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How safe are Australian Workplaces?

Workplace safety is everyone’s business. As an employer you have obligations to keep everyone that works for you safe. As employees, you have the right to be safe whilst on the job and have the correct procedures in place to ensure you can complete your work in a safe environment. Australian workplaces can be dangerous to employees for a number of reasons, whether it be human error or a physical issue causing harm.

If you breakdown the 106,260 serious Australian workers’ compensation claims, the approximate numbers would work out to:

  • 8, 855 monthly
  • 2,213 weekly
  • 316 daily

These figures represent those incidents reported to the respective workers compensation bodies in each state. These numbers don’t factor in the many unreported cases that are not claimed against or dealt with through the correct channels.

Why is access to workers compensation important?

Workers compensation is a form of insurance payment that each and every working Australian has access to. If you find yourself injured at work or sick due to your work environment and you cannot work for an extended period of time, you have the right to make a claim for workers compensation.

Every employer has an obligation to themselves and their employees to take out workers compensation insurance to adequately cover workplace incidents.

What occupation has the highest claims rate?

Aren’t you ripping off your employer if you claim workers compensation?

The simple answer is no. Safety is serious and all employees should be awarded the opportunity of a safe place to work and carry out their intended job – safe from harm. But accidents do happen, some more serious than others. If all protocols are followed the employer will want their employee back fit and healthy for work, in the shortest time allowable for recovery.

During the time off, employees still have bills to pay and could have extra medical bills and stress from being injured and not at work.

What you should do if you are injured at work?

The following steps should be taken to meet the requirements of the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998.

1. Tell your employer

It is important to let your employer know about your incident and what injuries you suspect you have sustained. Your employer is obligated to notify the insurer within 48 hours. If your injury is serious, SafeWork in your jurisdiction must be notified.

2. See your doctor

You will need a doctor to assess your injuries and issue a certificate of capacity. Your employer will need this to send to their insurer to enable a claim to commence.

3. Recover

If possible you can successfully recover at work, taking on lighter duties over a period of time until you are able to recommence your job. Or recover away from work and when suitable plan how to return to work as early as possible.

If you are unable to be at work due to your injury, you can make a workers compensation claim. A claim may cover medical expenses, your salary or wage or other expenses arising from you not being able to work.

Men or women? Who is injuring themselves?

Test your skills

We have produced a quiz from latest statistics on workplace injuries. Take our quiz and test your knowledge.

Shine Lawyers - we're here to help

If you are one of the many Australians who have been injured at work, one of our specialist Workers Compensation Lawyers can help. Shine Lawyers runs these cases on a No Win, No Fee basis. Contact us now for a confidential, no-obligation consultation to discuss your options.

Work Health and Safety Authorities by state

SafeWork NSW

WorkSafe ACT

WorkSafe WA

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland

SafeWork SA

WorkSafe Tasmania

WorkSafe VIC

NT WorkSafe


Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: March 5, 2019.

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