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The Challenging Environments of Injury Management in Construction and Coalmining in New South Wales

  • Herbert C. Biggs (a1) and Donald P. Dingsdag (a2)


Workers' compensation and disability management in the hazardous occupations of mining and construction are ongoing concerns for employers, employees, insurers and governments. Rising insurance costs, options of self-insurance models, highly competitive tendering, legislative rigidities, and escalating costs of compensation, have contributed to industry practices for injured workers that are driven by cost containment strategies rather than benchmarked disability management processes. In this article a critical review of legislation, industry practices, and published reports is undertaken with a view to oudining the adequacy of current and planned services and practices to meet the needs of injured workers in both sectors. Attention is also given to industrial practices that contra-indicate quality disability management processes. The authors detail a number of industrial and organisational operating environments, which have arisen from legislative frameworks, financial constraints, and outdated disability management practices. They comment on the more recendy introduced legislation and offer comment on its potential to drive benchmark changes in the building and coalmining sectors. Finally, suggestions are provided for more contemporary approaches to the insurance framework and return to work facilitation for injured workers.


Corresponding author

School of Psychology and Counselling, Queensland University of Technology, Beams Rd, Carseldine, QLD4122, Australia. Email:


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The Challenging Environments of Injury Management in Construction and Coalmining in New South Wales

  • Herbert C. Biggs (a1) and Donald P. Dingsdag (a2)


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