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Published Thursday, 2nd October 2014

The best way to increase a workers chances of fully recovering from an injury or illness is to get them back to work quickly.  This decreases their recovery time and improves their outcome. 

Not every worker returns initially to the same job role with their Employer following an illness or injury.

Often, a gradual return to work is the best way of getting an injured worker back to work quickly.  Alternatively, if the injury is minor, a worker may be able to return to their pre-injury role without difficulty.

Before a worker recommences any form of work, it is prudent to find out what they can and can’t do safely and to find out what the expected time frame to a full recovery will be.  This is when a Functional Capacity Evaluation is performed.

Functional Capacity Evaluations are also known as Functional Capacity Assessments and are used to determine how well an injured worker currently matches their pre-injury job role.

Functional Capacity Evaluations last from one to two hours and from this, a comprehensive report, documenting the assessment findings and the expected outcomes, is drafted.

Functional Capacity Evaluation Reports provide information regarding:

  • The current injury;
  • Current symptoms;
  • Medical history including any previous injuries;
  • Treatment and medical restrictions;
  • Functional abilities;
  • Level of motivation regarding returning to work;
  • The clinicians expectations regarding outcomes.

Workers can prepare for their Functional Capacity Evaluations by bringing any relevant medical reports and wearing clothes they would exercise comfortably in.

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