Safe Work Australia have launched a new best-practice framework for the management of psychological workers compensation claims.
'Taking Action', was launched at the National Workers' Compensation Summit last month and aims to help workers’ compensation insurers and claims managers support workers who are suffering with mental health disorders.
There is a particularly high prevalence of psychological health disorders in Australia, with 45 per cent of people aged 16–65 expected to experience a one in their lifetime. And it is expensive - there are roughly 10 000 accepted psychological illness claims each year, and both the median time lost, and the median compensation paid, are significantly greater than all claims.
The framework makes note of the fact that these sorts of claims tend to be inherently more difficult and complex than claims for physical injuries, partly due to the fact treatment can vary drastically on an individual basis.
“Psychological injury claims are different to physical injury claims and often present unique challenges. This is why this framework is so important, it specifically focuses on the management of psychological injury claims in Australian workplaces,” said Safe Work Australia CEO Michelle Baxter.
“Workers’ compensation authorities, insurers, claims managers and others involved in the workers’ compensation process will find this framework useful for empowering and supporting the injured worker to a faster recovery and return to work.”
The framework was developed in partnership with SuperFriend, a national mental health foundation focused on creating positive, healthy and safe working environments. It builds upon their original Taking Action Framework, which was developed for the life insurance industry.
SuperFriend CEO Margo Lyndon said she was pleased that Safe Work Australia was expanding on their original framework and using it to support workers experiencing psychological illness to lead healthy, safe, and productive working lives.