According to the latest report from SafeWork Australia, over 106,000 serious injury claims were filed from 2016 to 2017.
Most of the serious claims stemmed from the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry. Workers from the construction and manufacturing sectors also filed for serious injury claims. Many of the incidents involved body stressing and slips, trips and falls.
Labourers, community and personal service workers, and machinery operators and drivers were the top 3 occupations that filed serious claims.
Employees must know their rights concerning accident and injury coverage. In the same way, employers need to equip their staff with safety training, ample insurance and personal protective equipment.
When to file for WorkCover compensation
ROC Legal, a compensation law firm in Queensland, states that employees are eligible for Workcover claims when they incur injuries or contract illness while at work.
Regardless of fault, injured workers are entitled to claim for WorkCover benefits such as medical expenses, lost wages and rehabilitation expenses. If the employer’s negligence caused the injury or illness, it is likely that employees will remain on the WorkCover benefits until such time that no further treatment will assist with the injured party’s symptoms. As long as the employee is unable to work, they are entitled to receive benefits for up to 130 weeks.
If symptoms remain past this period, the injured party’s case must be reviewed for a Notice of Assessment (NOA). A copy of this document typically includes an offer of a lump sum payment. The employee must seek legal advice once they receive the document. They may claim for common law damages if their injuries were caused by the negligence or partial negligence of their employer.
Injuries do not just include instances that happen on the work premises. If the labourer acquires a lung condition, hearing impairment or any form of degenerative disease later on as a result of their working conditions, they can file for a compensation claim.
Available WorkCover policies and how to file for them
Employers and employees can apply for a policy on the WorkCover Queensland website. It is compulsory for business owners and managers to properly insure their workers against workplace accidents. The same goes for people who have household workers. The Household Workers’ Insurance Policy covers employers against potential compensation costs if their staff is injured while working for them.
Workers may choose to avail of workplace personal injury insurance. Other than business employees, eligible persons include contractors, self-employed individuals and a trustee of a trust. Those who apply for the policy must keep in mind that it is not the same as income protection, and does not provide 24-hour cover.
WorkCover recommendations for employees
Workers must seek immediate medical attention in the event of an injury. They also need to report the incident to their employers at the soonest possible time. Filing for a compensation claim requires medical evidence to prove that the event was a work-related incident and not a pre-existing ailment.
Inability to seek legal advice may impact the injured party’s ability to claim for worker’s compensation. They need to find reputable lawyers who can assist them, help them check for eligibility and know what benefits they can claim.