InDaily focuses on the following criticisms, amongst others, from the report:
- a silo approach by Workcover
- the lack of feedback
- injured workers were not the prime consideration of Workcover
- politicisation was leading to instability
- a disassociated claims management process.
These criticisms are present in the full report but the presence of criticisms should not surprise as the nature of these summits are usually twofold – the creation of innovative solutions and an avenue for complaint. Many initiatives can only be understood once deficiencies are identified. As the report states:
“The purpose of the discussions was to break down the tendency of the various “stakeholders” in the personal injury sector to be limited in their interactions and information flow to those within their particular area of competence and only communicate with other “silos” when the imperatives of regulation or economics demand.”
Some of the positives from the summit, not reported in InDaily, include:
- “the creation of an accredited qualification for rehabilitation specialists”
- “a specialty recognition for those General Practitioners who wish to distinguish themselves as having an interest and desire to treat injured people”
- [delivery of] “high quality education and qualifications for claims managers in South Australia”.
In terms of occupational health and safety, the summit heard these matters, amongst others:
- “Economics is driving safety
- Size matters – “one size fits all” benchmarking is inherently flawed. LTIFR is a deceptive measure.
- The ROI message is not getting out.
- Mixing of OHS and IR issues presents a continuing issue that is skewing the debate.
- Education is hugely necessary. Creation of a continuous learning environment. e.g. safety message in the schools
- There are multiple threads of discussion in OH&S: primary prevention of injuries and minimisation of the impact of those injuries that do occur. Conversation tends to gravitate to “primary prevention” rather than “impact minimisation” aspect……..
- Enforcement was necessary, but any enforcement action is a sign of failure of the system in first instance.
- It would be beneficial for OHS to be connected to the rehabilitation side. The “front end” must talk to the “back end”. Claims managers to know what rehabilitationists do and vice versa.”
These sorts of comments are not unfamiliar in workers’ compensation and workplace safety fields in Australia. The DeakinPrime summit provided an opportunity for stakeholders to express their thoughts in the hope of the creation of some positive solutions. According to InDaily’s article there were many more negatives than positives but such should be the expectations from a summit. The more important consideration is how the negative concerns will be addressed by government.