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SIRA bulletin - Issue 23

Key reports released

Today, the Hon Robert McDougall QC has published his report on the Independent Review of icare, the workers compensation scheme, and the five-year statutory review of the State Insurance and Care Governance Act 2015.

The NSW Government has announced that it has accepted 35 recommendations and the remaining 16 recommendations that require legislative change would need to be considered by Cabinet.

The SIRA Chief Executive, Ms Carmel Donnelly, has welcomed the report.

“Mr McDougall has delivered a detailed assessment of the complex issues facing the NSW workers compensation system. SIRA is reviewing the report and is committed to acting on the recommendations relevant to its regulatory role,” Ms Donnelly said.

The Standing Committee on Law & Justice has also today handed down its report on the 2020 Review of the Workers Compensation Scheme.

“I would like to acknowledge the important ongoing role of the Committee in overseeing injury insurance schemes in NSW, including workers compensation. SIRA also welcomes the Committee's report and is considering it carefully,” Ms Donnelly said.

“SIRA’s goal is to steward a workers compensation system that is fair, affordable and effective for injured people who make a claim for workers compensation and employers who are required to hold workers compensation policies - today, and in the future. The reports released today will assist SIRA in advancing those objectives.

SIRA funding improvements to trauma care in NSW

SIRA is funding a ground-breaking project to improve trauma care standards in NSW hospitals.

Improvements in trauma services will ensure the highest quality care is available for people injured at work or on the roads no matter where they are in NSW.

With SIRA’s support, the NSW Institute of Trauma and Injury Management (ITIM) is working with the Royal Australian College of Surgeons (RACS) to implement the Australia and New Zealand Trauma Verification Program  to help hospitals analyse their trauma care systems.

Severe, traumatic injury remains the leading cause of death and disability in Australians under 40 years of age. Current evidence suggests that low levels of trauma service resourcing are strongly associated with poorer patient outcomes.

The trauma verification project is expected to reduce preventable deaths and secondary complications during hospitalisation and recovery.

Learn more on the SIRA hub.

International Day of Mourning - remembering those who have died as a result of a work-related incident or illness

Wednesday (28 April) was World Day for Safety and Health at Work and the International Day of Mourning. The day provides an opportunity to reflect on workplace health and safety, and remember those who have died as a result of a work-related incident or illness.

To commemorate the International Day of Mourning, SafeWork NSW and Unions NSW held a COVID-safe online memorial service at 12.00 pm on Wednesday. The 30-minute service included messages from members of the NSW Parliament, Unions NSW, religious representatives, and family members who lost a loved one.

A recording of the service will be available for viewing until 28 May 2021.

The latest data shows 183 people were fatally injured at work in Australia in 2019.

Every death is a tragedy. While the number of work-related deaths in Australia has decreased over the last decade, we must do more. It is a reminder of the importance of work health and safety, and the need to anticipate, prepare and respond to hazards and risks in our work environment.

Learn more about World Day for Safety and Health at Work.

New guidance for industry about residential building insurance

SIRA has published updated guidance and example scenarios to help people find out who needs to buy insurance when building or renovating a home.

The guidance includes information about the responsibilities of principal contractors, sub-contractors and property owners. It was developed in response to a recommendation from the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) after its review of the home building compensation scheme in 2020.

SIRA is considering other improvements to scheme information in response to the IPART report. Further guidance is expected to be released during 2021.

Stakeholders can also use SIRA’s existing HBC Assist tool to help determine if insurance is needed for a building project.

Latest home building compensation scheme data now available

As the regulator of the NSW home building compensation scheme, SIRA collects and publishes data from insurers to monitor the operation of the scheme.

See the latest data covering the period up to June 2020 on the SIRA website.

Valuable resource for employers and RTW coordinators

Earlier this year, SIRA launched a monthly e-newsletter for employers, return to work (RTW) coordinators, workplace rehabilitation providers and other stakeholders supporting recovery at work after an injury or illness.

The 'Recovery at work insider' delivers bite-sized, practical information to your inbox, distilling the evidence and providing tips and resources to support return to and recovery at work in NSW.

Issue 3 was released on Tuesday 27 April 2021. It explains why promoting the health benefits of good work is so important for recovery at work.

Subscribe to the ‘Recovery at work insider’ now.

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