The relationship between workers' compensation and occupational rehabilitation

An historical perspective

D. Kenny*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


The evolution of occupational rehabilitation has been inextricably linked with developments in workers' compensation legislation. The Australian system, like the British system on which it has been modelled, originally focused on economic (recovery of lost income) rather than rehabilitative (recovery of lost function) goals. Over the past century, there has been a gradual change in emphasis, with occupational rehabilitation now assuming primary importance. This paper outlines the origins of workers' compensation, briefly discusses the problems arising from the compensation system which resulted in changes in the legislation (the New South Wales Workers Compensation Act 1987), and its implications for occupational rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-164
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Occupational Health and Safety - Australia and New Zealand
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • History
  • Legislation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Workers compensation

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