Your questions answered: Is mental illness recorded as a lost-time injury?

By Portner Press on September 19th, 2019
  1. Employee health & wellbeing
  2. Mental Health

Q
Pending a final medical tribunal review, it looks like we have a work-related mental illness case. The injured person has been off work and receiving medical treatment for a number of months now.

My question is classifying this illness. Should I include this as a lost-time injury (LTI), or are LTIs purely for physical injuries (as opposed to illness)?

 

A
When recording lost time injuries (LTIs), medical treatment injuries, near misses and their frequency ratios, there is no mandatory standard on how to do this.

Standards Australia ‘AS 1885.1 – 1990 Workplace injury and disease recording standard’ provides non-mandatory guidance on how to record workplace injuries.

A copy of that standard is accessible at the following link.

Are LTIs strictly for physical injuries?

The definition of ‘lost-time injuries/diseases’ under the Australian Standard is ‘occurrences that resulted in a fatality, permanent disability or time lost from work of one day/shift or more’.

There is no exclusion of mental health related injuries/diseases. Further, we note that under the relevant Australian Standard that ‘Exposure to mental stress factors’ is a listed ‘mechanism of injury/disease’.

How should this LTI be recorded?

Under the section ‘Treatment of Special Cases’ at paragraph 3.9 of the Australian Standard, it is set out that:

“Those occurrences of injury or disease which meet the above definitions, but for which there was a workers’ compensation claim that was rejected, should also be recorded. They should not, however, be used in the calculation of measurement rates or other indicators of performance.”

Therefore, as per the Australian Standard, the LTI should be recorded, however, the outcome of the final medical tribunal review will determine if the LTI should be used in the calculation of measurement rates or other indicators of performance.

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