A Very Brief Overview Of The Workers Compensation System in WA
In Western Australia your employer is required by law to hold workers compensation insurance;
Workers compensation is a no fault insurance scheme meaning that even if the injury is your fault you are most likely covered;
The definition of ‘injury’ is wide and includes both physical and psychological injuries;
Acceptance of your claim enables you to seek weekly payments (wages) and medical expenses;
Weekly payments are calculated as of the time of your injury and over the 13 weeks prior discounting any time you were not at work;
Medical expenses are capped by legislation in both the amount for each treatment session and the total amount expended for treatment, however, there is the ability to seek an extension if you run of funds;
If you were employed in WA you are likely covered by workers compensation insurance even though you were injured out of the state;
Although you are generally not covered when travelling to and from work it really depends on your circumstances.
What To Do If You Are Injured At Work
Get First Aid asap;
Report the accident to your employer;
Get medical treatment from your own GP as soon as possible and ask for a First Medical Certificate. You should follow your GP’s advise on returning to work and treatment;
Get hold of a workers compensation claim form and fill it out, attach the first medical certificate to it and give it to your employer;
If you haven’t received a letter from the insurer in regards to your injury within 3 weeks you should give us a call on 08 6143 5200.
Recent Workplace Case/Issues
In September 2008 a worker in a cement plant was trying to clear a blockage when he was crushed to death by hydraulic rams that had not been guarded. There was also the issue of the plants power had not been isolated prior to the attempted work being done, something the worker had been trained to do.
It was found by NSW Industrial Relations Commission that the Companies involved should have seen the risk especially in light of the Australian Standards.
Fines totalling $390, 000 were ordered against the companies, however, we think that this is still not enough as the maximum is $550,000.00.
Sadly there is a family in NSW that has lost a loved one due to a piece of machinery not being guarded. Guards on machinery have been used for many years and they are a relatively easy way to stop any accidental deaths.
Begs the questions was it incompetence or budget that stopped the guards from being installed, was it pressure to keep the plant running or laziness that caused the electrical isolation not to occur.
You can make up your own mind, the full decision can be read here.