Hi Grant - I just wanted to give you some feedback from both myself and my injury management advisor upon showing her your email. I'll start by saying the following feedback is definitely unique from my 6+ years of experience case managing claims and working with workplace rehabilitation providers. Firstly, I was impressed with your thinking and particularly with your attachment referencing the Stories/Narratives that we each develop and share with others. It made me reflect on the way that my story has changed over the years and what has lead me to who I am today., I like that you share this with the injured workers and the idea of engaging them to re-write their stories, particularly as many injured workers can be consumed with their stpory being that of injury rather than what the future holds beyond injury. I am impressed by your level of service and thinking outside of the square that you develop for each case to fully engage workers in the process and their sense of ownership that you are developing. Your methods of engagement, rapport building and tailored approach towards each worker whilst remaining focused on the legislative requirements is refreshing and I am certain will result in positive outcomes for all stakeholders. I look forward to see how everything develops! With regard to my injury management advisor's feedback, well in simple tems she felt like sending a copy of your email to other workplace rehabilitation providers we engage showing them how things can be done and the level of thinking that can be applied to engage workers and provide them with tools and strategies outside of standard job seeking application in promoting recovery and return to work. Just wanted to take the time to thank you for the feedback and strategies for each of my referrals so far and let you know I have noticed that your approach with each of them is very much tailored to their individuality. Great work Grant! Claims Officer, Claims Operation Branch, Workers Compensation Insurance Division WorkCover Authority of NSW
Claims Officer - WorkCover Authority of NSW - WorkCover Authority of NSW

I work in workers compensation

17 Sep 2015

When I tell people, at a BBQ for example - when their PC demeanor is perhaps suppressed - that I work in the arena of workers compensation, the reaction is usually disappointing. It would be very rare for someone to react by saying that it must be great to work in a field where you can help people, or for them to express their wish they had gotten into the workers compensation industry. So I generally just say I am a physiotherapist.

If only they knew the great potential provided to organisations by their inevitable injuries.

In our culture we value decisiveness. We value being right. We value plans. We value oversimplified explanations because we're time poor. These values loom large in the workers compensation environment. My observation is that the ongoing efforts to control, perpetuated by our 3-4 year political cycles, iteratively create a dehumanising sub culture.

Optimistically however, in an environment where the illusion of control is pervasive - manifest as processes, rules, legislation and misleading attempts to be objective  - opportunities to be human abound. When you work within a dehumanising sub culture - a humanising approach seems novel.

My hope is that we can change our language, that we can change the discourse and that we can challenge the conventional wisdom that people who have been injured at work should be considered with suspicion.

My hope is that we can stop calling injured workers claimants, that we can stop sending letters to workers that are infused with medico-legal jargon. That we can stop assessing claimants and start really meeting people. That we can suspend our adversarial agendas, and listen to peoples' stories through a prism that acknowledges how little we now about them...and acknowledges that they can be trusted with choices around their recovery.

I'd really like my intuitive response at BBQs to be a proud expression that I work in workers compensation. I would really like the reaction to be one of genuine curiosity and even a degree of positivity.

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