Did You Report a Workplace Injury In Time?

An injury or accident in the workplace can be very disruptive to both employees and employers. Depending on how serious the injury is, it may require time off work or could impact if the employee’s capability of doing their job. But most importantly, if nothing is done about a hazard that has caused an injury then more people could be hurt. This is something everyone wants to avoid to keep the workplace as safe to work in as possible, which is why documenting and reporting an injury as soon as it occurs is important for everyone.

One of the first obligations an employee has after injuring themself in the workplace is to notify their employer as quickly as possible.  This needs to be done either verbally or in writing, even if no claims need to be lodged for this injury. If an employer receives notice of a workplace injury, then they are obliged to act upon the information and ensure the employee receives the help he or she requires to continue or return to work at the earliest time possible.

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Michelle Alber, Rehabilitation Counsellor

Michelle Alber
MASRC; Grad Dip Rehabilitation Counselling; Grad Cert Management (OHS);
Expert Witness Training Certificate
Rehabilitation Counsellor

Q: What does a Rehabilitation Counsellor do?

Rehabilitation Counsellors are especially trained in assessing rehabilitation needs, providing rehabilitation counselling, conducting vocational counselling and assessment, and labour market assessment, developing strategic retraining programs, and providing assistance with job seeking.

Rehabilitation counsellors assist people with a disability (physical and/or psychological) or medical condition (injury and/or illness), to achieve their rehabilitation goals, including return to paid employment and/or return to independent living. They specialise in assisting workers who are unemployed, underemployed, or who need to be redeployed following disability or injury.

Rehabilitation Counsellors are especially trained in understanding the medical aspects of disability, including psycho-social factors, barriers to independent living and return to work, and strategic interventions to address these barriers.

They are also especially trained to understand adjustment to disability, a variable component of individual disability which tends to be a common accompaniment to physical and psychological injuries.
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Dr Katie Dimarco, Psychiatrist


Dr Katie Dimarco,

FRANZCP, MBBS (Hons), BMedSci.

Dr Katie Dimarco is a consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist who has recently joined the IMO panel and is available for medico-legal appointments at short notice in the Sydney CBD.

Dr Dimarco has worked with the Anxiety Disorders Clinic, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, for the past 4 years and is now focusing on her private practice. She has undertaken medico-legal work for the past year and is an Accredited Assessor of Permanent Impairment with WorkCover NSW and the NSW Motor Accident Authority.

Dr Dimarco has appropriate medical specialist qualifications of

• Fellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, 2012
• Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (University of Melbourne)

and registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) as a Specialist in Psychiatry. Other appointments include holding an Associate (Conjoint) Lecturer position in the School of Psychiatry, The University of New South Wales.

To quote the Executive Director Clinical Services, IMO Pty Ltd: “Dr Dimarco has the proven clinical skills, experience and recently acquired certifications to undertake all the types of NSW WorkCover and NSW MAA examinations expected, plus a warm and pleasant professional demeanour that will make it a pleasure to work with her….we look forward to a long and prosperous relationship that benefits our mutual clients.”

Appropriate Referrals: Psychiatric medical specialist referral for Independent Medical Examination and/or Case File Review in cases of depression, anxiety, adjustment disorder, stress, mental health, psychiatric injury, psychological injury, for people aged 16 and over.

Dr Dimarco has a range of experience with depression, anxiety, stress, trauma, and personality issues. She has skills in cognitive behavior therapy and longer-term psychotherapy. For the past two years, a part of her private practice work has provided tele-psychiatry appointments for people across Australia, so she is comfortable interviewing clients via Skype if required

7 Steps to Building Trust in the Workplace

Trust is the belief in someone or something as being reliable, honest, truthful, and able. A key question for all workplaces to ask is: Do your employees believe in the reliability, honesty, or ability of:

  • What your company is offering,
  • Your products and services,
  • Your senior management and their peers,
  • Your business service providers?

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Common Work-Related Injuries

Every year thousands of workers are hurt in the workplace, with both minor and major injuries occurring as a result. We’ve compiled a range of statistics gathered by the national government organisation Safework Australia to show how and when injuries most frequently occur.

