How & when to report injuries in the workplace?
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in the year 2017-18, 563,600 workers experienced a work-related injury or illness. These statistics identify that work-related injuries are prevalent in the Australian workforce.
Injuries sustained at work can be life-changing and have a negative impact on your overall wellbeing, reporting these types of injuries in a timely manner is crucial for compensation outcomes and protecting your potential entitlements.
Workplace accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Falling objects;
- Lacerations and cuts;
- Bullying and harassment;
- Muscle strains;
- Slips and trips;
- Toxic Fume inhalation;
- Machinery collisions; and
- Hearing damage.
What should you do when an injury occurs in the workplace?
If you or a colleague has suffered from an injury at work, the first thing to do is to seek the necessary medical assistance. This may involve calling 000 in Australia if the injury is an emergency, or attending a doctor to have your injury assessed or treated. You’ll also need to notify your onsite supervisor about the injury as soon as is appropriately possible.
Afterwards, you can follow the steps below to have an effective workplace injury management process.
How to report injuries in the workplace
There are a number of steps you should follow if you’ve obtained an injury in the workplace. Follow our work injury management plan and injury at work advice to ensure you achieve the best outcome in this unfortunate circumstance.
1. Seek medical assistance
No matter the severity of the injury or illness, we recommend seeking medical treatment as soon as possible. Your doctor will be able to ensure you obtain any appropriate treatment and, if necessary, issue you with a Certificate of Capacity (which is required in claiming compensation for lost earnings). Additionally, having contemporaneous medical records of the accident and the particular injuries sustained is a formal piece of evidence which may be important in bringing your claim. Sometimes employees assume their injury isn’t an issue and don’t think they need to report it, however, as mentioned, delays in reporting an incident can be detrimental to your claim.
2. Report the accident to your employer
Whilst a formal letter is favourable, it is important that you also report the incident or illness to your direct manager or boss. If the correct management person is unavailable at the time, be sure to let other employees know of the incident to help with the evidence of the claim.
In this report, it is important to cover all bases and be as thorough as possible. As a guide, you should include;
- The time & date the incident occurred;
- How it happened;
- Where it happened;
- Who you have told, or who witnessed it; and
- A detailed explanation of the injury sustained.
3. Lodge a claim form
If you are seeking entitlements for your work-related injury or illness, we recommend lodging the appropriate state or territory’s claim form.
Some employees worry that this type of claim can risk their job security, however, by law your employer cannot refuse the claim or dismiss you for lodging one.
If you are unable to work, you will need to ensure you obtain a Certificate of Capacity from your medical provider. This certificate and claim form should be given to your employer as soon as possible.
When to report a work-related injury
The answer to this question is – absolutely as soon as possible! Every injury or near miss must be reported immediately to ensure you don’t suffer from further harm, and to prevent the situation from happening again to someone else. Your workplace’s onsite supervisor will be able to eliminate the unsafe condition and ensure that your colleagues are kept safe in the future.
How long do you have to report a workplace injury?
Reporting a workplace injury to your employer in a timely manner is essential in ensuring protection of your potential entitlements and can help avoid disputes when making a claim. In the past, we have dealt with cases where compensation claims have been rejected by the employer, often due to a dispute as to the cause of your injuries and whether they were a result of your work duties. Accordingly, reporting the injury at, or as close to the time it happened is very important.
Usually, the claim must be made within six months of a worker’s injury or accident (or within six months of a worker becoming aware of an injury). This time limit may be extended in certain circumstances. Our compensation experts will give you peace of mind knowing all deadlines and time limits are managed and met.
In order to have your claim processed promptly by LHD Lawyers, refer to the ‘How to report injuries in the workplace’ section above.
Workplace incident reports
One very important form you’ll need to fill out when you’ve received an injury at work is the workplace incident report form (also sometimes called a medical injury report, injury report form or workplace incident report).
In some states, you may be asked for information about your injury by the physician or medical facility that you attended at the time of your accident. In others, this information may be obtained at your workplace or by filling out a workplace incident report while you recover at home.
Giving a clear and complete recount of the circumstances surrounding your injury is vital in enabling the LHD Lawyers team to effectively coordinate the rest of the claims procedure with your insurance provider or claims administrator.
How do I give notice?
If you need to resign from your job while receiving worker’s compensation, you’ll need to give the correct notice period to your employer, however you can use the worker’s compensation period as the notice period if it suits you.
If you’ve been dismissed by an employer while receiving worker’s compensation, they’ll need to give you adequate written notice under Australia’s National Employment Standards. Your employer can choose to:
- Give you their minimum notice period which can run at the same time you are absent due to worker’s compensation
- Pay out the notice (also known as payment in lieu of notice)
- Or provide you with a combination of the two.
If you are terminating your employment, you can give notice either in written or verbal form.
How much compensation for injury at work?
This all depends on your situation. Once our expert compensation team at LHD Lawyers have reviewed all aspects of your case, they will be able to give you a rough estimate of what to expect. Generally you can claim compensation for:
- Pain and suffering caused
- Compensation for any medical expenses or rehabilitation
- And loss of income.
Choose LHD Lawyers Workers Compensation Team for the best outcome
At LHD Lawyers, we strongly believe that all Australians should be able to have their workplace compensation case properly represented, regardless of their financial situation. That’s why our claims are backed by our No Win No Fee policy. You don’t pay our legal fees unless we win your compensation claim.