On Friday 6 September, Australian Rehabilitation Providers Association (ARPA WA) celebrated its annual Excellence in Workplace Rehabilitation Awards where Baptistcare won the ‘Innovation in Return to Work Award.’
This is in recognition of the work Michele O’Day, Baptistcare Injury Management Partner does in the organisation’s preventative programs and in assisting injured workers in returning to work.
With Australia’s workforce experiencing higher levels of stress and mental health issues, coupled with the fact the average age of Australia’s workforce is increasing, Baptistcare, like many other organisations, was suffering from an increased frequency of compensable work-related injuries.
Baptistcare’s Injury Management team set about addressing these challenges by identifying and implementing a range of initiatives to improve the organisation’s occupational personal injury risks.
- An improved ‘Fitness for Work’ framework with pre-employment medical checks and a detailed injury management engagement process
- New and improved information workflow practices in communication of health and injury management to the workforce
- Facilitation of a Psychosocial Risk Management Workshop for leaders to help drive improving risk identification within their teams
- Implementation of a Wellness Task Force comprising of representatives from each business unit to develop and implement wellness strategies, including the development of a wellness program based on the 4 pillars; physical, psychological, spiritual and financial wellbeing
- An early intervention job conditioning program for employees as a proactive rather than reactive approach
Since being implemented, these initiatives have assisted Baptistcare in establishing sustainable health changes within the organisation and subsequently improving the wellbeing of its employees and volunteers.
When discussing the journey to create a positive risk management culture, Michele O’Day, Baptistcare Injury Management Partner, lists the organisations Wellness Taskforce as essential.
“Having representatives from across the organisation who are eager to assist with improving wellness for their fellow colleagues has helped enormously by driving a positive workplace culture and developing targeted wellness initiatives on issues that matter to our people.”
“Across the past four years, we have seen our work-related average claim frequency reduce by 44% which is below the current WA industry average,” she said.
Baptistcare plans to continue to review, refine and build on these initiatives for the benefit of its employees and volunteers.