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Rehabilitation assessment

To make sure timely decisions are made about whether a rehabilitation assessment is needed, employers must make sure there is a system in place for the early identification and notification of injury.

A rehabilitation assessment aims to understand the impact an injury is having on a worker and their family, and identify what actions are needed to help them return to work safely.

When should an assessment take place?

An employer can arrange for an injured employee's capability to be assessed as part of a rehabilitation (return to work) program at any time.

The triggers for such an assessment could include:

  • any absence, or expected absence, from work for three days or more
  • the nature or circumstances of the injury (for example potentially complex cases, such as a psychological, occupational overuse or soft tissue injury)
  • possibility of re-injury at work
  • the employee has had a previous injury
  • the work environment has contributed to the injury
  • the employee has made a written request for an assessment.

Carrying out an assessment

A rehabilitation assessment can be performed by an approved rehabilitation provider, medical practitioner or a panel.

The assessment provides information on an employee's capability to carry out a rehabilitation program, and if appropriate, the services to be provided.

An assessment should include an interview/examination with the injured employee and take into account:

  • medical diagnosis and prognosis
  • pre-injury duties
  • current capacities
  • availability of suitable duties
  • consideration of workplace issues
  • any identified or potential barriers to the return to work process.
Page last updated: 20 Apr 2016