Roles of the Return to Work Coordinator

Doctor with patientTo effectively manage your workers compensation you need to pay greater attention to injury management and OHS considerations.  Organisations who invest time and energy understanding injury management know that early notification, medical treatment and review of both the occupational and social aspects of rehabilitation need to be in place to ensure effective return to work is achieved.

The management of injured workers requires cooperation from a number of parties including the employer, injured worker, employees, doctor, agent (insurer) and other health professionals.  The Return to Work Coordinator is a key person in the effective management of the rehabilitation and return to work process and acts as a link between all of the parties involved.

A Return to Work Coordinator is engaged by the employer and is responsible for the management of the injured worker.  The Coordinator is involved in the development of a return to work program in consultation with the workforce.  A Return to Work Program is mandatory for all employers.  It outlines the company’s policies and procedures for the management of injured workers.  A Return to Work Coordinator also has the role of facilitating a teamwork approach between the worker, management, agent and health practitioners to develop and implement a Return to Work Plan for the injured worker.

In NSW, a Category 1 employer must employ / or engage a person as a Return to Work Coordinator.  This person is required to attend the 2-day WorkCover Accredited training course “Introduction to Return-to Work Coordination”.  Penalties can be imposed for not appointing and training a return to work coordinator.

WorkCover NSW describes a Category 1 employer as:

  • An employer whose basic tariff premium is in excess of $50,000 per year;
  • An employer who is self-insured; or
  • An employer who is insured by a specialised insurer, and who employs more than 20 workers.

If your company requires assistance please contact Safety Services Australia on  029836 3100 or