RiskCover provides workers’ compensation cover to most WA Government agencies and for about 122,000 full-time equivalent employees. Cover is provided for compensation payable to employees injured at work.
Generally, the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 provides for compensation to be paid to injured employees for weekly payments lost during periods of and degrees of unfitness for work, and the reasonable cost of medical related expenses incurred such as the following:
| General Practitioners/medical specialists |
We pay for visits to an injured employee's medical practitioner and specialist.
| Hospital expenses |
We pay for required treatment and accommodation at a hospital as prescribed by an injured employee's medical practitioner.
| Ambulance services |
We pay for emergency transport from an accident scene to the hospital, and where required, from one hospital to another.
| Allied health services |
We pay for required therapy services such as physiotherapy, chiropractic, podiatry, hydrotherapy, osteopathy, occupational therapy and psychology.
| Medical investigations |
We pay for pathology, radiology and imaging services required to diagnose and manage an employee's injuries.
| Medication |
We pay for medicine prescribed by an employee's medical practitioner and provided by a pharmacist.
| Dental |
We pay for an injured employee's teeth to be restored if they were damaged in an accident.
| Equipment medical aids |
We pay for the hire or purchase of equipment that a health medical practitioner recommends for an injured employee's injury management, such as a wheelchair and crutches.
| Travel |
We pay reasonable costs associated with travelling to and from appointments.
WorkCover WA set out the fees for treatment provided by allied health providers. RiskCover will generally only pay medical accounts up to the medical and allied health provider rates set by WorkCover WA. If a provider charges more than this rate, workers’ compensation claimants may be responsible for the extra portion of the account (the ‘gap’).
Injury management benefits the employee and the agency. Early and active management of the injury will assist the return of the employee to work sooner, reducing agency costs and increasing agency efficiencies.
Injury management commences following the incident and involves a number of stages, including first aid, initial medical treatment and return to work activities.
It includes making reasonable adjustments, modifying the workplace, providing aids and appliances, or accommodating suitable or alternate duties. The employee, the employer and the treating medical practitioner must work together through the stages of injury management.
The employer must prepare a suitable return to work program based on the advice of the medical practitioner. A return to work program template is available for use.
Return to work programs are shared between the employer, the employee, the medical practitioner and RiskCover. Changes to the return to work program should be shared with RiskCover.
In some circumstances assistance from an approved workplace rehabilitation provider is necessary. They provide assistance to employees to remain in or return to suitable work. Services include case management, work site assessment, vocational assessment and job placement and functional capacity evaluation. Specific services can also be provided.
The best results are achieved when each of the key parties understand and fulfil their roles and responsibilities. The primary responsibility of the agency is to manage an injured employees’ return to work program, and RiskCover’s primary responsibility is to determine liability for claims and to manage the workers’ compensation claim in accordance with the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981.