Statement by Chief Executive Clare Amies:
Today the Ombudsman handed down her report into the Management of Complex Compensation Claims in Victoria and WorkSafe’s Oversight.
WorkSafe acknowledges the report highlights a number of cases in which injured workers were not given the support and respect that all injured workers deserve. It also found instances of conduct which were totally unacceptable.
Every injured worker must be treated with sensitivity and respect and WorkSafe is determined to continue to do everything it can to help their rehabilitation, recovery and safe return to work. WorkSafe accepts the Ombudsman’s recommendations and is currently implementing them.
WorkSafe and its insurance agents manage more than 90,000 injured worker claims a year and make more than two million decisions a year in relation to compensation and treatment.
WorkSafe surveys injured workers each month to monitor how each of its insurance agents performs. According to its latest annual survey of 5000 randomly selected injured workers, more than 86 per cent were satisfied with the service they received.
The Ombudsman’s report focuses on injured workers with complex medical conditions who have been receiving weekly payments over a long period. WorkSafe acknowledges that these injured workers need a more tailored response and is working on ways to achieve this.
As the Ombudsman identified in her report, WorkSafe has already begun work in a number of other key areas to further improve decision making processes.
WorkSafe will do everything it can to improve the service provided to injured workers so that, whenever possible, they can recover and return to work as soon as it is safe to do so.
It is also a timely reminder that preventing workplace injuries must be the priority for all employers and workers.
Public enquiries: Call the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 between 8:30am and 5pm Monday to Friday, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Advisory Service, PO Box 4306, Melbourne, 3001.