Management of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses Policy

Responsibility for policy: Health and Saftey Manager
Approving authority: Vice-Chancellor
Last reviewed: December 2016
Next review date: December 2021

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  1. This policy applies to all staff of the University of Waikato.


  1. The purpose of this policy is to:
    1. set out the procedures for managing the return to work of staff who have experienced a work-related injury or illness, and
    2. set out the duties and responsibilities in relation to the management and rehabilitation of staff who have experienced a work-related injury or illness.

Related legislation

  1. This policy takes account of the following legislation:

Related documents

  1. The following documents set out further information relevant to this policy:


  1. In this policy:

    personal injury means a physical or psychological injury suffered by a person or caused to a person by an accident, incident, a gradual process, disease or infection

    rehabilitation means a process of active change and support with the goal of restoring the staff member's health, independence and participation to the maximum extent practicable

    return to work programme means a programme designed to return an injured, disabled or temporarily impaired staff member to the workplace as soon as medically feasible, in a safe and appropriate manner

    staff member means “worker” as defined by the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, including employees of the University, employees of a controlled entity of the University, Council members, independent contractors or consultants engaged by or working at the University, volunteers and any other person providing services to or at the University

    work-related illness means a disease or condition contracted by a staff member, primarily as a result of an exposure to hazards and risk factors arising from work activity

    work-related injury means a personal injury that a staff member experiences in the workplace

    workplace means any premises or place:

    • occupied for the purposes of employment
    • to which a person has access because of his or her employment
    • attended by a person for a course of education or training for the purposes of his or her current employment, if he or she receives earnings from that employment for his or her attendance.

ACC partnership programme

  1. The University belongs to a partnership programme with the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) which enables the University to provide injury management and rehabilitation services for staff members who have lodged a work-related injury or illness claim for which the University has accepted liability; the University has contracted WorkAon to assist it in the management of these claims (see Appendix 1).


  1. In the event of a work-related accident or illness, staff members are responsible for:
    1. informing their line manager of the accident or illness as soon as practicable
    2. informing their line manager of any symptoms of work-related injury or illness, such as pain or discomfort, as soon as practicable
    3. completing the online Accident Report Form within 24 hours of the accident or onset of the illness or as soon as practicable.
  2. Line managers are responsible for:
    1. taking all practicable steps to ensure that staff in their areas of responsibility are aware of the University's Reporting of Accidents and Incidents Policy and associated procedures
    2. taking all practicable steps to ensure that staff in their areas of responsibility are aware of the University’s procedures for managing work-related injuries and illnesses, set out in Section 5 of the Health and Safety Manual
    3. ensuring that work-related injuries or illnesses suffered by staff in their areas of responsibility are reported through the online Accident Report Form.
  3. The Health and Safety Manager is responsible for:
    1. providing information to staff members about ACC entitlements with respect to work-related injuries and illnesses
    2. liaising with the ACC and WorkAon with respect to work-related injuries and illnesses
    3. ensuring that the ACC consent form to collect medical and other information is signed by the claimant if access to medical information is required to determine liability
    4. providing data on work-related injuries and illnesses to the Vice-Chancellor
    5. reporting any breach of privacy with respect to personal health information to the ACC.

Concerns and complaints

  1. A staff member who is dissatisfied with any action taken, or not taken, by a line manager in relation to a work-related injury or illness may refer the matter to the Health and Safety Manager, who will provide assistance in resolving the situation.

Responsibility for monitoring compliance

  1. The Health and Safety Manager is responsible for monitoring compliance with this policy and reporting any breaches to the Vice-Chancellor.
  2. Breaches of this policy may result in disciplinary action under the Staff Code of Conduct.

Appendix 1

The University has contracted WorkAon to assist it in the management of work-related injury and illness claims. The contract sets out the following responsibilities and functions of each party:

WorkAon will:

  • Register claims in the Figtree database.
  • Make recommendations on liability decisions, and issue decisions in writing.
  • Approve time extensions as required.
  • Co-ordinate referrals for claims investigation.
  • Prepare cost estimates for all case-managed claims and forwards a copy to the University so that this can be recorded and reported.
  • Maintain a physical claims file for all claims.
  • Provide monthly data reporting to the ACC.
  • Conduct face-to-face rehabilitation meetings (at least monthly) with injured employees who are incapacitated.
  • Develop and document rehabilitation plans for employees with high-risk injuries.
  • Provide legal opinion on claims when requested by University.
  • Prepare review submissions when decisions are disputed when requested by the University.
  • Meet bimonthly to review claim strategy and to prepare for audit and other monitoring visits.
  • Transfer closed claims to the University for records archiving.

The University of Waikato will:

  • Conduct a needs assessment of the injured worker within two days of injury notification.
  • Submit incident reports to WorkAon.
  • Complete an action plan within seven days of injury notification and provide a copy to WorkAon.
  • Obtain written consent from employees.
  • Issue medial questionnaires for alleged gradual onset injuries.
  • Make decisions upon, and issue letters of referral to specialists, home help assessors and other rehabilitation providers as required for individual claims.
  • Make contact with employee and explain why claim was declined when required, and inform WorkAon of communication so that a decision letter can be issued.
  • Support and assist in the development of rehabilitation plans, and manage the return to work process.
  • Conduct face to face rehabilitation meetings (at least monthly) with injured employees who are incapacitated for the duration of the claim.
  • Develop and document rehabilitation plans for employees.
  • Process treatment provider invoices.
  • Pay weekly compensation to employees.
  • Complete weekly monitoring sheets for employees on rehabilitation and copy to WorkAon for file.
  • Manage the vocational independence process, including referrals to vocational medical assessors.

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