WorkSafe will improve its service to Victorians injured at work to ensure those with complex requirements have better support and timely access to the treatment and compensation they need.
WorkSafe has accepted all recommendations in a report by the Victorian Ombudsman, which was tabled in Parliament today.
The report follows the Ombudsman’s investigation into the experiences of those with complex workplace injury claims, which found the scheme was letting some of our most vulnerable clients down.
WorkSafe Chief Executive Colin Radford said improvements made to the way complex claims were managed after the Ombudsman’s 2016 investigation had unfortunately not been enough.
“Our people are absolutely committed to preventing workplace injuries and illness and to supporting injured workers to return to health and return to work.”
“I am therefore disappointed by the Ombudsman’s findings.
“No one chooses to be injured at work. When injuries or illness do occur, workers deserve to be treated with empathy and respect and to receive the right support and the right entitlements in a timely manner.
“To those injured workers for whom this has regrettably not been the case, I apologise.”
Mr Radford said the Ombudsman’s investigation and recommendations presented an opportunity for WorkSafe to improve outcomes for injured workers.
“Much work has been done to improve the services and support we provide. But this report reminds us that we can do more.”
“WorkSafe is in the midst of a major transformation program that will improve the way claims are managed and the support services available to injured workers.
“The Ombudsman’s report reinforces the importance of this work.”
The Ombudsman’s recommendations include increasing checks and audits of claims agent’s decisions, more training and guidance for agent staff, and the establishment of a centralised complaints system to allow problems with claims to be considered in their entirety.
An independent unit within WorkSafe will be established shortly to review disputed decisions at a worker’s request, and WorkSafe will use its powers to direct agents to change decisions where necessary.