What is a workplace injury from a legal perspective?

A workplace injury is a physical or psychological/psychiatric injury as a result of negligence, unsafe work practices or inadequate training. More specifically, injuries or illnesses stemming from risky equipment, chemically contaminated environment, repetitive or difficult body movements and psychological or emotional trauma caused by discriminating, culturally insensitive and high-stress workplaces fall under this category of personal injuries. It is an employer’s duty to provide a safe and healthy environment for his/her employees through training, enhancing risk awareness, introducing a first aid and an emergency plan and having workers compensation policy/insurance. It is also an employer’s responsibility to ensure that the worker returns to work safely after recovery.

injured worker

It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure that the worker returns to work safely after recovery

 

Workplace accidents in New South Wales

In New South Wales, employers are held liable for ensuring work safety through the application of first aid and emergency plans, workers compensation insurance, a return to work plan and an injury register as dictated by health and safety laws. Also, per the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998, the poster “If you get injured at work” showcasing the steps an injured worker must follow should be displayed in workplaces.

Employers in NSW (except a small group of exempt businesses) are legally required to have workerplace compensation insurance for covering workplace injuries. There are three types of insurers regulated by the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA): Icare, self-insurers and specialised insurers.

The NSW government maintains a policy that supports injured workers’ recovery at work which obliges employers to initiate a return to work program within 12 months after they start their businesses. The government policy advocates that recovery at work elevates the injured worker’s mental and physical health and reduces the risk of a long term disability.

Under the work health and safety law in NSW workers also have legal obligations. According to SafeWork NSW, a worker should work by following safety instructions, use personal protective equipment (PPE) and report injuries and unsafe and unhealthy situations to supervisors or health and safety representatives (HSRs). Workplace injury lawyers can give you case-based advice regarding your injury and workplace injury compensation process.

 

5 most common workplace accidents 

According to data from SafeWork Australia, the most common workplace injuries registered between the years 2000-15 in Australia happened to hands, upper and lower back, shoulders and knees. In the same period, the most frequently occurring scenarios of injury across different sectors were body stressing, muscular stress while lifting, carrying and putting down objects, falls, slips or trips and being hit by a moving object.

While mental health records seem relatively low in number in the given data, it is important to note that they happened and it could be less common for employees to report psychological issues caused by work environments.

injury report NSW

A worker should first report to his/her supervisor or Health and Safety Representatives

 

Who do you report workplace accidents to in the workplace?

When faced with unhealthy and unsafe working conditions or injury from a work-related accident, a worker should first report to his/her supervisor or Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs). An HSR can represent you to your employer in matters of work safety.

 

How to claim compensation for workplace injury

The injured employee should report the accident to his/her employer as soon as possible to start your workplace injury compensation process. The employer should report the notification to their insurer within 48 hours after becoming notified FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY- it’s the employer who would be charged with claims excess payment not the employee if the employer doesn’t report the notification to the insurer within 5 calendar days.

As the second step, the worker is expected to submit a “worker’s injury claim form” where he/she provides information about how and when the injury happened, the amount he/she earned before the injury, the treatment process and return to work particulars. The worker and employer should also sign this form.

Workplace injury lawyers in NSW

The Work Cover Medical Certificate provided by the doctor should be submitted in support of the claim form as well. To learn get more information about workplace injury compensation, you can call our workplace injury lawyers on 1800 952 898 or fill our contact form.