JUSTIN O'Connell of Camden Valley and Highlands Locksmiths has gained a new team member and helped an injured worker return to the workforce at the same time.
In 2013, Alex Wachs sustained a workplace injury that meant he could neither sit nor stand for long periods of time.
The Bargo local, like 79,000 other Australians - according to Australian Bureau of Statistics research, could no longer continue in the same job.
With the support of IOH Injury & Occupational Health, which has an office in Bowral, and Camden Valley and Highlands Locksmiths, Mr Wachs now looks to have a bright future.
IOH Injury and Occupational Health practice manager Paula Cormack said every injured worker was entitled to nominate a SafeWork NSW accredited workplace rehabilitation provider.
"The role of such a company is to make the rehabilitation and return to work process as pain free as possible for the injured person," she said.
For rehabilitation providers to be most effective, local employers can accommodate two incentive programs for eligible injured workers.
A Work Trial allows both an injured worker and a potential employer to test the water over a period of weeks, without any obligation to on-going employment by either party.
The JobCover Placement Program is signed up as part of an official offer of employment, which includes up to $27,400 in wage reimbursements over 12 months, plus other incentives related to Workers Compensation Premiums.
During October 2015, Mr Wachs completed a work trial with Camden Valley and Highlands Locksmiths as a factory hand and assistant installer.
IOH ensured the duties of the job matched Mr Wachs' skills and his physical capacity.
Camden Valley and Highlands Locksmiths business owner Justin O'Connell said he was surprised at how well the process had worked out.
"Alex has quickly picked up some new skills and we've had great feedback from our customers," he said.
Mr O'Connell said the experience he had trialling Alex as a trades assistant with IOH was "fairly easy overall".
"I'm on the road all day so Paula and Aaron from IOH did all they could to accommodate me, given I have little to no down time to deal with the added responsibilities of employing staff," he said.
Mr Wachs has now commenced paid employment via the JobCover Placement Program with Mr O'Connell.
"I personally feel that employing Alex, who suffered a genuine work injury and has the desire to get back into working again, has benefitted both Alex and myself," Mr O'Connell said.
"Alex has life experience and a genuine willingness to learn, these qualities make it easy to offer a man who wants to learn new skills and get back to work an opportunity to get their life back again."
Injured workers or local employers wanting more information about return to work services can contact IOH Injury & Occupational Health's Bowral office on 4620 7244.