What's Happening in your State?

Published on 28 Oct 2020



Mentally Healthy Workplaces Toolkit

Have you checked out the Mentally Healthy Workplaces Toolkit available from WorkCover Queensland?

The Toolkit contains:

  • Mentally healthy workplaces
  • Promote positive practices
  • Prevent psychological harm
  • Intervene early
  • Support recovery from injury
  • Mentally healthy workplaces for small business
  • Additional resources

The toolkit provides practical tools and resources that employers, managers and leaders can use to create and maintain mentally healthy workplaces.

This toolkit is structured around a four-part model that outlines what makes a workplace mentally healthy – promote, prevent, intervene and support recovery.

Download the Toolkit.

New South Wales

New South Wales

icare Authorised Provider Model

Since early 2020, eligible customers have had the choice of the following Authorised Providers for new claims management services:

  • Allianz and GIO from 1 February 2020; and
  • QBE from 30 June 2020.

Employers Mutual Ltd. (EML) continue to provide claims management services for new claims for all eligible customers who do not nominate an Authorised Provider.

The Authorised Provider model has been developed in response to customer feedback to meet the needs of large eligible customers by creating greater choice of claims management service provider.

These Authorised Providers have been selected from the current providers of claims management services to icare based on their meeting authorisation requirements.

In addition to the services eligible employers receive for the price of their premium, they may negotiate value-added services directly with their chosen claims service provider.

In some instances, value-added services may involve an additional fee that is not included in the price of their premium.

More information about the Authorised Provider model, including eligibility criteria, is available on the icare NSW website.

Australian Capital Territory

Australian Capital Territory

Changes to CTP legislation from 1 February

On 1 February 2020, the ACT Government/Green’s new compulsory third party (CTP) scheme commenced in the ACT, impacting the rights and entitlements of people injured in a motor vehicle accident.

The Motor Accidents Injuries Act 2019 (ACT) (MAI Act) scheme changed from a common law, full compensation regime for people injured through no fault of their own to a no-fault, limited defined benefit scheme.

Key changes to the scheme include:

  • Limitation on access to compensation for those injured in a motor vehicle
  • Introduction of a defined benefits scheme
  • Definition of the role of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal; and
  • Impacts to legal practitioner cost requirements which will actively discourage the participation of legal entities in the ACT CTP scheme.

The changes to access to statutory benefits to most people injured in a motor vehicle will now be defined as during the first 6 months after the accident, regardless of fault, with access to weekly income payments if they cannot work, entitlements to medical and treatment expenses and access to commercial attendant care.

After 6 months, claimants with minor injuries or those full at fault in the accident will no longer have access to weekly payments, and those assessed as being more than minor may receive up to 2 years of weekly payments if they are assessed as suffering up to 10% Whole Person Impairment (WPI).

Further information can be accessed via the CTP Insurance website.



WorkSafe Victoria support for silicosis sufferers

With Silicosis cases increasing dramatically across the Victoria scheme, WorkSafe's Clinical lead Dr Michael Baynes, presented to Victoria agents and providers on the 18th February from the Melbourne WorkSafe office.

He shared information on Silicosis and provided an update on how WorkSafe is addressing this growing concern.

Mr Baynes, an Occupational Physician, shared his expertise about Silicosis - what it is, the stages of progression, the functional impact at each stage and occupational considerations for work environments and respiratory effort.

WorkSafe committed to providing optimal support for Victorian injured workers diagnosed with Silicosis by offering optional Vocational Rehabilitation new employment services. These have a particular focus on generous retraining options Occupational Rehabilitation providers can offer and have approved.

The session was well attended by all providers, including APM, as well as all WorkSafe agents who now have specialist teams dedicated to the support of injured workers diagnosis with Silicosis.

Anyone interested in further information regarding the content or supports available is welcome to contact APM Regional Manager Jon Ansell on Jon.Ansell@apm.net.au or 0490 431 349.

Jon Ansell from APM WorkCare speaking at a Silicosis event in Victoria



The Tasmanian Government has released a Safe Workplaces Framework.

This framework supports workplaces as they re-open or expand their business activities following the peak of COVID-19 pandemic, with health and safety at the forefront.

