychologists (specialised in rehabilitation counselling and organisational psychology) Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists. In addition, Edge has access to resources required to assist with any other specific needs that the injured worker or your organisation may have.

PHYSICAL REHABILITATION PROGRAMS

Many of the injuries that occur in the workplace are physical in nature. These injuries all contribute to significant lost work time and productivity. One of the most effective ways to manage physical injury is with exercise. This may involve specific exercises to target a particular injury, more generalised exercise for fitness and weight loss, or a combination of both. Edge People Management provides Physical Rehabilitation Programs through our specialised Physiotherapists. Our approach is both structured and innovative, designed to prevent or reduce some of the consequences associated with being injured at work. Edge promotes early intervention, employing therapeutic exercise to help prevent possible deconditioning, depression and dependence, and reinforcing an overall "wellness" model. Our aims are twofold:-

To provide appropriate formal exercise programs based on objective outcome measures which complement existing treatment protocols, and

To establish and maintain excellent communication channels with all relevant parties.

Implementation of a physical rehabilitation program may reduce the need for vocational rehabilitation, particularly when the injured worker is able to participate in alternative duties and complete their programs on site. Clients referred for a physical rehabilitation program receive extensive subjective, physical and functional assessments and are subsequently provided with exercises tailored to their specific requirements. This may include exercises in water (hydrotherapy) and/or in a gymnasium setting. Home based exercise will also be used if appropriate. They may also incorporate different exercise modalities depending upon the nature of the injury and the level of supervision required. The program is monitored and modified throughout, with outcomes reported to all relevant parties.

Benefits to the worker of such a program include:

  • - improved cardiovascular fitness
  • - improved independence
  • - greater responsibility for rehabilitation
  • - reduced passive intervention
  • - reduced medication
  • - reduced chronicity of injury.
  • FUNCTIONAL BASED ASSESSMENTS

    Work Site Assessments

    Work Site assessments are a valuable tool used to analyse the duties and job tasks of a particular role. This provides information with regard to associated work demands and potential areas of risk. Each job is divided into a number of general work duties which is then broken down and analysed by task (e.g. sitting, bending, lifting etc.). The types of postures, techniques, loads and equipment used are recorded as well as other environmental factors such as temperature, noise, and work heights. A detailed report is then compiled and provided to all key parties along with strategies suggested to address any concerns.

    Ergonomic Work Station Assessments

    Ergonomic assessments are undertaken for office based employees, particularly those who utilise a computer in their role. Musculoskeletal abnormalities that result from poor work postures and badly designed workstations can affect both employee’s work performance and productivity, and could ultimately lead to a workers compensation claim. Examination of the workstation includes an analysis of the desk, chair, keyboard, phone, computer and any other equipment utilised in the performance of daily tasks. During the assessment, the worker is also educated with regard to ideal ergonomics and posture. They are also provided with simple preventative exercises to undertake whilst at their workstation, such as daily stretches.

    Manual Handling/Back Care Education

    Worker education is based on findings outlined in the company work site assessments. Education seminars may be provided on a one-on-one or group basis, and target specific duties and tasks where there is potential for injury. Most training sessions involve a theoretical presentation combined with practical demonstrations in the workplace. Following training, we recommend a follow up session whereby the Physiotherapist visits the workplace to view the work practices and ensure that the training is taken on board. This allows the workers an opportunity to ask questions and to solve any problems they may be experiencing in the application of the new work practices.

    Functional Capacity Assessments

    Functional Capacity Assessments accurately assess a worker’s physical capacity to work through a series of standardised measurement tools. This physical capacity is then correlated to either the worker’s pre-injury role or other prospective jobs.

    Onsite Physiotherapy Services

    Many musculoskeletal problems can be effectively managed with physiotherapy. By providing specialist occupational physiotherapy services, you can improve your productivity, reduce waiting times for treatment, eliminate time away from work, and provide a faster return to work process.

