April 28th 2023 is World Day for Safety and Health at Work. It is an opportunity for individuals, employers, to come together and raise awareness about the risks and hazards that exist in different work environments and to take steps to mitigate them. Claire Roantree, Partner in the Person Injury Team, reports on the importance of rehabilitation if you have had an accident in the workplace due to a lack of health and safety. If you are seriously injured during the course of your employment, as a result of your employer’s negligence, it is important that you get the right level of compensation for your injuries and losses, and it is also crucial to your long-term wellbeing to have access to rehabilitation and support. Case Management and Needs Assessment At Boyes Turner we try to appoint case managers wherever possible in serious injury cases to meet with our clients and carry out an “Immediate Needs Assessment” to establish what their rehabilitation needs are in order to help with their recovery journey. The case manager appointed to identify the immediate needs of our client and their family prepares a report outlining a programme of rehabilitation to address those needs and is responsible for implementing the recommendations which are focused around the goals of the client and aimed at improving outcomes. Comprehensive rehabilitation approach Rehabilitation should address not only the physical injuries and treatment required to optimise recovery but any psychological, social, or vocational needs. Many of our clients who experience serious, or life changing injuries will require access to immediate and ongoing therapies for example physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, occupational therapy, orthotics or prosthetics, pain management or scar treatment. Support for daily living Many additionally experience psychological injury because of the trauma of the accident or the impact the injuries have on their daily lives which can often lead to depression and anxiety. Access to psychological and/or pharmacological support is important to help them to address the trauma and come to terms with the impact of the accident, but also to help them to better engage in treatment and rehabilitation. The environment in which they live may no longer be suitable depending on the nature and extent of injuries or there may be a need for a package of care because they are no longer able to look after themselves. The case manager will identify the type of support a client needs as a result of their injuries, for example, recruiting carers, adaptations to home or vehicle, looking for suitable alternative accommodation, identifying suitable social activities to take into account the injuries. A return to work and some level of normality is extremely important to many of our clients who may not be able to go back to their pre accident job due to the severity of their injuries. Vocational rehabilitation can help the injured person to identify their skills or retraining needs to enable them to return to work, whether on a full or part time basis or voluntary work. Recent case studies In a recent case study, we had a case manager appointed to help with psychological support for PTSD, treatment scar management, and pain management after our client experienced an accident at work. A compensation settlement was awarded for a teaching assistant who suffered PTSD when she was assaulted by a student. If you have suffered a serious injury as a result of unsafe working conditions or an accident at work, you can talk to one of our experienced solicitors, free and confidentially, to find out more about claiming compensation, by contacting us here.