Health Benefits of Safe Work

There is compelling evidence that, in general, work is good for health and wellbeing. Conversely, the evidence also says long-term work absence, work disability and unemployment have a negative impact on health and wellbeing

Practically applying your understanding of the health benefits of safe work can further support an injured worker to stay at or return to work as soon as it is safe to do so. The evidence also supports the value of returning to, or staying at, work as part of a person's rehabilitation and not just as the end point of rehabilitation.

The Australian Consensus Statement on the Health Benefits of Work , highlights compelling international and Australasian evidence of the health benefits of safe work. It also brings together a wide range of stakeholder signatories, including WorkSafe, who recognise the importance of work as a determinant of a person's health. 

For more information on the Health Benefits of Work visit

Your Health Benefits of Work GP and patient resource pack

Work absence tends to perpetuate itself: that is, the longer someone is off work, the less likely they become ever to return. If the person is off work for:

20 days the chance of ever getting back to work is 70%

45 days the chance of ever getting back to work is 50%

70 days the chance of ever getting back to work is 35%

Johnson D, Fry T. Factors Affecting Return to Work after Injury: A study for the Victorian WorkCover Authority. Melbourne: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research; 2002.

Return to work

Returning to work is an important part of an injured worker's recovery and rehabilitation. By assisting your patient to safely stay at work or return to work early, you can reduce the social and financial impact on their life and wellbeing and increase the likelihood of a timely recovery

For more helpful information on facilitating return to work for your patient please visit Information for General Practitioners.

Key People Involved in Return to Work


GPs play a key role in supporting an injured worker's recovery and return to work by assessing and certifying work capacity.

The certificate of capacity is a key communication tool in the return to work process.

Providing complete and accurate information on the certificate of capacity, such as your patient's sitting/standing tolerances and driving ability, will ensure everyone involved in the return to work process understands and knows how to support your patient's requirements.

Health and wellbeing in the workplace

Supporting the health and wellbeing of your workers by offering relevant activities in areas like physical activity, healthy eating and quitting smoking, can contribute towards a happier, healthier business. WorkSafe's Healthy Workplace Kit is a free online tool to help you build and enhance your health and wellbeing programs.

Mental Health Webinars for GPs and health professionals

How to help your patients with psychological work related injury   - A recording of this webinar held on 25 March 2015 is available via

Supporting Recovery and Return to Work for patients with pain and mental health conditions
This webinar presented key principles and practical strategies for assessing and managing pain and mental health conditions in relation to work related injury.
A recording of this webinar held on 19 august 2015 is available via