An interesting article was published in Australian newspapers last week. It was the story of a truck driver who works for a mining company in WA. It is a story about rights: the rights of the injured worker and the rights of the employer. Reading the article is seems that there is much confusion out there about the WA Workers’ Compensation legislation. And as the articles title goes to show, for the person who has never had to deal with it, it can be a quagmire of lawyers, committees, departments, insurers and doctors.
The position we take at Aurenda is that the employer is a mining company. Their core business is mining. They have full intentions of keeping their employees and contractors safe and uninjured. Nobody wants the people who are doing work for them, to be hurt in anyway.
Some mining companies choose to keep their injury management entirely in-house with no reference to external specialists to assist them . As injury management specialists we believe this is toying with danger. As much as they have a human resources department to oversee it, the reality is that these are human resource specialists with a mining focus not injury management specialists.
We can see from this article that the people coordinating the injury management are attempting to do their best with good intentions. The reality is that they just don’t have the experience of a company like ours, where what we do is Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management day in, day out. We have seen just about every possible permeation of workplace injury and a library of case studies to guide us in times when the case is unusual.
A company we work with recently sent us some feedback for one of our injury management managers:
- Timely communication – quick to notify of any issues (e.g. attendance, non-compliance, performance problems)
- Quick return of requested documentation (e.g. within a few hours of request)
- Effective management – takes on board our suggestions, open to feedback and eager and willing to cooperate with Injury Management strategies
- Solutions-focused approach – rather than taking an obstructive approach re: what can’t be done or why that’s hard, he works with us to find a solution and how he can help
If all these points had been applied to the case highlighted in the newspaper, perhaps the conflict may not have arisen.