The NSW workers compensation guidelines for the evaluation of permanent impairment (4th edition) 1 April 2016 has just been released. It has been re-written to conform with the Safe Work Australia template. However there is no agreement by states using the GEPIC to use the PIRS and considering the disdain with which the PIRS and AMA6 are held together with the cost of training any such change is unlikely. The changes to the PIRS are as follows:
Psychiatric and Psychological disorders
Paragraph 11.4 from the 3rd edition, on the development of the PIRS has been removed to align to the Safe Work Australia national template guideline. The numbering therefore changes from 11.4 onwards (in comparison to the 3rd edition).
Removed 3rd and 4th sentences that referenced s67 pain and suffering.
Removing the reference to s67 in this clause does not affect an exempt worker’s entitlement to claim for pain and suffering compensation. The reference to s67 in this clause was a case management tool which is now considered inappropriate in a medical guideline.
Removed the Alzheimer’s disease example. Replaced with a bi-polar disorder example.
Pre-existing impairment Minor change to second half of the paragraph for improved clarity, and to align with the wording in 1.28 in the Guidelines: Rephrased to:
The injured worker’s current level of WPI% is then assessed, and the pre-existing WPI% is subtracted from their current level, to obtain the percentage of permanent impairment directly attributable to the work-related injury. If the percentage of pre-existing impairment cannot be assessed, the deduction is 1/10th of the assessed WPI.