Comcare - Australian Government
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Early Intervention Program and Workers' Compensation Claims

The early intervention program provided teams and individuals with access to physiotherapy, individual counselling sessions, psychological and mediation expertise available through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and rehabilitation professionals for maintaining and improving psychological and physical wellbeing and ability to work. In 2010–11, body-stressing symptoms and injuries were the largest category of workplace incidents and worker interventions (78 per cent). Through the early intervention program many symptoms and early onset conditions were successfully managed to recovery. The early intervention program continues to provide support and assistance where managers or employees identify psychological distress.

Figure 7: Workplace incidents and early intervention activities by mechanism of injury 2010–11

Workplace incidents and early intervention activities 

Figure 7 shows the percentage of intervention activities and reported incidents by mechanism of injury for the first three quarters of 2010–11.

Table 8 compares Comcare’s claim performance, average claim cost and lost time with the ‘All Australian Government’ average in the financial years 2006–07 to 2009–10. Comcare’s total claim costs have increased in the 2009–10 financial period due to four new claims being accepted. The Comcare premium rate reduced from 1.23 per cent in 2008–09 to 0.62 per cent in 2009–10 and is lower than that of the Australian Government average of 1.25 per cent.

Table 8: Claim performance comparison—Comcare

Performance outcome Financial year
2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11
Accepted claims 2 2 8 4
Total cost—Comcare ($) $313,287.00 $248,313.00 $453,969.00 $155,254.00
Average cost—Comcare ($) $156,643.00 $124,156.00 $56,746.00 $38,813.00
Average cost—Aust. Government ($) $43,033.00 $53,075.00 $56,489.00 $48,134.00
Total weeks lost—Comcare 65.6 9.3 30.1 12.6
Average weeks lost—Comcare 32.8 4.6 3.8 3.2
Average weeks lost—Aust. Government 8.7 9.1 5.8 2.6

Table 9: Mechanism of injury for excepted claims—Comcare

Performance outcome Financial year
2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11
Falls, trips and slips 0 0 0 1
Hitting objects with body 0 0 0 0
Being hit by moving objects 0 0 0 0
Sound and pressure 0 0 0 0
Body stressing 1 1 7 2
Heat, electricity and other environmental factors 0 0 0 0
Chemicals and other substances 0 0 1 0
Biological factors 0 0 0 0
Mental stress 0 0 0 1
Other and unspecified 1 1 0 0
Total 2 2 8 4

Occupational Health and Safety statistics

Under federal OHS law Comcare is required to report any accidents or dangerous occurrences arising out of work undertaken by any of its employees. There were four notifiable incidents in total during the 2010–11 year, including three dangerous occurrences and one serious personal injury.

Comcare’s notifiable incidents incidence rate for the 2010–11 period was 4.9 notifiable incidents per 1000 FTE.

Comcare’s average weeks lost time for 2010–11 was 20.43 per 1000 FTE employees.

Investigations

There were no health and safety investigations conducted by Comcare (as the Regulator) in 2010–11.

Inspections

During the course of the year Comcare managers and health and safety representatives carried out proactive inspections of their designated work groups. These inspections covered 100 per cent of our offices. All identified hazards were addressed and corrected in a timely manner using the hierarchy of control.