Although employers these days must meet work health and safety standards to minimise workplace risks to their employees, injuries still occur in the workplace. Latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that approximately half a million Australians suffered a work-related injury or illness between 2017-2018. That means that almost 5% of Australian workers get sick or injured as a direct cause of their job. Serous illness or injury can result in employees being unable to work for an extended period of time.
When an employee becomes sick or injured at work, it can also be commonplace for their driving ability to be impacted. Some workers become unable to drive for long periods following the incident. When this occurs, a team of rehabilitation therapists, doctors, case workers and the insurance company become involved to help the person recover from their injury or illness, as well as try to get them back to work as soon as possible. Regarding the worker’s affected driving capacity, an Occupational Therapy (OT) driving assessment is often required and organised for the person for them to return on the road.
Workers with physical injuries are usually referred to a physiotherapist, OT and/or Exercise Physiologist to work on goals such as regaining upper and lower limb and body strength, coordination, and range of motion. Employees who suffered psychological trauma often become involved with psychological services. However, when it comes to driving, health professionals may be unsure about the process for assisting an injured worker to return to driving and getting a driving assessment. The aim of this article is to explain how case workers and health professionals are able to refer a person for an Occupational Therapist Driving Assessment.