Recently SafetyAtWorkBlog wrote:
“In many industries, and in the safety profession itself, people confuse the OHS laws of injury prevention with the Compensation laws of rehabilitation.”
This misunderstanding also extends to the public. Every so often, this blog receives comments from irate readers who express their frustration with “WorkSafe” or “Workcover”. It is a frustration that is shared by many but the frustration is frequently aimed at the wrong target. Most of the frustration stems from real or perceived injustice in the workers compensation system, but the criticism refers repeatedly to the OHS prevention and enforcement authority.
This confusion is not helped when one “brand” is used for both injury prevention and injury compensation.
Several Australian States have the two workplace safety programs under a single banner but the legislation is different for each program, the managerial approach is different for both and the supportive professions have very different strategies.
Rather than continuing with awareness-raising advertising, OHS and workers compensation regulators could begin a brand differentiation campaign. It is doubtful such a campaign would reduce the outrage that many feel but it would focus the outrage on the source of frustration – workers compensation and insurance – and allow the OHS prevention and enforcement strategy to operate in a situation where its role is clearly understood by business and the community.