Common Work-Related Injuries

Workplace Fatalities: The Statistics

When you consider the working conditions across the globe, it will come as no surprise that workplace injuries do not simply occur in Australia. Furthermore, with the increasing globalisation of companies workplace injuries have become an international concern. However, unlike developing countries where workplace injuries and fatalities  are unlikely to be recorded, in western countries such as United States of America, Europe and Australia, we have the benefit of statistics that record workplace injuries and fatalities. Those statistics can help us to assess how poorly or well managed are our workplace health and safety laws. Such statistics matter because these countries offer the benefit of laws that are aimed at protecting employees and finding negligent employers liable.

So how does Australia compare with America and Europe?

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Dr Fernando Roldan, Clinical Psychologist

Dr Fernando Roldan,
B.A.Psych.(UNSW), B.A.Hons.Psych.(UNE), Cert.Neuroanat.Neuropsych.(UNSW), Ph.D.Clin.Psych.(ANU), M.A.P.S., M.C.C.P., M.I.N.S., M.U.S.Nat.Acad.Neuropsych.
Clinical Psychologist

Dr Fernando Roldan is a clinical psychologist with more than 30 years clinical experience, including 25 years in the medico-legal field. He has completed more than 5,000 medico-legal assessments and reports dealing with a wide range of Clinical Psychological and Neuropsychological issues and he has presented oral evidence in various courts and tribunals on more than hundred occasions

Dr Roldan’s medico-legal assessments have dealt with children and adults presenting with a wide range of Clinical Psychological and Neuropsychological issues, including Anxiety Disorders (e.g. PTSD), Mood Disorders (e.g. Major Depression), Intellectual Disability, Learning Disorders, ADHD, Dementia, Substance Use Disorders, Toxic Exposure Disorders, Pain and Somatoform Disorders, Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Conditions, Personality Disorders, Cognitive and Personality Impairment as a result of Traumatic Brain Injury, Competency, Independent Living Skills, Employability, Fitness for Parenting, and Symptom Validity.

Dr Roldan has completed the relevant assessor courses in WPI assessments with reference to reactive psychological injuries and/or brain injury mediated neuropsychological injuries under the guides issued by the Motor Accident Authority of NSW, the WorkCover Authority of NSW and Comcare with reference to the AMA-IV and AMA-V guides.

Dr Roldan’s referrers have included most CTP insurers, Workers Compensation insurers, Public Liability Insurers, Self-Insurers, and Life and Superannuation Insurers, as well as Comcare, the Crown Solicitor’s Office of NSW, the ACT Government Solicitor, the ACT Office for Children, the Attorney-General’s Department, the Australian Government Solicitor, many other State and Commonwealth Government departments, and many legal firms representing defendants and plaintiffs. Furthermore, he has been involved in various high profile matters giving rise to claims relating to clinical psychological and/or neuropsychological injuries.

Dr Roldan adopts a multi-method critical and analytical approach to assessment and report preparation. Assessments are conducted over 3 to 5-hour consultations that involve a very detailed clinical interview (covering all aspects of the patient’s background history, injury/incident history and post-injury/incident history), as well as extensive psychometric testing of pain behaviour, emotional/personality functioning, intellectual and cognitive functions, and symptom validity. Report preparation involves integration of all of the abovementioned sources of data with information derived from a very detailed review of the available documentation. Reports are usually 20-25 pages plus in length.

Dr Roldan has consulting rooms in Sydney CBD, Westmead and Canberra and he also travels to other country and interstate locations, as well as private homes, hospitals, prisons and other facilities, by prior arrangement.

Dr Tony Lowy, Occcupational Physician

Dr Anthony Lowy,
Occupational Physician

What is an Occupational Physician?
The specialty encompasses prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. It deals with health issues of the individual worker, populations of workers and their interaction with their environment and the “health” of the employing organisation. Occupational Physicians consider medical issues within the wider context of their psycho-social, industrial and motivational frameworks, and have a key role in communicating with employers, business and government.

In summary, Occupational Physicians focus on the health effects of the relationship between workers and their work lives, at both an individual and an organisational level.

