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9.7 Worksite Assessments

A worksite assessment forms the basis for a safe return to work by assessing the suitability of work duties and to gain a better understanding of the nature of the client's work. It assesses the physical, psychosocial, cognitive and communication demands of the job.

Workplace assessment includes a visit to the workplace by the rehabilitation service provider to meet with the client and their supervisor to identify suitable duties for the client, investigate return to work options and provide assistance to the employer. This may involve a detailed assessment of the workplace and associated job tasks (task analysis) to design an appropriate return to work program.

Where the worksite assessment involves an assessment of the physical aspects of the workplace this should ideally be conducted by an Occupational Therapist or Ergonomist.

The assessment also provides a good opportunity to give the client information and education about safe work practices (e.g. manual handling, warm-up and stretching routines, posture) and advice on work restrictions. A workplace assessment may also help the provider design an individual, work-oriented conditioning program. This program may then take place at either the workplace using a graduated return to work process or off-site, for example at home, to improve physical and functional capacities in readiness for return to work.

The worksite assessment may identify any risk factors that may place the injured employee at risk of any physical or psychosocial injury or illness and determines whether workplace modifications or job redesign are required to support the return to work program.