Background and purpose
Auckland Transport (AT) is committed to vocational rehabilitation for work and non-work related personal injury. The goal is to assist employees to achieve optimum recovery, an early return to work and the resumption of their normal lifestyle.
This procedure has been developed so that AT employees and their managers know what actions they must take under the Injury Prevention Rehabilitation and Compensation (IPRC) Act as well as the Health and Safety in Employment Act, in the event of an employee sustaining an injury or illness.
This procedure applies to all AT employees, members of the public, visitors, and suplliers who may be affected by AT’s activities or who undertake activities on behalf of AT. It has been completed to align with Auckland Transport’s health and safety framework.
This procedure is to be read in conjunction with the AT Health and Safety Incident Management Standard and any associated guidance and training material.
- Accountable for the organisation’s compliance with AT’s Health and Safety policies and procedures including allocation of resources and responsibilities across the organisation to meet this Procedure.
- Ensure appropriately documented processes specified in this procedure are in place across their area of responsibility.
- Confirm all incidents are reported and investigated in line with the requirements set out in this procedure and the relevant AT standard.
Health and Safety Manager
- Provide guidance to the business on the injury management procedure and process.
- Assist Managers with incident reporting and investigations.
- Undertake a formal review of the injury management procedure and processes at least annually or wherever there is significant change.
AT Claims Manager
- Establish a relationship with the injured employee and assess their needs to support a full return to work and rehabilitation.
- Agree rehabilitation initiatives with treating doctor / treatment provider with the injured employee as necessary.
- Develop a return to work plan in consultation with ACC and their appointed Occupational Therapist (OT), the injured employee and their line manager.
- Support management with the monitoring and review of the return to work plan.
- Maintain communications with rehabilitation stakeholders, such as the injured employee, treatment provider, ACC and union representatives.
- Actively encourage and oversee prompt medical attention for all injured employees for their area of responsibility.
- Accompany the injured employee to an AT approved medical/treatment provider, if necessary.
- Ensure the medical/treatment provider is informed about AT’s return to work process and provide them with an alternate duties list.
- Ensure the injured employee is able to follow the treatment provider’s recommendations.
- Provide information to the ACC case manager (if applicable) and work closely with them to support the injury management process.
- In association with the AT Claims Manager support the development and monitoring of a return to work plan.
- Cooperate with all AT injury management processes including the requirements set out in this procedure.
- Inform the treatment provider about the return to work process, and if temporary alternate duties are available.
- Cooperate with management and ACC case manager with the development and compliance of all return to work plans.
- Maintain regular communications with the line manager and ACC case manager.
- Provide medical certificates from a registered treatment provider, when required.
- Return to work when their treatment provider certifies they are able to.
- Advise their manager and ACC case manager (if applicable) of any barriers to the rehabilitation process, regular updates on their condition, and any medical information required.
Injury management process
A summary of the injury management process steps set out in this section can also been viewed in Appendix 2.
Responding to a workplace injury
First Aid or Medical Treatment must be provided as soon as possible to ensure the best recovery from an injury or illness. An untreated injury, no matter how minor could lead to serious health ramifications and represent an ongoing risk/cost to the organisation. AT have approved medical practitioners who will provide initial medical treatment for its employees unless the injury is life threatening and requires admission to the emergency department of a hospital.
All AT facilities are required to have first aid facilities that are adequate for immediate treatment of work related injuries. Those managing staff in an AT facility must ensure there are an adequate staff trained in first aid.
Under the Accident Compensation Act 2001, before paying the first week compensation, AT can require an employee to meet reasonable requirements regarding evidence of the injury such as the provision of a certificate from a registered health professional nominated and paid by the employer. This will be a requirement for all work related injuries and must occur as soon as possible after the injury is sustained and within 12 hours of the injury occurring.
Reporting and investigation
An employee must report any injury as soon as possible to their manager and either complete an online incident report themselves or arrange for the form to be completed on their behalf. The line manager for the employee is responsible for ensuring the reporting requirements are achieved.
AT will conduct an investigation into the incidents following the report of a work related injury. The aim of the investigation is to identify the cause of the incident, prevent further incidents occurring, and fulfil any legislative requirements.
All employees and suppliers must fully co-operate in any investigation.