An Occupational Physician may work for the government, the military or a large organisation. Work in private practice is common, providing a range of services including patient treatment, workplace assessments, health surveillance and supervision of vocational rehabilitation. Occupational Physicians also provide independent medical opinions on issues such as the worker’s fitness to perform certain work duties; the work-relatedness of a worker’s condition. They may also perform impairment assessments, or provide advice to companies on issues such as illness or injury prevention strategies, or the management of sickness absence.

MBBS  Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery
FRACGP  Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
FRACP(OEM)  Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (Occupational and Environmental Medicine)
CIME  Certified Independent Medical Examiner (American Board of Independent Medical Examiners)
Accreditation:  MAA, COMCARE, WORKER Trained
Consultation Locations:  Sydney, Wollongong, Gosford & Parramatta – Site & Home visits on Demand

Dr Anthony Lowy is a highly trained consultant physician with over 30 years experience as and Independent Medical Examiner (IME) American Certified in 2002 (CIME) and provides a wide range of services relating to the health of workers and employers.

Waterloo NSW GP 1968 to 1980 with FRACGP in 1976, comprising 10 years as a clinical supervisor of trainee general medical practitioners.

In 1986 he obtained fellowship of the Australian Faculty of Occupational Medicine and thereafter worked full time in that discipline whilst being a Member of the Australian Pain Society.[ APS].

From 1986 to 2006 Dr Lowy was a senior partner in Occupational and Rehabilitation medical practice with Allied Health Professionals [AHPs] in Redfern NSW.

Was Rehabilitation Service Provider [RSP] for NSW Workcover and Comcare for some years from 1998. .

From 1986 as a specialist in occupational medicine, until 2006 he provided medical services to dozens of Employers and conducted hundreds of worksite visits across NSW including coalmines. During those years Dr Lowy supervised doctors in the practice of occupational medicine and rehabilitation with emphasis on Return To Work factors.

Also from 1987 trained doctors on theory and practice of whole person impairment [WPI] rating PLUS best practice for conducting independent medical examinations [IMEs].

Special Medical Interests
Dr Lowy has a special interest and experience in assessing people experiencing catastrophic injuries.

To properly assess bed-bound people, he travels regularly to the homes and /or rehab centres to physically assess and comprehensively report on the medical status, prognosis, life expectancy, current and predicted whole person needs of these people with written recommendations to facilitate rehabilitation.

What makes an Occupational Physician distinctive?
A unique combination of knowledge, training and skills distinguishes Occupational Physicians from other medical practitioners and general practitioners.

These include:
• Broad education to deal with the range of the patients’ medical problems as they relate to their employment and their work environment
• Exposure to a wide range of worksites and work-practices, and training to assess these in terms of their potential effects on an individual worker.
• Thorough, logical and scientific approaches to providing expert diagnoses
• Ability to advise on the best management strategy for the injured worker
• Specialisation in the management of work-related disability
• Ability to care for patients within their work and social environment, not just within the medical model
• Skill in clinical decision-making and cost effective management of injured workers and sickness absence

Dr Anthony Lowy consults in Sydney CBD, Wollongong, Gosford and Parramatta as well private homes, businesses, hospitals, prisons and other facilities, by prior arrangement.

Corporate Responsibility regarding Mental Health Issues: It’s Time to Foster a Positive Workplace

Why is there a stigma attached to someone suffering from mental health issues, particularly in the workplace? The statistics for mental illness show that it is not as uncommon as may be first thought. In 2007, the Australian Bureau of Statistics National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing found that around 45% of Australians between 16 and 85 years of age will experience a mental illness at some point in their lives, while one in five adults will experience a mental illness in any given year.

These Australians are men, women, mothers, fathers, managers, employers and employees.

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IMO Newsletter “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Facts vs Fiction” Seminars wrap-up (with resources)

This IMO Newsletter article provides an update on the recent seminars on “Chronic Fatigue: Fact vs. Fiction” held in Sydney and Melbourne. The intention is that this post-seminar report will be a useful resource and act as a primer for further education of our clients and clinicians in this topic area.

As we stated in the invitation emails for these Sydney and Melbourne seminars we believe that CFS is hard to diagnose and manage clinically, presents many challenges for an IME, and is hard to prosecute/defend for a legal case.
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