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Identifying early warning signs will help employers support those employees who may be at risk of injury or illness at work, and trigger early intervention strategies.

Benefits of early intervention

Early intervention has the following benefits:

  • Provides a productive and supportive workplace.
  • Demonstrates management commitment to the employee.
  • Prevents long-term absence from the workplace and the development of chronic illness.
  • Reduces the adverse effects on co-workers of the injured employee.
  • Improves staff confidence and morale.
  • Increases management involvement in the injury management process.
  • Increases the probability of return to work.
  • Contains the cost of incapacity and in the long term, the premium.
  • Reduces indirect costs to employers such as lost productivity, recruitment and training costs for replacement staff.

Mental health

Through early intervention and support, managers can recognise mental health conditions in the workforce and significantly reduce sickness absence and incapacity for work.

Recognising the signs of mental ill health early and providing appropriate support can often prevent an employee becoming ill, taking long-term sick leave or needing to submit a compensation claim.

Early warning signs

  • Emotional responses and erratic behaviour
  • Obsession with parts of a job and neglecting others
  • Disengagement and low morale
  • Withdrawal behaviour such as reduced participation in work activities
  • Increased unplanned absence
  • Increase in use of negative language and workplace conflict
  • Physical symptoms including tiredness and headaches
  • Difficulty sleeping
Page last updated: 11 Jan 2018