Practical guidelines and checklists are provided to complete a safety plan containing a checklist, which will ensure businesses comply with the new minimum standards.

As well as guidance pertinent to all businesses, tailored information is provided for small, medium and large businesses, for event organisers and industry specific guidelines.

Along with templates and checklists, information sheets, videos and additional resources are supplied on the WorkSafe Tasmania website.

Download the Framework

South Australia

South Australia

RTW SA Annual Report 2019-20

ReturnToWorkSA’s Annual Report 2019-20 has been published.

Key data from the report include:

  • There were 14,299 claims received in the registered scheme with 95% of claims determined accepted for financial support.
  • Return to work results were lower than the last two financial years. ReturnToWorkSA believe that the impact of COVID-19 on availability of work, combined with claims agents being unable to mobilise their workforce, were both contributors to these results.
  • ReturnToWorkSA advises their claims agents have since increased their capacity for face-to-face service provision to increase the level of support provided to workers and employers in the pursuit of better return to work outcomes.

Table showing statistics for "Injured workers at work at key intervals after injury"

  • While the underwriting result improved by $122m, the total comprehensive result deteriorated with return to work results and investment returns having not performed as well as previous years.

Mentally Healthy Workplaces Program

The Mentally Healthy Workplaces Program is available to all employers in South Australia and provides free education and consultancy services for those workplaces wanting to take action to embed mental health and wellbeing into their workplaces.

ReturnToWorkSA advises that they are committed to providing support for mentally healthy workplaces in South Australia, and that this has been an important service at a time when the health and wellbeing of the community and their workplaces has been significantly impacted by bushfires and the COVID‑19 pandemic.

Download the 2019-20 annual report.

Western Australia

Western  Australia

WorkCover WA scheme trends report

WorkCover WA have released a scheme trends report showing interesting trends in regard to lodged claims in the 2018/2019 year.

Some interesting highlights for the 2018/2019 financial year include:

  • 26,393 Injured Workers’ were assisted in the Workers’ Compensation Scheme. 60% had lost time with 40% having no lost time off work.
  • 260,073 Workplace services were provided
  • 87% returned to work with 75% still employed following a 6-9 month period
  • Technicians and trades workers, labourers, community and personal service workers accounted for 63% of the lost time claims
  • Injuries predominantly occurred in Upper Limbs (37%), Lower limbs (23%) and trunk of body (18%).
  • Sprains and strains accounted for 48% of the injuries with the majority of lost time claims being musculoskeletal injuries.

Download the full report from WorkCover WA.

Northern Territory

Northern Territory

WorkSafe Australia data - Focus on safe vehicle use

Northern Territory WorkSafe has published data outlining the trends in workers' compensation according to the latest Safe Work Australia statistics.

Whilst workplace fatalities in the Northern Territory decreased by 57% in 2018, vehicle collisions are still the major cause of worker deaths.

Safe Work Australia uses the term ‘vehicle collision’ to identify fatalities (and injuries) that occurred as a direct result of a vehicle crash. Vehicles include not only cars and trucks, but also machines such as aircraft, helicopters, boats, loaders, tractors and quad bikes.

The percentage in the Northern Territory is much higher than in the rest of Australia, with vehicle collisions causing 66.6% of the worker fatalities in 2018. The majority of vehicle collisions in the Northern Territory occurred outside of the urban areas.

NT WorkSafe go on to say that businesses who require their workers to operate vehicles in non-urban areas should have the appropriate policies and procedures to ensure:

  • Workers have the appropriate training and instructions to operate the vehicle in the conditions they may encounter;
  • The vehicles are routinely maintained and fit for purpose;
  • Procedures are in place for remote or isolated work; and
  • The risks associated with operating the vehicle have been identified and eliminated if possible or minimised.

APM also note that Vehicle Ergonomic Assessments and Occupational Therapist Driver Assessments can also assist with the health and safety of those that drive for work.

Recently the Vehicles as a Workplace National Guide was released as a resource for Australian workplaces. The guide is a collaboration between Australian state and territory work health and safety authorities, road safety authorities, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and other key stakeholders.

You can view the safety seminar on Driving in the Central Australian Outback delivered by Joel Fleming and Brett Malouf.