Work Travel And Workers Compensation Claims

Many companies require their employees to drive to and from different locations for work purposes, and they may decide that a company car is an efficient solution to facilitate this, but what happens if an employee is involved in an accident while driving or a passenger in the company car?

According to WorkCover WA (the government agency responsible for overseeing and regulating the workers’ comp scheme in WA), ‘a worker may be covered if they are injured whilst traveling under instruction from their employer in the course of their work, for work related educational purposes, or to attend a place for treatment of a workers’ compensation injury’ [1].

This means that an employee can submit a workers’ compensation claim if they are involved in an accident and got injured while on public transport or driving a company car, truck or bus for work purposes (for example to go to a client meeting, to go to the airport for work or to receive a workers compensation medical certificate).

If your worker’s compensation claim has been accepted you may be eligible to receive payments to compensate for the loss of earnings, medical expenses and vocational rehabilitation.

Please note that generally travel between a worker’s residence and place of employment is not covered by workers’ compensation. A claim may be possible in circumstances where an injury is incurred after a detour is made following instruction from the employer (eg. the boss asking you to get the mail on your way in and you have to make a detour from your usual route from home to work to do it).


Employer Responsibilities

Under Section 19(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (OSH Act), employers have a responsibility to provide and maintain, so far as reasonably practicable, a safe working environment for their workers.

Employers should create and enact a company vehicle policy that outlines which employees are eligible to drive a company vehicle. It should also outline the requirements each employee must meet to use a company car e.g. must have a valid driver’s licence, must have a positive driving record and must be able to follow safety and traffic rules.

The document should also cover the employers’ responsibilities, including ensuring that all fleet vehicles are registered, have up-to-date insurance and undergo regular maintenance and upkeep so that they are roadworthy.


Employee Responsibilities

Before using a company vehicle, employees should verify how and when they can use the vehicle as well as carefully read the company’s vehicle policy.

Employees should always follow road rules while driving and if you are involved in an accident and injured, you should immediately seek first aid and then report the injury and incident to your employer.


How Anvil Legal Can Help

Anvil Legal is a Perth-based law firm specialising in Workers’ Compensation law.

We understand that the workers’ compensation claim process can be overwhelming and stressful, particularly if you are suffering from an injury and just want to focus on getting better.

That is why here at Anvil Legal, our aim is to make your worker’s compensation claim process go as smoothly as possible. We will always listen to what you have to say and provide you with straightforward and no-nonsense legal advice instead of the confusing legalese you may have been exposed to in the past.

Contact us today to request a free consultation with our Principal Lawyer Brett Owen today.


[1] FAQs – WorkCover WA, 2022.

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