Injury Management

Matthew knows that an early strike can be the best strategy

Maybe it’s because Matthew began his career as a consultant with the ADF rehabilitation program that taught him one of his most valuable insights – that early intervention programs are underutilised yet can offer organisations significant health, safety, wellbeing and financial benefits.

It’s about striking first – being more proactive and less reactive.

Matthew Latemore is an ESSA-accredited exercise physiologist with nearly eight years of experience as an allied health professional in rehabilitation, approaching five years in occupational rehabilitation.

On top of his ADF experience, he’s worked across different regions in Queensland and Victoria, both as a consultant and team manager, achieving strong return to work results.

Now Acumen’s Queensland Area Manager, he’s here to motivate our consultants to facilitate efficient and sustainable return to work outcomes through adopting a ‘whole-of-person’ approach, as well as identifying and implementing early intervention strategies to improve outcomes for workers and employers.

He loves that each client is unique, and because of this, uses his skills and expertise to contribute to the delivery of personalised support tailored to each individual’s needs.

It’s fresh, and exciting, and there’s always a new challenge that keeps him learning and growing both personally and professionally.

As he says, “Being people-focused is at the heart of what makes occupational rehabilitation rewarding for me. I am passionate about making a positive impact on people’s lives, helping them overcome obstacles, and reclaiming their independence and wellbeing. The opportunity to make a meaningful difference in someone’s life is incredibly fulfilling.”

Matthew offers valuable guidance to businesses on effectively managing their workplace health and safety.

1. Be more proactive and less reactive.

Matthew believes early intervention programs are a vital yet often underutilised facet of occupational health, particularly in high-risk industries where organisations can significantly benefit from proactive measures to address health issues before they escalate.

Good examples are mining, construction, logistics, and manufacturing, where workers are prone to accidents and injuries in their roles that expose them to repetitive strain and postures.

Early intervention programs that target correct manual handling and injury prevention could mitigate the risk of musculoskeletal disorders and long-term health implications, as well as contribute to a sustainable workforce.

Other benefits include:

  • Accelerated recovery
  • Increased positive RTW outcomes
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Improved overall workforce wellbeing
  • Significantly reduced premium costs
  • Improved productivity
  • Enhanced employee morale

Unfortunately, the reactive nature of traditional safety approaches often side-lines proactive measures like early intervention programs.

However, embracing a preventive mindset and investing in early intervention can yield substantial returns in terms of reduced costs.

As much as $28 is saved for every $1 invested1.

By fostering a culture of prevention and providing accessible support services, these industries can safeguard the health and wellbeing of their workforce while promoting sustainable business practices.

2. Take a ‘whole of person’ approach

This approach recognises that physical and psychological aspects are intricately intertwined, influencing overall wellbeing and health.

Implementing strategies to manage stress, build resilience, and foster a positive mindset are essential for optimising overall health.

When this is addressed alongside physical health, individuals are better placed to return to their pre-injury lives and hopefully prevent further injuries and create positive wellbeing.

Most importantly, a ‘whole of person’ approach promotes a deeper understanding of individual needs and preferences.

As new customers embark on their journey with us, we prioritise building trust and rapport, creating a supportive environment where they feel understood and valued.

3. What are the biggest challenges corporate clients face to keep their staff safe?

Corporate clients face significant challenges in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of their staff. Some of the most significant are:

The rise of secondary mental health issues following a physical condition

Injuries sustained from repetitive strain, exposure to prolonged postures, and manual handling related tasks remained the most prevalent cause of injury at 35.6%2.

More recent reports have revealed amongst physical injuries, up to 45% of cases are sustaining a secondary mental health injury, which makes the return to work journey more complex3.

A heightened awareness of psychosocial hazards.

Work-related stress, burnout, and anxiety states are increasingly recognised as significant concerns, impacting employee health, productivity, and retention.

Clients must navigate the complexities of addressing these mental injury challenges while fostering a supportive and inclusive work environment.

Remote and flexible arrangements.

The evolving nature of work presents unique safety challenges. Remote work can blur the boundaries between work and personal life, exacerbating feelings of isolation and disconnection.

Workplaces need to adapt safety protocols to accommodate these changing work dynamics and mitigate associated risks by proactively addressing these challenges.

It’s about implementing comprehensive strategies that prioritise employee wellbeing through efficient injury prevention and rehabilitation processes.

That’s how employers will help build safer, healthier, and more productive workplaces.

If you have any questions about early intervention strategies and our occupational rehabilitation services throughout Queensland, please contact us.


  1. Actuarial Edge, Occupational Rehabilitation Financial Benefits Report, NSW, January 2019.
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Work-related injuries, 2023.
  3. RTWMatters, What do we know about secondary psychological conditions after a physical work injury?, 2022.

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