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Introduction

Ensuring the safety and well-being of employees has been a critical area of concern for organisations in today’s day and age. Moreover, with the unexpected possibility associated with the occurrence of injuries and incidents, it has become vital for workplaces to have systems that can manage such situations in a robust and effective manner. Such situations particularly demand the implementation of systems associated with injury and incident management along with processes important for worker compensation (Tamers et al., 2020). These systems are designed in a manner such that they can efficiently and effectively provide support and compensation to the ones affected by injuries in the workplace. With the help of a systemic approach, such systems and processes can prove to be beneficial in ensuring timely responses to incidents along with effective mitigation of workplace injuries (Reese, 2018).

The following portfolio aims to explore the complexities associated with these systems and processes. It also aims to develop an understanding of the implementation, the steps involved and the evaluation so as to provide a roadmap for organisations for the effective management of accidents in the workplace and providing the necessary support to the injured. Lastly, the portfolio will examine the effectiveness of not only local but also international systems and processes in order to dive deeper into their strengths and benefits. Through adherence towards the steps and procedures involved and critical evaluation of these systems, organisations can expose themselves to valuable insights related to best practices that can enable them to ensure employee safety and well-being to the greatest extent.

Part 1: Injury & Incident Management System and Worker Compensation process

a) Injury Incident Management system and Worker Compensation process flow chart

b) The Injury & Management system refers to an approach that is structured in nature and is used by organisations in scenarios that require response and management towards incidents and injuries in the workplace. The main objective of this system is to ensure the safety and well-being of the employees along with the lessening of risks and prevention of any kind of incident that can occur in the future that can lead any kind of incident or injury. This system comprises steps and procedures which are helpful in the reporting, documentation, investigation and analysis of incidents (International Labour Organisation, 2023). The first step in this system, i.e. Incident Occurs, involves the recognition and acknowledgement of the occurrence of an incident or injury in the workplace. This can include any incident or situation that could cause potential harm. The next step in line follows this, known as Initial Response which refers to the immediate response towards the injury or incident (Government of Western Australia, 2019).

This plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety and well-being of the affected individual. It can include providing medical aid and attention and notifying emergency services if and when needed. The third step is Incident Documentation, which involves reporting the incident to the relevant authorities and is essential to the management process. The reporting should be prompt and include managers, supervisors and other critical personnel (GWA, 2016). The next or the fourth step in line in the Investigation of the incident focuses on revealing the root causes or the main factors contributing to the occurrence of the incident or injury in the first place. This includes the involvement of an investigation team that has relevant experience and conducts an investigation that is impartial and thorough. The fifth and last step is the Incident Review and Analysis step, which involves the examination of reports and findings associated with the incident for the identification of possible trends, systemic issues and areas for improvement (GWA, 2019).

The Worker Compensation process is designed such that medical and financial support can be provided to employees affected by incidents or injuries at the workplace. It is justified due to several reasons. Firstly, this process upholds the virtue of commitment towards the fulfilment of the duty of care for the employees by providing necessary support and resources. Secondly, the compensation process includes financial protection, which encompasses any kind of lost wages, medical expenses and other costs of rehabilitation caused due to work-related injury or incident. Thirdly, worker compensation ensures that all employees are treated fairly and equally if and when they suffer injuries or illnesses. Lastly, this process provides affected employees with rehabilitation services to ensure recovery and return to work (GWA, 2021).

Part 2: Implementation of the Systems & Processes

Incident and Injury Management System

In Sarah’s case, the systems and processes can be implemented in the following way. Firstly, the incident, in this case, is Sarah experiencing a physical and emotional injury while taking care of an aggressive patient. This is followed by the initial response, which should focus on Sarah's immediate well-being and safety, which can be taken care of by providing appropriate medical attention and securing the area to prevent further harm. The next step will be documenting the incident taking into consideration the time, date, location, and the people involved. It should also comprise a detailed description of the incident shedding light on the behaviour of the patient as well as the injuries to Sarah resulting from it. In addition to this, statements from witnesses and other relevant photographs related to the injury and the incident should be taken into account.

In the following step of the process, Sarah should promptly report the incident to her supervisor so that necessary action or measures can be taken. Moreover, she should provide all the supporting evidence that would help provide a complete picture of the incident. Following this, the organisation should deploy a team for investigation of the incident along with critical review and analysis. This would involve interviewing Sarah and other witnesses to gain perspectives and understand the root cause of the incident. Furthermore, this would include reviewing the documentation of the incident and examining CCTV footage, if available. Lastly, assessment of the safety protocols active in the organisation would be assessed for any necessary modifications along with introducing training programs and other resources that can prove to be effective in preventing any such incident in the future.

Worker Compensation Process

This begins with Sarah reaching out to her employer for help and assistance by describing the incident and the injuries she suffered as a result of the incident. Her employer gives her advice to seek professional help and medical treatment. Sarah makes a visit to a mental health professional who diagnoses her with anxiety, PTSD and depression; and provides the documentation necessary for supporting her worker compensation claim. This is followed by her getting in touch with her employer in relation to the forms for the completion of the worker compensation process and further guidance. Following this, Sarah completes the application with all the vital information, such as the description of the incident and her injuries and submits it with medical documentation and an incident report.

