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Safety in Action Presents: The Return to Work Conference

Supporting our workers towards safe, productive and sustainable return to work

10-11 September 2019 | Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

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The Return to Work Conference is a two-day, high profile conference for rehabilitation, HR and Workplace Health & Safety leaders. All employers are required under workplace health and safety laws to have in place policies and plans for the return to work of injured workers. This year’s program will look into best practice strategies that supports employees through the process of rehabilitation and manages their return to the workplace in a timely and safe manner.

Running concurrently with the The Safety in Action Conference and Workplace Wellness Conference, and in adjacent rooms, you will be able to switch sessions and plan a track to suit your requirements.

To receive updates on the conference, register your interest and we will notify you of updates as they happen.

Co-located with the two conferences is the Safety in Action Tradeshow, Australia’s leading occupational health and safety event. The Safety in Action Show is trade only event and is free to attend. Find out more here.





9:00 am

OPENING | Opening remarks from the Chair

9:10 am

  • Insights from the COMPARE Project, a critical analysis and comparison of workers compensation systems across all Australian jurisdictions
  • Latest updates on the National Workers’ Compensation Evidence Base and international learnings
  • Implications for workers compensation policy and return to work outcomes

9:40 am

  • Creating a positive working environment to support disclosure
  • Responding to and supporting staff in mental health crisis situations
  • Preventing relapse through changes in the work environment

10:00 am

Targeted approaches for musculoskeletal injuries

James Fletcher, Director, Safe & Healthy

10:30 am

Networking and refreshment break


11:00 am

  • Practical strategies that workplaces can implement for new and expecting parents: pre, during and post-parental leave
  • Setting up for long-term success and sustainability: stress and fatigue management
  • Taking a safety perspective on fathers at work
  • Update on the WorkSafe WorkWell Mental Health Improvement Fund ‘Perinatal Workplace Wellbeing Program’ (PWWP)

11:30 am

  • Exploring the links between pre-employment processes, induction training and employee retention
  • Understanding the inherent requirements of the role and how this can help place older workers
  • What you need to know about making reasonable modifications in the workplace

12:00 pm

Lunch, Networking and Exhibition Viewing


1:30 pm

  • How to implement an early intervention injury management approach to workplace injuries
  • Early intervention approach has led to a 93% reduction in claim conversion
  • Promoting recovery at work and tangible benefits for workers
  • 2018 Victorian WorkSafe Award winner for Leading RTW by an Employer

2:00 pm

  • The supervisor’s role in striking the right balance between operational expectation and people management
  • How much does the supervisor’s support of a worker really matter, when it comes to preventing injuries and minimising the impact of injuries when they do occur?
  • Strategies to address musculoskeletal injuries, and minimise their impact for both the worker and business

2:30 pm

  • Early intervention program suited to individual mild to moderate symptoms of depression and anxiety (every-day stressors)
  • The purpose of the trail is to determine if similar positive outcomes can be achieved in the workplace environment, as have previously been achieved in the community setting

*(The individuals are not receiving psychological intervention at the time of the trial. The service offers six session (one assessment and five Li-CBT session) with a coach, and a four-week follow-up.)

3:00 pm

Networking and refreshment break


3:30 pm

  • How a claim experience impacts an injured worker’s ability to return to work
  • Strategies for addressing difficult conversations and ongoing consultation with the injured worker
  • Compassion and empathy for a successful return to work

4:00 pm

  • Utilising specialists and rehab expertise in a different way to address common claims management challenges
  • Engaging the worker, gaining trust and insights and effecting an outcome
  • Supporting the treating GP to increase diagnostic accuracy, guide evidence-based treatment and improve capacity certification

4:30 pm

CLOSING | Closing remarks from the Chair

4:40 pm

END OF DAY ONE | Networking Drinks


9:00 am

OPENING | Opening remarks from the Chair

9:10 am

Address from the Regulator

Senior Representative, WorkSafe Victoria,

9:40 am

RACGP World first guidelines for GPs in managing work-related mental health Monash University

10:00 am

Networking and refreshment break


10:30 am

Addressing underlying factors of psychosocial risk and psychological injury

David Broadhurst, Chief Engagement Officer, CodeSafe Solutions

11:00 am

  • Workplace cancer experiences shared with our cancer nurses
  • Cancer support services available
  • Recommendations for organisations supporting workers
  • What we do to support our staff affected by cancer

11:30 am

Proactive approaches to mental wellbeing

Marian Merrigan, National Health and Wellbeing Manager, Linfox

12:00 pm

Lunch, Networking and Exhibition Viewing


1:30 pm

Through the lens of a new migrant in Australia, hear the unique challenges and perspectives in the RTW process including:

  • Comprehending the principles of Workplace Health & Safety; Work Cover Claim; Injury Management Process
  • Accessibility to relevant services including mental health and wellbeing, and its impact on work performance
  • Nurturing mindsets towards the importance of safety protocols, and health & wellbeing

2:00 pm

Disconnection can happen for a range of reasons including positional, gender, absence from the workplace, lack of confidence and life’s unexpected curve balls. When people are provided with the right environment and encouragement, they can take business operations to another level or discover exciting new areas of growth for your company. Learn how to find the energy in your people and how to give them the right attention.

