Currently in Western Australia, Workers Compensation Insurance is administered by an Act which dates back to 1981. Over the last 40 years, the Workers Compensation landscape has also completely evolved, with new forms of injuries such as mental health and also the cost of healthcare has dramatically increased. Given these changes, WorkCover WA has now elected to re-write the Act with a modernised approach.
An example of one of the proposed changes is the “medical and health expenses” cap increasing from $72,000 to $144,000. These proposed changes will not come into effect until mid-2023, however with the increased cost of claims, this can only mean that it will have an impact on the premiums offered.
Trident Insurance Group has come up with following handy tips, in order to help your business avoid further potential premium increases.
Tip 1 : Injury Prevention
- Adopt a proactive approach to Work, Health and Safety. For example, introducing manual handling training, or sending out regular safety reminders.
- Implement Work, Health and Safety (WHS) audits, to ensure that staff are adhering to safety requirements.
- Conduct Pre-Employment Medicals, in order to identify any pre-existing injuries that may give rise to a secondary injury occurring.
- Introduce Pre-Employment Functional assessments. This will help evaluate a workers’ physical capacity to safely perform the demand of the job, therefore allowing you to employ a candidate that is fit for the role.
- Conduct Ergonomic and Manual Handling Assessments.
Tip 2 : Injury Management
It is very difficult to completely avoid injuries occurring, which is why we also recommend formally documenting an injury management plan. This would include the following:
- Easy access to information regarding what to do and who to speak to when an injury occurs.
- A list of nearby allied health professionals, to ensure that the injured worker receives the best readily available assistance possible.
- Prepare return to work programs, in order to allow the injured workers’ to gradually rehabilitate back to their pre-injury duties, without causing any exacerbation to the current injury.
- Create a Job Dictionary, detailing the various tasks involved in each particular job. This will help with identifying suitable duties for injured Workers’ who need to return to work, whilst performing lighter duties than their usual role.
Tip 3 : Review your industry classification
There are over 500 different industry classifications (also known as ANZSIC codes). Each industry has an industry rate, which is determined by WorkCover WA, based on the cost of claims that the industry incurs.
It is common that there may be more than one industry classification that suits a particular company. It is also possible to find that there may not be a classification that suits a new industry segment, for example, cryptocurrency.
We recommend companies review their industry classification, to ensure that it is the most appropriate for their business.
If you would like to discuss your Workers Compensation Insurance strategy further, please feel free to reach out to our team.