After receiving the application, the worker compensation department reviews her application and contacts her healthcare professional for verification of the nature of her work and injuries caused due to incident. In addition to this, the department also will check Sarah’s eligibility in accordance with the application and other laws and regulations. In a scenario where her application is approved, she would receive all essential support and benefits, including coverage for expenses, in addition to compensation and rehabilitation. Throughout the process, the worker compensation department maintains regular communication with Sarah, keeping her informed about the progress of her claim and any additional steps she needs to take.

Part 3: Evaluate the effectiveness of local and international systems & processes

a) Local Organisation (New Zealand)

The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) is a government organisation that provides no-fault and all-inclusive personal injury cover to all visitors and citizens in New Zealand. One of the most significant strong points of ACC is that it provides coverage irrespective of the cause of injury, be it work-related or any other accident. This helps in ensuring that people living or visiting New Zealand have fair and equal access to support and compensation in instances that involve accidents and injuries (Accident Compensation Corporation, 2023). The second necessary strength is the concept of no-fault compensation which guarantees that the suffering individuals receive compensation irrespective of who is responsible for the injury.

This results in the elimination of litigation processes which can be costly and time-consuming, and ensures timely support. In addition to this, the ACC, through its robust system for the reporting of incidents, encourages individuals to report incidents in a prompt and responsible manner such that timely intervention and support can be provided. Lastly, ACC also supports by providing access to services associated with vocational support and rehabilitation to lessen the burden of injuries on the lives of individuals and facilitate their reintegration into the workforce (ACC, 2023).

International Organisation (Australia)

The Workers Compensation Commission (WCC) under Safe Work Australia is an administrative body that deals with the compensation claims of workers and related disputes in various states and territories within Australia. Firstly, WCC ensures that workers receive financial compensation for rehabilitation, lost wages and other medical expenses due to their injuries. It also oversees that the injured personnel receive access to resources essential for their accelerated recovery and reintegration into the workforce. Secondly, it gives not only workers but also employers an independent and fair platform to ensure that the workers injured in the incident are treated fairly, and their claims are resolved timely. Lastly, like ACC, WCC also encourages workers to report incidents in a prompt and accurate manner so that intervention and support can be provided at the earliest (Safe Work Australia, 2023).

b) Firstly, concerning coverage and scope, ACC provides comprehensive no-fault injury coverage, and WCC provides work-related injury coverage. In comparison, the design in part 1 is flexible to provide both work-related and comprehensive injury coverage in addition to the Worker Compensation Process. Secondly, in the case of ACC, the individuals suffering from injury can directly report to the organisation. On the other hand, in the case of WCC, the employers are responsible for submitting the reporting and documentation of the incident; the flowchart designed considers both types of claim processes. Lastly, like ACC and WCC, the design also includes rehabilitation which can be tailored according to the victim's needs.

The design of the flowchart comprises steps essential for providing necessary medical treatment, the development of corrective actions, and the implementation of programs that facilitate the return-to-work process. These steps are flexible enough to be tailored to accommodate the rehabilitation and return-to-work programs offered by ACC in New Zealand and WCC in Australia; and effectively adopted by organisations. By customising the steps and procedures in the flowchart, it can be adapted to align with the specific requirements and practices of each compensation system, ensuring a comprehensive and practical Injury & Incident Management system for a healthcare organisation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is crucial that Injury & Incident Management systems and Worker Compensation processes are implemented effectively to ensure the well-being and safety of the ones working in a professional setting. The design flowchart outlined in the following portfolio consists of processes that give it a structure such that it acts as a guide that can be used for the management of incidents and injuries and ensures prompt response along with accurate documentation and thorough investigation. It also provides room for necessary and continuous improvement.

 This is followed by the evaluation of local and internal systems in New Zealand and Australia, respectively, which provides comparative insights into how management systems and compensation processes operate in various places. The flexibility present in the design of the flowchart gives an edge for customisation in accordance with systems and processes prevalent in workplaces around the globe. In addition, it provides organisations, especially the ones involved in healthcare, with a roadmap for tailoring systems and processes as per specifications. Lastly, by giving priority to employee safety, it would be possible for organisations to create a work environment that is positive and contributes to success and productivity at large.

References

Accident Compensation Corporation. (2023). About ACC. https://www.acc.co.nz/about-us/

Government of Western Australia. (2019). Injury management: A guide for employers. https://www.workcover.wa.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Injury-Management-Guide-2019-Final.pdf

Government of Western Australia. (2021). Worker’s compensation: A guide for employers. https://www.workcover.wa.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/WC-guide-for-Employers-June-2021-WEB.pdf

International Labour Organization. (n.d). Occupational safety and health management systems. https://www.ilo.org/safework/areasofwork/occupational-safety-and-health-management-systems/lang--en/index.htm

Reese, C. D. (2018). Occupational health and safety management: A practical approach. CRC press. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=2Oj5CQAAQBAJ

Safe Work Australia. (2023). Worker’s compensation. https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/workers-compensation

Tamers, S. L., Streit, J., Pana‐Cryan, R., Ray, T., Syron, L., Flynn, M. A., & Howard, J. (2020). Envisioning the future of work to safeguard the safety, health, and well‐being of the workforce: A perspective from the CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 63(12), 1065-1084. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajim.23183

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