Occupational Health

What do osteopaths do in occupational health, injury prevention and management?

Osteopaths work as treating practitioners, assisting injured clients in returning to work.

Osteopaths are registered under state and territory workers compensation schemes as participating practitioners.

They work with workers compensation agents, private insurers, employers and other health practitioners as part of an interconnected network.

What may occupational health treatment look like?

An osteopath provides a range of injury management approaches to assist rehabilitation.

All treatments offered by occupational health osteopaths aim to:

  • Assist in recovery from a workplace injury

  • Prevent long-term workforce absence or disability.

  • Manual therapy may be provided, if appropriate to facilitate your recovery.

  • Instruction in strategies to safely manage activities, gradually resume pre-injury tasks or improve work related functional skills may be provided.

  • Exercises may be prescribed to improve your conditioning for work related tasks.

What may an assessment involve in occupational health?

An assessment may include the following clinical components:

  • Assessment of your work capacity and the impact of your workplace injury 

  • Clinical outcome measurement to determine how treatment might improve your ability to undertake workplace tasks

  • Assessment of circumstances that led to your injury. Biological, psychological and social contributing factors, the requirements of your work role, and other characteristics of your workplace will be reviewed to identify factors that may have resulted in injury

  • Development of a return to work plan to meet the requirements of your worker’s compensation injury management scheme and your rehabilitation goals

  • Discussion of modifications, equipment or adjustments that may improve your prospects of successfully returning to the workplace

  • Discussion of your eligibility for ongoing entitlements under your worker’s compensation scheme and where limitations may apply

  • Discussion of recovery timeframes, symptoms or sensations associated with your injury, referring to medical advice, work related reports and your individual history

  • When appropriate, discussion of alternative work roles or career change. Any associated skills needed in a new workplace will be discussed.

What else may be part of occupational health osteopathy program?

Osteopaths also offer advice on return to work strategies suited to your circumstances, including:

  • Appropriate duties

  • Environmental modifications

  • Hours and tasks appropriate to your rate of recovery.

  • They may also assist you in managing further injury risks and adjusting your work practices to recover at work.

Can a referral be provided by osteopaths working in occupational health?

Osteopaths give referrals to and work with other health professionals, case managers and others to coordinate injury management, return to work planning, or if advised by a treating medical practitioner.

Some osteopaths also provide advice to stakeholders in workplace settings often on a corporation wide level. These osteopaths provide on-site task analysis, develop site specific injury management protocols, and provide education on manual handling techniques. They also offer ergonomics assessments and perform task-oriented tests to prevent workplace injuries, plan workplaces better and improve efficiency in task completion.

Most osteopaths participate in work injury schemes. Some have further skills in work injury assessment and management. Learn more about further skill recognition at Osteopathy Australia, and find publicly listed practitioners with further clinical skills

Osteopathy Australia Partners

We work with these complementary key organisations as an essential part
of providing high quality healthcare for Australians.

Guild Insurance
RMIT University
Member Advantage
Brooks Shoes
NT Worksafe
Arthritis Australia
Australasian College of Sport & Exercise Physicians
Insurance Commission of WA
SA Worksafe
Wentworth Advantage
TAS Workcover
Australian Osteopathic Accreditation Council
VIC Worksafe
Associations Forum
National Rural Health Alliance
Better Pain Management
Pain Australia
Worksafe ACT
OPC Health
Serenity HLP by Regal sleep
Victoria University
Workcover WA
NSW Workcover
Health Workforce Australia
QLD Worksafe
London College of Animal Osteopathy