    CAREER RE-DIRECTION

    RE-DIRECTION

    Career re-direction case management assists injured workers to return to work with a new employer when unable to return to their pre-injury occupation. Redeployment is appropriate in cases where:

  • - return to pre-injury work has failed
  • - prognosis to return to a pre-injury/modified job is poor
  • - pre-injury position is no longer available
  • - return to pre-injury duties poses a risk to the health and safety of the employee

  • Edge provides innovative, supportive and effective assistance in circumstances where an injured individual is unable to return to their pre-injury occupation. Typically, the following services are offered in this process:

    Vocational Assessment/Counselling

    The Vocational Assessment process assists an individual to identify realistic and achievable employment options based on their level of education and training, prior experience and aptitudes which are measured via psychometric testing instruments. These may include vocational interest surveys, personality assessments and IQ tests.

    The Vocational Assessment process provides information such as:

  • - capacity to return to similar employment
  • - capacity for alternative employment with current work skills and injury impairment
  • - capacity to undertake further appropriate courses and/or retraining
  • - possible future employment prospects with or without retraining
  • - whether any vocational rehabilitation assistance could
  • - improve the injured worker’s prospect of returning to work

    The Vocational Assessment also identifies the:

  • - transferable KSAs (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities) based upon previous employment history, hobbies, interests and educational achievements
  • - individual needs such as vocational retraining, job search skills training, and vocational counselling
  • - psychosocial, cognitive and physical barriers that adversely impact employment potential through expert review and specific assessment

    Case Management requires individualised service delivery based on comprehensive assessment that is then used to develop a rehabilitation plan. The plan is developed in collaboration with the individual and reflects the services required to achieve the desired new employment outcome by empowering the individual to ensure that they are involved in all aspects of the planning and service arrangement in a dynamic way.

    APM has developed a team of specialised consultants who focus solely on meeting the individual's needs through communication and consultation to promote quality and cost effective outcomes.

  • Job Search Skills

    Our Job Search Skills Training program assists individuals to acquire job seeking competencies such as résumé preparation, interview technique, cover and expression of interest letter writing, and personal presentation skills.

    This training develops the individual's abilities in areas such as addressing key selection criteria, disclosing their injury (when appropriate), confidently discussing gaps in their employment history, responding to behavioural interview questions and promoting their best attributes in a panel interview context.

    This training develops the individual's abilities in areas such as addressing key selection criteria, disclosing their injury (when appropriate), confidently discussing gaps in their employment history, responding to behavioural interview questions and promoting their best attributes in a panel interview context.

    At the conclusion of the Job Search Skills Training program, a job seeker will have gained valuable skills and independence in their ability to identify suitable vacancies or potential employers, express their interest in the potential role and apply and interview for the relevant position with positive results.

    This program would benefit those individuals who lack job seeking competencies however present with the drive to secure employment independently of a structured workplace rehabilitation case management program.

    This research is particularly useful in identifying the likelihood of an individual securing employment within reasonable distance of their residential area, particularly in regional or remote locations with restricted or limited labour market activity.

    This analysis may also assist in identifying an individual's remunerative potential at a specific point in time, and can define the likely education requirements of a position prior to supporting a job seeker through retraining.

    This Vocational Assessment provides an examination of the individual's capabilities, needs and vocational potential, to assist with the development of a realistic new employment goal that aligns and complies with the related legislation under which the job seeker is insured.

    The Vocational Assessment also identifies the:

  • - Transferable KSAs (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities): Based upon previous employment history, hobbies, interests and educational achievements
  • - Individual needs: Such as vocational retraining, job search skills training, vocational counselling to address any adverse events during the program and/or exposure and re-integration into the workplace through Work Trial or Work Placement based work experience
  • - Psychosocial, cognitive and physical barriers that adversely impact their employment potential through expert review and specific assessment

    In some circumstances, APM's Registered Psychologists and Rehabilitation Counsellors may use psychometric testing to clarify an individuals' level of literacy, numeracy, cognitive ability, English language competency and capacity to learn new skills.

    The results of this assessment assist in determining suitable job options or recommendations to help with planning a return to work after an injury, either to the worker's previous occupation or a new occupation.

    APM's Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists use the Physical Work Performance Evaluation (PWPE) which comprises tasks that evaluate strength, position tolerance, mobility and endurance.

