Peer support helps injured people back to work

Melbourne’s west is hosting the first of this year’s Employer Return-to-Work Network meetings on 22 February.
News article published

Thursday 10 Feb 2011

Industries and topics
  • Return to work

The meeting, at the Sanctuary Lakes Resort at Sanctuary Lakes on 22 February, runs from 8:30 am to 11:00 am.

WorkSafe’s Return to Work Division Director, Dorothy Frost, said the network meetings helped employers and RTW coordinators consolidate their knowledge and better understand their obligations.

“It covers the coordinator’s role and the skills needed to successfully manage an injured person’s return to work. Clinical psychologist Kaye Frankcom will also talk about preventing stress-related claims and helping those with them.'

RTW network meetings are also held in central Melbourne as well as the northern and southern suburbs throughout the year. Information on each session in 2011 can be found at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Danielle Jacobs at WorkSafe on (03) 9940 4283.

Ms Frost said the network events were an opportunity for the people actually doing the work to learn from others who’d been through the process before.

“Employers whose workers had been injured have a legal obligation to help them back to work.

“Learning from the experience of their peers is a great way to achieve early, safe & durable return-to-work outcomes which helps injured people and their employers,” Ms Frost said.

“Many injured people are itching to get back to work in some capacity. They get bored, even depressed, and want to see their workmates again.'

“Many employers, injured workers and their treatment professionals often don’t realise people can, and often do, return to work on a part-time basis or to different jobs before they are fully recovered.

“The longer someone is off work the more it costs the business in staff replacement and other costs. It’s good for the workers’ state of mind as well.”

Top 5 tips for Return to Work Coordinators:

  • A workplace injury can have a significant impact on a worker, their family, colleagues and friends; therefore the earlier the worker can begin the return-to-work process, the more successful it is likely to be.
  • An employer’s return-to-work obligations begin even before a claim has been accepted by their WorkSafe Agent. They begin when an employer receives an injured worker’s Certificate of Capacity or claim for weekly payments, whichever is earlier, or from the date they are advised by their Agent that they have received these documents.
  • Make sure your employer has provided you with sufficient seniority to perform the role of a Return to Work Coordinator.
  • Useful WorkSafe publications and tools are available from including Return to Work Coordination – the basics you need to know, What to do if a worker is injured – A guide for employers and A Step by step guide to assessing suitable employment options and Return to Work Arrangements.
  • Contact your employer’s authorised Agent or the WorkSafe Advisory service (1800 136 089) if you need help.

Join the Return to Work register

For regular updates and the latest information on best practice in return to work, join the Return to Work Register. You’ll receive our regular e-newsletter, Learn to Return which includes return to work news, tools, training opportunities and invitations to networking events.To join; visit