Chapter 35: Mitigation: Health Impacts

Chapter 35: Mitigation: Health Impacts


Although the activities of injury management, claims management and return to work may not be core activities for generalist Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) professionals, knowledge of key health mitigation principles is required to minimise the impact of work related injury, ill health and disease on individuals and organisations. This chapter discusses the importance of: exposure monitoring and health surveillance; early notification of ‘near misses,’ injury or disease; early provision of first aid and quality medical care; compensation for work-related injury and management of the impacts of being in the ‘compensation system;’ ‘stay at work’ or ‘early return to work;’ workplace support for the recovery process of injured workers; and appropriate management of any workplace fatality.

Keywords: health, injury, first aid, return to work, compensation, biological monitoring, health surveillance, occupational physician

First year of publication: 2012
Current Version: 2019

Chapter 35: Mitigation: Health Impacts

Table of contents

1 Introduction
2 Historical perspective
3 Key concepts in workplace health mitigation
3.1 Monitoring as part of mitigating health impacts
3.2 Early notification of ‘near misses,’ injury or disease
3.3 Early provision of skilled first aid
3.4 Early provision of quality medical care where indicated
3.5 Compensation for work-related injury
3.6 ‘Stay at work’ or ‘early return to work’ for early recovery
3.7 Workplace support for the recovery process of an injured worker
3.8 Management of the workplace fatality
4 Implications for OHS practice
5 Summary


Consultant Occupational Physician

Kevin is a consulting occupational physician. From a twenty year background in general practice, he has specialised in occupational medicine for the last 14 years currently consulting to WorkSafe Victoria, the Transport Accident Commission, the Herald and Weekly Times Media Group, Solar Turbines Australia and Equipsuper. He is the President of the Australasian Medical Review Officers Association, a past president of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine and past chair of the Board of Censors of the Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, RACP.

Peer reviewers

Dr Matthew Brandt MBBS(Hons), MPH, MOHS, FAFOEM(RACP)
Visiting Occupational Physician, Kinetic Health Care

Dr Robert McCartney MBBS, FAFOEM(RACP)
Occupational Physician, OccMD Pty Ltd President, Australian & New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine (ANZSOM)

Learning Outcomes: Mitigation: Health impacts

The OHS Body of Knowledge takes a conceptual approach which enables it to be applied in different contexts and frameworks. To optimise its value for education and professional development learning outcomes have been developed for each technical chapter in the Body of Knowledge.

The learning outcomes as described give an indication of what should be the capabilities of a new graduate OHS professional in the workplace. I t is up to those developing OHS education programs, OHS professionals planning their CPD or recruiters or employers selecting or developing people for the OHS function to consider the required breadth vs. depth


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