Tag Archives: injury

Q. A worker has sustained a serious injury in my workpalce. Who do I need to advise?

When someone is injured at work you are obliged to contact the following organisations:

  • If you are a client of Aurenda, contact us on (08) 6389 8989 – we will provide the next steps;
  • If you are not a client of ours, you will need to contact your insurer; and
  • Depending on the severity of the injury, you may also be required to notify WorkSafe WA or the relevant Authority in your state.

In Western Australia, reporting is required for employees who suffer death/ injury/ disease at work or at employer-provided residential premises as described under s23G(2) of the WA Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Types of injuries that must be reported to WorkSafe WA:

  • Death.
  • A fracture of the skull, spine or pelvis.
  • A fracture of any bone in the arm, other than in the wrists or hand, or in the leg, other than a bone in the ankle or foot.
  • An amputation of an arm, a hand, finger, finger joint, leg, foot, toe or toe joint.
  • The loss of sight of an eye.
  • Any injury other than those referred to above which, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, is likely to prevent the employee from being able to work within 10 days of the day on which the injury occurred.

Types of diseases that must be reported:

Infectious diseases:

  • tuberculosis,
  • viral hepatitis,
  • legionnaire’s disease and
  • HIV

where these diseases are contracted during work involving exposure to human blood products, body secretions, excretions or other material which may be a source of infection.

Occupational zoonoses (diseases spread from one species (animals) to humans):

  • Q fever,
  • anthrax,
  • leptospiroses and
  • brucellosis

where these diseases are contracted during work involving the handling of, or contact with, animals, animal hides, skins, wool, hair, carcases or animal waste products.

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Q. Do I have to lodge a claim with my insurer if an employee sustains an injury?

A.         It is the employee’s choice as to whether they lodge a claim so the employee also has a right not to lodge a claim. You do not have a right to convince the employee not to lodge a claim and you cannot lodge one on their behalf. If an employee chooses not to make a claim, a small business owner should not pay any wages or medical costs because you can be deemed by your insurer as accepting liability.

If an employee decides not to lodge a claim they are liable for all their own medical costs and have to take sick or annual leave. If they don’t have any sick or annual leave left, they don’t get paid. The risk with that is that after two or three weeks and they get the $2000 bill for a CT Scan, they come back and say they want to lodge a claim.

 

Give Aurenda a call on (08) 6389 8900 to discuss how best to manage these types of injuries.

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What expenses am I liable for when someone has a workplace injury?

Q. What expenses am I liable for when someone has a workplace injury?

Managing Director:  The insurance company that underwrites your workers’ compensation policy is liable for wages up to $190,000 and medical expenses up to $50,000 (which can be extended by another $50,000 for a worker with a severe injury). These expenses can be extended by another $100,000 in serious cases, if the worker chooses to take the $100,000 and forego their Common Law entitlement. Rehabilitation can add another $12,000 and there are additional minor expenses, such as travel, that can also be reimbursed.  The consequence of these expenses is that it only takes one significant injury to add significant costs to your claims history. 

Client Service Manager:  A particularly important reminder for businesses with a monthly payroll is that employers must pay an injured worker their wage entitlements within 14 days of the insurer approving the claim. There is a $2,000 fine for failure to do so.

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Counting the Cost

Extensions to Lodgement Timeframes for WA Workers’ Compensation Claims

One of the amendments to the Western Australian Workers’ Compensation legislation that hasn’t received much publicity is the extension to the amount of time that an employer has to lodge a claim with their insurer.

Effective 1 October 2011, employers will have five (5) working days to lodge an injured worker’s completed Claim Form on their insurer. The insurer’s timeframe for making a decision on the claim does not change – they still have 14 days to assess it – and therefore workers may have to wait up to 19 days for their first response from the insurer.

Currently, employers must submit workers’ compensation claims to their insurer within three working days of receiving the completed Claim Form from the injured worker.  For employers who fail to do so, the possibility has existed for the insurer to refuse to cover the initial costs of the claim; in practice, however, this has not occurred.

A significant change for both workers and employers is that it is now an offense for employers to delay the lodgement of the claim. If a late lodgement is reported to WorkCover, the employer may be liable for a $1,000 penalty. (Section 57A(2A) of the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Amendment Act 2011.)

What is Aurenda’s perspective on this?

Time and time again, research shows that early intervention results in positive outcomes for both employers and workers who are injured at work.  Extending the lodgement time to five working days will lead to delays in the initial injury management response from some employers, negatively impacting on return to work timeframes and claims costs.

We encourage employers to obtain completed paperwork from injured workers and lodge workers’ compensation claims as quickly as possible.  For the vast majority of claims, getting a speedy decision from the insurer on liability and initiating return to work at the earliest possible opportunity is best for everyone.  In instances where there are questions about the validity of the claim, investigations can be instigated immediately while information about the injury circumstances is still fresh in people’s minds.

The upside of a possible $1,000 penalty for failing to lodge a claim within five working days is the increased motivation of employers not to leave Claim Forms sitting on someone’s desk because they’re ‘too busy to get to it’!

To make sure that you’re not counting the cost of a delay in lodging a workers’ compensation claim, here are some tips:

  • Get your injured workers to complete their Claim Form as soon as possible
  • Date-stamp the Claim Form when you receive it, in case it has been sitting on the worker’s kitchen bench for a few days after they signed it
  • Complete the Employer’s Report of Injury right away, and forward all claims paperwork to your insurer immediately
  • Even if you haven’t received the Claim Form, get in touch with your employee to initiate the injury management process as soon as possible after you become aware that they’ve suffered a workplace injury

http://www.workcover.wa.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/43CF563E-43C9-483C-A1CC-D691A2F9139E/0/Info_Sheet__Amendment_Bill_2011_Timeframes.pdf

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Aurenda’s Story

The Unifying Spirit…

To Native Americans, Orenda is the unifying spirit that connects mankind to each other, the earth and all things. This spirit places particular emphasis on the importance of good relationships.

The Aurenda team identifies the connection between people, organisations and risk. Aurenda assists our clients to reduce the financial and human cost of injury, and, in doing so, develops and enhances valued relationships.

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