Occupational Rehabilitation (“OR”) is focused on assisting Injured Workers (IW) to return to or maintain themselves at work. Work can be an integral part of someone’s life and when injured, this can have significant impacts on a person’s ability to function at work and in their personal lives. However, the research* suggests that returning to work can play a major part in someone’s rehabilitation and recovery. This is where an Occupational Rehabilitation Consultant can help.
OR Consultants are specifically trained in return to work and have a background in health, be it psychology, occupational therapy, exercise physiology, nursing etc.
OR Consultants are independent of all other stakeholders involved in the rehabilitation process and their services can be called upon by an Agent / Insurer or by an Employer.
The role of an OR Consultant is to facilitate the OR process and to act as a conduit between the key stakeholders involved in the process. These stakeholders usually include: the IW, Treating Health Practitioners, the Employer and the Agent. In collaboration with these stakeholders, the OR Consultant assists in the development of a plan to assist injured workers return to work safely. Throughout the return to work process, the OR Consultant maintains contact with the key stakeholders to ensure that all parties are informed of the IW’s progress.
In March 2015, WorkSafe Victoria released a short animated clip which, in basic terms, captures what OR is, how it helps and what IW’s need to do. The clip is provided below:
*For further information about the Health Benefits of Work, please visit: http://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/43957/VWA-0808_A4-Patient-Brochure_V2.pdf