SIAV Conference 2023 – Key Takeouts

Clarity Workplace Solutions was delighted to sponsor the Self Insurers Association Victoria Conference 2023: Self Insurers Reuniting in Melbourne on 4 May 2023.

The Clarity team joined more than 250 attendees to hear about:

  • The challenges self-insurers face
  • Recent research and trends in wellbeing
  • Safety and claims management

Recurring themes included:

  • Psychosocial risk factors
  • Listening and engagement
  • Wellbeing initiatives
  • Retention of talent in a hot employment market

We were even treated to a demonstration of the use of Virtual Reality in pain treatment!

Sam Bloom Inspires Hope

Keynote Speaker and World Para Surfing Champion, Sam Bloom shared her life story before and after a serious spinal cord injury. Sam’s moving words were accompanied by many beautiful family photographs and home videos (often featuring the antics of rescued magpie, Penguin). Sam encouraged us to accept and embrace both the “gravel” and “diamond” moments as we journey through life.

WorkSafe on an empathetic approach

It was great to hear from WorkSafe, particularly about the value they place on Self Insurers in the market and the initiatives they ignite. Executive Director, Roger Arnold’s, presentation made clear the focus in the scheme to move towards a customer-centric approach with new employer services, and how the examples of Self Insurers, such as Kmart, are influencing an empathetic approach.

Inspiring Speakers Spark Thought

Some of the other stand-out sessions included:

Luke Holland of Sparke Helmore discussed the potential of criminal sanctions against individuals, as opposed to corporate entities, in relation to significant breaches of OHS laws. Some in the room expressed concerns about whether criminal prosecutions against individuals might be counter-productive and discourage industry leaders from getting involved in workplace safety. It’s clear the Victorian State Government needs to consider this issue carefully, consulting with industry groups and leaders before making any significant decisions which may have far-reaching implications in the industrial and insurance sectors.

Dr Mary Wyatt, Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, explained why “It Pays to Care,” highlighting the need for communication, collaboration and fairness in the handling of personal injury claims. Dr Wyatt spoke about the barriers to recovery, particularly in a compensable injury setting, and how assessing and addressing biopsychosocial risks proactively can make an enormous difference to outcomes for all stakeholders.

David Burroughs, Director of Australian Psychological Services, presenting on the Evolution of Workplace Mental Health, suggested that the regulation of psychosocial risk is moving faster than most employers will be able to respond. He spoke passionately about:

  • workplace culture as a protective mechanism against mental health issues
  • an employer’s moral obligation to make work a great place to be
  • ditching the “wellbeing washing” and focus on understanding and addressing the workplace factors that harm people

Kirsty Harvison, who is a Senior Advisor for our allied brands, Your Call and Rely, joined David Burroughs, Sue Freeman and Dr Mary Wyatt on the final panel where the emphasis was on employers prioritising the wellbeing of their employees, especially those who are vulnerable.

The panel discussed the shortcomings of current pre-and post-claims data collection and how this data can be analysed and used to improve safety. It’s clear that regulators and many employers aren’t yet able to capture and use information from past and current claims and incidents to better understand risk areas and trends. 

The conversations continued over drinks at the beautiful W Hotel, which was a great opportunity to connect with clients and colleagues across the industry. 

Thank you SIAV for a fantastic day and for including the Clarity Workplace Solutions team. Thank you also to the self-insurers who visited us at the booth or spoke to us during the conference.  We look forward to continuing the conversation and invite you to Join Our Community to stay up-to-date with the latest on the management and investigation of personal injuries.