Why early intervention for workplace injuries is vital for business

If you or a member of your team has ever been off work due to an injury, you’ll understand that return to work is critical, and responding quickly and correctly is essential.

Being off work due to an injury has a significant impact on an employee’s health and recovery. And research shows the longer they’re away, the less likely they are to return.

If a team member 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%

Early intervention for workplace injuries helps injured employees return to work as soon as possible to reduce the impact of their injury on their health and on your business.

Source: Australian & New Zealand consensus statement on the health benefits of work.

Reduce the time and the impact of return to work

Injured workers can face several delays to their return to work and recovery.

Tracking injuries isn’t always a simple process for employers – especially those with large geographical footprints and dispersed multi-site workforces.

In many companies the team that handles injury management and return to work of injured workers is often responsible for managing multi-state jurisdictions, insurance companies, and compensation claims.

When you also consider recruitment for experienced injury management advisors is usually competitive and expensive, employers face several challenges and limited support to give their workers the best chance of a safe and speedy return.

Early intervention services reduce this burden, support the injured worker, the employer and internal injury management team, and benefit the wider organisation.

Know the workplace

Early intervention services rely on understanding the workplace.

If a worker is injured, service providers, such as Biosymm, can find suitable duties to enable them to continue working, reducing the chance of delayed recovery.

This also reduces the costs of sick leave, compensation claims through lost wages, and improves productivity.

Biosymm’s early intervention service, which includes onsite physio and video services, has a stay at work rate of 98%.

The national average stay at work rate is less than 60% when an injured worker only attends their GP or personal health services.

Triage for workplace injuries

When injured workers and employers receive early intervention services from a triage hotline, they have reduced medical bills and lost time injuries.

Comcare’s 2021 research into the best practice for recovery and return to work recommends early intervention programs, a triage service and strong engagement with teams across the workplace.

Employers who have used Biosymm’s workplace injury video triage service have seen the benefits of acting early following an injury.

“On average for a full-time site we save a business over 2,000 workdays in recovery time per year.

“We have over 20,000 cases we have managed in this way,” Biosymm Case Coordinator Zoe Penders, said.

Zoe said Biosymm’s triage team focus on providing injured workers with the skills, knowledge, advice and re-assurance to self-manage their injury.

“This philosophy leads to less over-medicalisation of simple injuries meaning they recover faster whilst at work.

“Of course, some injuries do require treatment which is picked up through our follow up model or during the video triage and an appointment is made same or next day.”

Zoe said Biosymm’s successful early intervention programs worked well for employers due to features including:

  • 24/7 employee access to a registered nurse or allied health professional to provide first aid, suitable duties and return to work advice
  • Injuries are reported within the first hour, with most self-managed resulting in less medical costs and lost time
  • Managers are present during triage calls to support injured workers and to identify suitable duties for a faster return to work
  • Access to a national network of GP’s and physiotherapists who understand the health benefits of remaining at work
  • Employers with a large network of sites have a single point of contact and standardised process on managing injuries
  • Video and photo services ensures employees receive accurate advice and employers receive the most accurate injury information.

“Engaging a video lead triage service ensures that employees are seen, body language is picked up, and non-verbal cues give insight into the overall condition of the injured worker.

“The two way face to face interaction with the a health professional makes the experience more human,” Zoe added.

Early intervention in action

Zoe shared details of an example where Biosymm’s early intervention resulted in no lost work time, an increased rate of recovery, and a worker’s compensation claim was avoided.

Biosymm were notified by an employer of an injury where a worker had tripped and landed on her knee. The worker experienced immediate pain and swelling in her knee and had difficulty putting weight on the joint as well as walking and squatting.

“The worker was seen by Biosymm within the first few hours of injury and was provided acute injury management advice, as well as an exercise program.” Zoe said.

“As Biosymm have a in depth understanding of the job roles for this company, the worker was provided with suitable duties to enable them to stay at work, whilst not aggravating their injury.

“They were also referred to Biosymm’s Better Health Network for further treatment”

“Within eight days of the initial injury, the worker was back to completing their full duties with no restrictions. They remained at work throughout, with no lost time.”

About Workplace injury video triage

Workplace injury video triage uses the latest video technology to give you care and advice from our registered nurses and allied health professionals, within the all-important first hour of when an injury occurs – anytime, any day, anywhere.