  • PLACEMENT SERVICES

    Opportunity for Employers and Workers

    Following injury, a worker may be unable to return to their pre-injury occupation either temporarily or long term. This problem can be resolved by trialling a worker in a new vocation. A work trial assesses suitability of employment and helps to facilitate a successful return to work outcome. Labour market research is used in conjunction with this to further indicate the suitability of employment options for the worker. Edge People Management will access a work trial for the worker and monitor the trial to completion. We support both the worker and the host employer to enhance work trial outcomes.

    Placement Services

    To enhance a worker’s prospective return to the workforce, a work trial can be organised to assess a worker’s capacity to work, as well as give them confidence to return to a productive working environment. The process of sourcing ‘host employers’, i.e. suitably placing a worker into a physically appropriate job role and supervising their progress, is termed placement services. Edge People Management provides placement services to complement its extensive range of injury management products.

    Job Search Skills

    Our Job Search Skills Training program assists individuals to acquire job seeking competencies such as résumé preparation, interview technique, cover and expression of interest letter writing, and personal presentation skills.

    Labour Market Research

    Labour Market Research involves conducting an investigation into the status of the labour market to assess such current factors as job availability, remuneration, demographics and training requirements of positions. The results of this research allow parties concerned to draw informed decisions toward practical outcomes.

    Benefits to Host Employers

    Edge People Management canvasses potential employers to host work trials, presenting them with the following benefits:

  • - A ‘free’ pair of hands in the workplace
  • - An opportunity to assist a person to re-enter the workforce
  • - Ability to assess a potential employee prior to formal employment
  • - No obligation placement

  • Benefits to Workers

    Along with assessing their physical capacity to perform in an alternative job role, the following benefits exist for workers in the undertaking of a work trial:

  • - Gaining practical experience and a current reference
  • - Determining what the job involves
  • - Gaining confidence to search for further employment
  • - Developing new skills

  • Accessing Work Trials

    Edge People Management deals with a number of employer groups that can be utilised for work trial placements, as well as having developed a large group of host employer contacts from previous placements. Edge has established a good working relationship with potential host companies, with most willing to provide repeat work trial placements, some with the opportunity for ongoing employment if successful. Edge People Management has staff dedicated to sourcing of work trial placements, enabling an industry best practice rapid response to placement requests. Edge will liaise between the host employer, worker, medical staff and insurer to ensure a worry free work trial.

    ONSITE PHYSIOTHERAPY SERVICES

    Training

    Our Specialist Physiotherapists can offer a full range of services to improve not only your absenteeism rate, but also the well-being of all of your employees. We can provide regular clinics for injury management as well as ad-hoc services for assessment or other purposes.

    Benefits:

    ▪ Early invention and triage of workplace injuries

    ▪ Immediate Assessment, diagnosis and treatment of injuries

    ▪ Increased control over return to work procedures

    ▪ Increased control over costs associated with workplace injuries

    ▪ Reduced Lost Time Injuries (LTIs)

    ▪ Minimise losses in productivity by maintaining employees at work

    ▪ Reduced absenteeism (by not sending your injured employees off site to external providers)

    ▪ Minimise workers compensation claim and premium costs

    ▪ Increased employee morale

    ▪ Comprehensive injury related statistics and trends are provided to allow identification of areas of high risk or injury occurrence

    ▪ Open lines of communication between all key parties to keep you informed of how your employee’s injuries are progressing.

    Our Physiotherapists can also do much more than just assess and treat your workplace injuries.  Our Physiotherapists can also conduct any of the following workplace health and safety services:

    ▪ Worksite assessments

    ▪ Return to work planning and advice

    ▪ Injury prevention programs

    ▪ Manual handling risk assessments

    ▪ Manual handling training sessions

    ▪ Office ergonomic assessments and training sessions

    ▪ Onsite health and wellness programs

    ▪ Onsite exercise programs.

    LET OUR PROFESSIONAL TEAM HANDLE YOUR CASE

    Edge People Management’s team of experienced injury management consultants can assist in solving the problems and overcome the barriers that may prevent an injured worker from returning to productive employment through strategic resolution practices.

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