In Victoria the workers' compensation system provides income benefits for a maximum period of 130 weeks, with the exception of very seriously injured workers. Nearly 2000 injured Victorian workers reach this limit every year, yet we know very little about health, social and economic outcomes for workers after this point.
The Victorian Injured Worker Outcomes Study is using linked data and interviews with injured workers to address this gap.
Led by Professor Malcolm Sim of the Monash Centre for Occupational and Environmental health, this study considers the factors that influence these outcomes, particularly in terms of recovery and Return to Work (RTW) with a focus on identifying demographic, work, health, medical management and social factors.
Another focus of the study is to examine the impact of compensation system "transition points" on injured workers.
Although workers with long-term injuries represent a small proportion of accepted claims, they are more likely to have complex health conditions and require substantial levels of support and assistance from WorkSafe.
There is evidence from other jurisdictions that long-term injury can have a life-long impact, but there is a lack of good quality data in Victoria.
By gaining a stronger understanding of these workers' experiences during and after the period of their claim, this project will uncover new ways of delivering better outcomes to this group. The project ultimately aims to improve compensation system policy and process to enhance outcomes for injured Victorians.
This project is currently ongoing. Watch this space for updates.