• robyn moses
    We are a non-accredited business. Wondering what others do in relation to medical costs for a workplace injury. We have a preferred medical provider, who we pay for the costs of the appointment. If worker does not report injury and goes to their own GP we do not reimburse medical costs. What about costs incurred for physio and x-rays? As a matter of course workers used to pay the surcharge but those charges are now significant e.g. $50 for a xray, wondering what others are doing in respect to this..
  • KeithH
    We are a non-accredited business.robyn moses
    Can you elaborate further please Robyn. I'd like to be sure my thoughts match your business situation.

  • robyn moses
    Our workplace injuries are managed by ACC not the employer; levies are roughly $700,000 annually for 500 staff, down from a million 5 years ago. Our work is in the meat work industry where workers are incentivized to worker harder and faster with piece meal rates and higher pay rates if can keep pace with machines. Injury rates have declined due to procurement of automated cutting machines forcing ¼ workforce into redundancy, ergonomic workstation overhaul, 20 minute task variation/rotation, hourly micro pause etc. We have a preferred medical provider who works hand in hand with an ACC approved occupational therapist. We encourage early reporting of DPI with reduced hours at full pay under a rehab plan to rest and strengthen soft tissue. Our GP knows we only seek medical intervention when the plan fails to alleviate symptoms.
    Injuries requiring immediate medical attention (3 recent ones come to mind a: driver while off site rolled ankle on uneven surface; breaking ankle b: worker was concussed when a 25kg carton fell from an over stacked stack he was attempting to push through a door way it was not designed to fit under c: cleaner failed to wear cut resistant gloves when handling blades sustaining cut requiring stitches.
    More often than not lately we are unable to get an immediate appointment with our preferred medical provider so that leaves our alternative provider with whom we have an account; an Accident Medical Centre where $50 surcharge for x-rays applies and is not charged to the account or A+E at the hospital. Both these centres are over run with long waiting times; 4 hours for concussed worker and 7hrs for broken ankle.
    Our norm is to transport the worker to medical and wait if cannot get their significant other to attend and/or wait to pay x-ray costs etc. should that be required – workers are unlikely to have a spare $50 in their pocket. Both the above centers discourage visitors to keep occupancy numbers and social distancing in check as well as a place I would not by choice spend time in; it is a long day sitting in carpark, is anyone else in similar circumstances or have an alternative plan to address this would be appreciated.
    Workers reporting injuries and then seeing their own GP’s are reimbursed the fee should it be requested. Workers who fail to report injury and see their own GP are not reimbursed the fee. In both these instances almost 99% GPs puts the worker off work on ACC.
    So my question is do other companies pay for workers medical fees, x-rays, physio etc. for a work injury or is the worker required to pay the going rate less the subsidized ACC contribution?
  • KeithH
    So my question is do other companies pay for workers medical fees, x-rays, physio etc. for a work injury or is the worker required to pay the going rate less the subsidized ACC contribution?robyn moses

    Personally I see this relating to the Employment Relations Act rather than HSWA. It appears that this is human resources orientated rather than safety based. I may be wrong, but sense there are underlying issues contributing to what is apparent.

    My suggestion is consult an employment lawyer to determine if what you are looking for is 'what a fair and reasonable employer do'.
  • Don Ramsay
    I am in agreeance as it involves costs it may be HR and not H&S. But a company that I worked for set up an account with the A&E and also reimbursed medicine costs if it was work-related. It worked as it took the pressure of the worker to find money at what could be considered a stressful time.
  • Amy Richards
    Hi Robyn, we pay the costs for our employees. Physio, pharmacy supplies, any recommended products. We work off the ethics of looking after our staff in a time of need.
  • Dianne Campton
    Hi all. There is no legislative requirement for a company to pay the 20% non ACC funded cost. However I feel there is a moral obligation to do this. The employee was working in good faith and got injured doing so. Had they not been at work they would not have been injured. Morally I feel a company should reimburse the 20% cost if they do not offer discounted medical insurance. If the company has negotiated with an insurance company like Southern Cross or NIB to provide discounted medical insurance then individuals should claim the 20% balance from that as the company has already made provision for them not to be out of pocket.
  • robyn moses
    Thanks everyone got to bottom of it talking with ACC and employment lawyer. Seems we are not obligated to unless stated in employee contract. Which states you must immediately report all incidents, injuries, the Company may require you to be medically examined by a medical practitioner nominated by the Company at the Company’s expense if we believe the injury warrants medical attention/time off work. Hmmm seems H&S good faith differs to accounts team.
  • KeithH
    @robyn moses
    Pleasure to have been of assistance. :halo:
  • Steve H
    Hmmm seems H&S good faith differs to accounts teamrobyn moses

    Gosh, that would be unusual Robyn :lol: But it can be difficult, negotiating that fine line between fairness and being taken advantage of.
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