What does it mean to have a workplace Injury? By Rod Draper

Mental health in the workplace takes a prominent place in our employment discussions and plans, as does all other aspects of workplace health and well-being. All stakeholders are spending more and more time and expense discussing, planning, and facilitating workplace strategies and reforms to make work a safer experience. And rightly so, as the costs to individuals, employers, governments, and society of workplace injury both physical and mental are a huge drag on productivity and budgets.

Moreover, they are a huge drag on the personal and family incomes, relationships, and experiences. There are many stakeholders involved in the workplace injury experience: first and foremost- the injured worker and their families and networks, the employer, the insurer, rehabilitation professionals, then doctors, specialists and treating practitioners and the lawyers.

I cannot emphasise enough that all too often forgotten importance of the parties with the most to lose and the greatest loss, the stakeholders with the most “skin” in the game as it were, are the injured worker and the employer.

The employer loses money, production, productivity and socially and the worker can lose everything. If an injury deteriorates from acute to chronic, the longer the time off work and rehabilitating, the greater the damage done. There can be damage to expenses, savings, self-esteem, family, relationships, plans and outcomes, the list can be endless.

In the following months, I intend to treatise the work injury experience, and hope readers will; consider, comment, and perhaps share their experience from a worker and employment perspective.

The specific topics will roughly the following plan:

The workplace injury experience

1. Initial considerations (in the days following injury)

2. Physical injury (the medical myth)

3. Mental injury

4. Work and time off work (in the months following injury)

5. Social considerations (friends, family, functional capacity)

6. Psychological and psycho-social (networks, lifestyle, life quality)

7. Financial upheaval

8. The legal maze

 9. The personal experience

10. Collateral damage

11. Existential ramifications

I am a rehabilitation counsellor, consultant and psychotherapist. I have many years’ experience dealing with and assisting employers and injured workers navigate their way through workplace injury. I have worked with a diverse range of injury insurance entities and instruments and stakeholders including the aforementioned workers, employers, insurers, rehabilitation professionals, primary, allied and specialist treatment partitions and the legal system. Workplace injury is a minefield for the injured worker and employer alike, I offer my services to any and all who need advice, guidance and debriefing on these matters.

Please contact me by email at rod@injuryrehab.net.au

In the first instance for those who might like to connect, please comment on the statement below:

“All physical workplace injury results in secondary psychological injury if the injured state is sustained for a long enough period.”

To book an appointment with Rod in Australia, phone +61 0411 333617

Rod Draper

Rod has an extensive background in construction with a degree in economics. And for the last 6 years he has worked as a rehab counsellor with a Masters in Rehab counselling.

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