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WorkSafe’s Approach to Work-Related Stress Celia Prosser. Introduction. Background WorkSafe’s approach to work-related stress Stress Prevention Stress Eligibility Stress Return to Work Closing / Questions. Background.

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WorkSafe’s Approach to Work-Related StressCelia Prosser

Introduction l.jpg

  • Background

  • WorkSafe’s approach to work-related stress

  • Stress Prevention

  • Stress Eligibility

  • Stress Return to Work

  • Closing / Questions

Background l.jpg

  • Stress claims growing, whilst overall claim numbers dropping (10% of total scheme claims)

  • Most prevalent in the public sector (20% of Public sector claims)

  • ‘Expectations’ re stress and workers compensation have evolved

  • Great variance regarding degree of disability / contribution to work

  • Lack of understanding re most effective treatment, and what will

    assist with recovery and return to work

  • Many claims are related to inter-personal conflict between colleagues

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VWA’s Stress Strategy

Stress Prevention



Stress Claim Eligibility

Stress Return to Work

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Stress Prevention: Aim

  • To pilot a risk management approach to assist employers reduce psychological risk factors in their workplaces

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Stress Prevention: Outcomes

  • A risk management approach can be effective for reducing the incidence of psychological risk factors

  • Consistent with the management of other OHS issues

The pilot clearly demonstrated that psychological risk factors can be reduced

Guidance: Stresswise- Preventing Work-Related Stress. A guide for Employers

in the Public Sector.

Released March 07.

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Stress Eligibility Aims

  • To improve the quality and consistency of initial liability decisions on claims related to stress

  • To ensure workers with a genuine work related entitlement to compensation have their

    claims accepted quickly

  • To ensure that when a claim need to be investigated, sufficient information is gathered to enable a

    robust decision to be made

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Stress Eligibility: Outcomes

  • Approx 30% of workers have their claimsaccepted within5 days of Agent receipt

  • If there is no entitlement to compensation the decision is more likely to be maintained at conciliation

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Stress Eligibility Next Steps

  • Still lots of room to improve our communication to workers, particularly for adverse decisions

  • Longer term… build improved confidence in decisions, which should lead to less animosity between involved parties and more timely assistance to workers

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Stress RTW Aims

  • Improve return to work outcomes for workers with claims related to stress or psychological illness

  • For DOE, DHS, Vic Police and their respective Agents to work collaboratively toward achieving agreed KPIs, which reflect activities aimed at assisting injured workers to return safely to work

  • Identify barriers to effective RTW for workers with a claim related to stress

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Stress RTW: Outcomes

  • Tracking at approximately 4% improvement on

  • 26 week continuance rate *

  • Better collaboration between Employers, Agents, Unions, and VWA

* Measure of the number of workers that had at least 20 days off work, that remain off work and have received at least 26 weeks of compensation

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Stress RTW Next Steps

  • Still a challenge…

  • WorkSafe 5 year strategy has particular emphasis on the differences between Employers based on size, a service to address inter personal conflict, and

    building Agent capability to facilitate

    better RTW outcomes

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