2:30 pm

  • Understanding your company’s Employee Value Proposition and the value of transferable qualifications
  • Embedding a collective safety culture through training to achieve and sustain significant reduction in injuries and equipment damage
  • How to avoid the ‘tick and flick’ approach that can creep into the heavy equipment industry
  • Which indicators to use as a measure of success and how to use them to prioritise safety outcomes

3:00 pm

Networking and refreshment break


3:30 pm

  • Who is exposed to silica dust?
  • What are the effects of silica exposure?
  • How much exposure to silica is too much? My reflections on the new exposure limits.
  • How can silica dust be controlled?

4:00 pm

  • Latest research findings on workplace mental health and wellbeing
  • The impact of injury prevention
  • Case study of promoting engaging and productive workplaces

4:30 pm

Schemes and premiums into the future

Mark Stipic, Managing Director, Mark Stipic Consulting

5:00 pm

CLOSING | Closing Remarks from the Chair

5:10 pm



Ngaire Anderson

Director Mental Health and Research, Comcare

Nicole Fauvrelle

Chief OHS Officer, Department of Health and Human Services Victoria

Dr Tyler Lane

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University

Michael Tew

Director, Axis Rehabilitation at work

Kyriaki Petridis

WHS & RTW Advisor, Japara

James Murray

Founder and Managing Director, Work Healthy Australia

Paul McDonough

RTO Manager, Coates Hire Training Services

Manjula Chinni

OHS Advisor, Xchanging, a DXC Technology Company

Kel McAuliffe

Kel McAuliffe Connections

Dr Sarah Cotton

Co-Director, Transitioning Well

Marian Merrigan

National Health and Wellbeing Manager, Linfox

James Fletcher

Director, Safe & Healthy

Danielle Sinclair

Group WorkCover Manager, Mercy Health

David Broadhurst

Chief Engagement Officer, CodeSafe Solutions

Kylie Gould

National Account Manager, Medilaw Group

Associate Professor Deborah Glass

Deputy Director, Occupational Health and Environmental Sciences, Monash University

Carly Webster

Strategy & Innovation Manager, Workers Compensation, Allianz

Mark Stipic

Managing Director, Mark Stipic Consulting


Return to Work Conference

Early bird rate  // Expires 30 June 2019

  • Conference Package (Both days): $1,495 + GST
  • Day Package (Day 1 or Day 2): $995 + GST

Standard rate  // From 01 July 2019

  • Conference Package (Both days): $1,695 + GST
  • Day Package (Day 1 or Day 2): $1,295 + GST



Past Speaker Interviews

Co-located Conferences

Presented by Safety in Action

With the three conferences running in adjacent rooms, you will be able to switch sessions and plan a track to suit your requirements.

Safety in Action Conference

The Safety in Action Conference is a two-day, high profile conference for Safety leaders. As the premier conference of the year, the Safety in Action Conference brings together Safety leaders in the health and safety profession, to encourage Australia-wide learning and networking across the two days. Over 700 delegates have attended the conference in the last two years to hear from regulators, thought-leaders and International keynotes who are making a difference in safety culture.

Workplace Wellness Conference

This year’s program will hear from industry leaders identifying strategies to enhance the mental and physical wellbeing and productivity of the Australian workforce. Encouragingly, we are seeing a shift away from piece-meal solutions to more integrated, holistic approaches. This conference will shine a light on the states, companies and organisations leading the way. Hear and learn about stories, strategies, measurable indicators, and policy updates on a range of issues; from better understanding and responding to PTSD, to chronic stress management, from promoting healthier lifestyles to building employee engagement.

Return to Work Conference

Employees have the right to, and employers the obligation the duty to provide, a timely and safe return to work, whether it be following a physical or psychological injury. This year’s program will explore best practice strategies that support the process and management of rehabilitation. It will also highlight preventative approaches and programs, as well as how to better navigate the Workers Compensation process.

Safety in Action Tradeshow

The Safety in Action Conference is held concurrently with the Safety in Action Tradeshow. The Safety in Action Show is Australia’s leading Occupational Health and Safety event dedicated to the safety, security and wellbeing of the Australian workforce. For the last eighteen years the Safety in Action series of exhibitions have been the meeting place for the Australian health & safety industry. Thousands of OH&S professionals across the industry have visited Safety in Action to discover new solutions to help them achieve their goals in creating safer workplaces.

Engage in three dedicated safety zones, network with over 120 exhibitors, learn from industry experts during free safety seminars and workshops, source the latest innovative products and services and get involved in the interactive opportunities the Show has to offer. A must-attend for every OH&S professional.

Safety in Action is trade only event and is free to attend. For more information, visit the Safety in Action Show website.

Watch the 2018 Highlights Video

when & where

10 - 11 Sep 2019

Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
1 Convention Centre Pl
South Wharf
VIC 3006

Book Accommodation with Lido Group
For your convenience Lido Group will manage your accommodation needs. Click here or call on 02 8585 0808.


Still have a question?

Margaret Young
Conference Producer
02 9080 4037

Josko Kazija
Sponsorship Manager
02 9080 4143

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