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SEBN News: Benchmarking Your Work Cover Spend (7 Ways to Improve)

SEBN News: Benchmarking Your Work Cover Spend (7 Ways to Improve)

17 November 2015

Dr James Murray, MD of The Soft Tissue Centre, captivated his audience at SEBN’s Workplace Health & Safety network session in August. Speaking on ‘Best Practice Injury Treatment and Management, James encouraged participants to take control of injury prevention and the associated WorkCover burden.

Here are his recommendations.

1. Face the brutal truth…do you have a work cover culture?

There is one acid test here. If you are made aware of an injury by the delivery of a certificate of capacity then yes you do. What this means for you is that many issues can be rolled up with each claim. This makes them difficult to manage and for you to improve. There may be small incremental improvements however what we are looking for is zero new claims. 

2. Do you want to own and control the problem? Are you outsourcing your problem?

By owning and therefore controlling the process you welcome discussions about concerns with workers. If there is a clear demarcation between work and home it makes these discussions difficult and you are outsourcing the problem. Workers Compensation is very ineffective in this space and therefore very expensive.

3. Learn how to triage MSK injuries

We understand triaging cuts. Paper cuts do not need an ambulance to the hospital and serious cuts that will not stop bleeding should not be treated on-site. While sprains and strains are not as visual as a cut the philosophy of triage is the same. 

4. Create internal rhythms to drive outcomes

This means that there are lines in the sand and a rhythm of constant review and stakeholder decision-making.  Weekly and monthly rhythms work best for driving superior and consistent outcomes.

5. OHS what duty of care means and can you deliver the “Hard Chat”

Duty of care is the ever present and ultimate line in the sand for employers therefore if someone is unable to remain in their role without injury or they violate your policies and procedures they need to be counselled. 

6. Injury management: make the time to make decisions

The management in injury management is about decision making with stakeholders. There are rules and you need to follow them however there are many other options to speed up the process and allow you to be an injury manager.

7. HR and how the chat over the 'cup of tea’ can drive outcomes with your people.

Remember back to the triage point? When an injury report of is accompanied by a employee with a personal issue it can often be resolved by a compassionate conversation delivered by and empathetic and trusted leader in your business. HR means more than delivering the stick.


If you are interested in building skills in any of these areas Dr Murray speak regularly at industry events, run webinars and deliver seminars. Feel free to send him a LinkedIn invite at


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