Receiving medical treatment for work related injuries
Where medical treatment is required for a non-life threatening injury, the injured employee is to consult with an AT approved medical provider. A release of medical information form will need to be signed prior to attending the appointment and handed to the medical provider so they have permission to complete a report. The injured employee’s line manager or first aider may be required to attend or assist the employee with attending a medical appointment.
An information pack (located on H&S Sharepoint site) outlining AT’s provisions for alternate duties, a letter of referral and other relevant supporting documents such as summary meeting minutes from management regarding the injury must accompany the injured employee to the medical appointment. This will enable the medical provider to make informed recommendations regarding treatment including early return to work subject to suitable alternate duties. Where possible, the injured employee must be accompanied to the medical provider by their manager, H&S Representative, First Aider or support person who will also be responsible for ensuring the employee gets home safely as required.
The employee is to ensure a copy of the ACC 45 claim form is forwarded to their manager within 24 hours of the incident occurring.
AT will monitor ongoing medical treatment on a regular basis and will request reports from treatment providers and/or ACC as appropriate. All copies of medical reports will be given to the injured employee by their employer.
If an injured employee is required to undergo an independent medical evaluation or obtain a second opinion, then AT will cover all reasonable costs associated with this investigation and/or treatment.
Employees are required to attend and co-operate with all medical evaluations arranged by AT or its agent.
Return to Work (RTW) Plan
Discussions held with the treating doctor, the injured employee, and the employee’s direct manager will determine whether or not the injured employee is fit to resume pre-injury duties and hours. An employee is expected to participate in the development of any RTW plan and work in accordance with the agreed plan. Injured employees are required to complete a privacy and confidentiality clause to facilitate the rehabilitation process (see Appendix 1: Medical Information Release Form).
An employee is required to provide AT with medical certificates to cover any period for which he/she is unable to return to normal employment duties. These certificates must state the employee’s capacity or incapacity for work and specify a date for review by the treatment provider. A certificate that fails to provide sufficient information will not be accepted and the employee will be required to provide an adequate certificate.
The RTW plan will set out the actions each party must take and may involve a combination of training, exercise, and suitable duties which increase in duration and/or frequency over time. An example of a RTW plan may be the employee is to attend work on a gradual return basis; i.e. four hours per day, three days per week and increasing to fulltime as agreed.
It will also provide a time frame for monitoring progress and reviewing the plan and any associated treatment. This plan is to be discussed and agreed with the injured person and their manager. Return to pre-injury duties (PID) as soon as possible following injury is the ultimate goal.
Alternate or light duties are provided to allow an employee to continue to work while they recover from an injury or illness. Alternative or light duties consist of modified work tasks that are either changes in the tasks themselves or how long it is done for but the change is made with the intention that it is not permanent and the person will eventually return to full duties.
The ability for an injured person to undertake alternate duties must be determined by the assessing medical practitioner prior to issuing any medical certificate. Any possible areas of doubt regarding a particular task are to be clarified with the practitioner. The medical provider must also specify the period of time alternative duties will be required.
Where there is difficulty in identifying, or agreeing to, appropriate alternative duties, the case manager will contact an AT approved Independent Occupational Physician (or similar) to provide clarification and advice.
Alternate duties may be available in areas of the business other than the injured employee’s usual place of work. Similarly, the alternate duties are likely to vary from the employees pre-injury duties in order to accommodate medical restrictions.
All managers are required to participate in determining and identifying alternate duties and have an up to date list of available tasks for use across the business.
Monitoring of Rehabilitation & RTW Plans
RTW plans and outcomes shall be monitored and reviewed by the injured employee’s manager on a weekly basis. The manager responsible for weekly monitoring will have been trained and have experience in workplace based rehabilitation.
Weekly rehabilitation (RTW Plan) monitoring is to be documented and forwarded to AT’s ACC Case Manager. Any concerns or questions arising from the monitoring are to be reported directly to the Case manager by the injured employee or injured employee’s manager within two working days for investigation and action.
If, at any point, it becomes clear that an employee will be unable or is unlikely to return to former duties the manager will need work with their respective Human Resources representative and the Health and Safety Team for an appropriate solution.
Review of Rehabilitation (RTW) Process
An annual review of the Injury Management Procedure and other relevant supporting H&S documents will be undertaken by AT’s H&S Team and will consider:
- AT’s preferred medical suppliers and their commitment to supporting AT’s goals;
- The effectiveness of processes to manage RTW and rehabilitation for its employees;
- The implementation and outcomes of any improvements identified of the rehabilitation process review.