Insurance and Care NSW (icare) will be in Lismore on Wednesday 28 November to meet with Northern Rivers employers and rehabilitation providers to tell them about changes to workers insurance scheme at a forum it is hosting at the Lismore Regional Gallery.
David Huxley, icare’s Northern Region Relationship Manager, said his team has been travelling across the state this year to provide businesses with insights into the workers compensation system and to gain feedback on experiences, including suggestions.
“In this region (including Lismore, Ballina, Byron Bay and Casino) there is a workforce of nearly 49,000 people, covered by over 5,000 policies, with 855 workers compensation claims having been made in the past year,” Mr Huxley said.
“As one would expect, the top three industries in the region are hospitality, retail, and education, but the overwhelming number of claims are among manufacturing workers."
“Manufacturing comprises only 9 per cent of employees but 29 per cent of the claims. In addition, there are 56 manufacturing claims per 1,000 employees which is 65 per cent higher than scheme average of 34 claims per thousand."
“Another interesting statistic is that even though the number of retail workers injured is low, they take 72 days off on average to return to work. This is 56 per cent higher than the state average of 46 days off for retail workers."
“With these facts at our fingertips, we can work with local employers to better understand the unique aspects of the region. That way we can find ways to reduce injuries, assist in getting employees back to work sooner, and minimise the cost of workers insurance premiums,while effectively increasing productivity,” he said.
“We'll have a representative from our Medical Office to explain how icare is leveraging in-house medical expertise to improve the delivery of healthcare to our customers.”
Psychological claims can be among the most complex and costly claims. The longer people are off work, the greater their risk of social isolation and the increased likelihood of the on set or escalation of mental health issues, which can further delay recovery."
“For this reason, we will host a special presentation at the forum to explore the value of workplace connections and how they can improve organisational culture,” Mr Huxley said.
“If we can build a psychologically resilient workplace culture we can start reducing psychological injuries at work. This should also enable employers to provide support earlier for workers who may be experiencing a problem, before it becomes overwhelming.
“icare is changing the way people think about insurance and care. This forum is a chance for local employers to find out more about icare, and how icare might be able to work with them to create a safe, healthy and sustainable regional environment,” he said.