Author: Senior HR/IR Manager for MHR, Christine Jones
Let’s make WorkSafe simple.
So far we have looked at –
1. What is WorkSafe and how does it relate to your business?
2. Is your workplace safe?
Now it’s time to look at -
What to do if you have a WorkSafe Claim?
The first and most obvious thing to do is to check on the worker:
How serious is the condition of the worker?
Where appropriate, has First Aid been administered?
Is an Ambulance required?
Make sure someone remains with the worker and is a reassuring presence; and ensure that the injured worker receives appropriate treatment as soon as possible.
Any injury or illness should be recorded in your workplace's Register of Injuries by the injured worker or someone on their behalf within 30 days of the incident. So if the injured worker is able to complete the Register of Injuries, then you should encourage them to do so.
You can download a Register of Injuries template from https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/claims/process
(To use the template all you need to do is remove the ‘getting started’ box and the word ‘template’ on the first page, and the document is ready to go.)
If it is a significant incident and causes or could have caused serious injury or death, you must report it to WorkSafe immediately on 13 23 60.
In all cases you must forward a completed Incident Notification Form to WorkSafe within 48 hours of the incident and retain copies of all documentation for 5 years. This process must be followed for every incident that occurs at your workplace even if the injured person is not one of your employees
You can download an Incident Notification Form from:
We’ve covered taking care of the injured worker, completing the Register of Injuries, and informing WorkSafe using the 13 23 60 number for serious injuries, and in all cases completing a Notification Form and sending it to WorkSafe within 48 hours of the incident.
When you have done all you can for the worker and they have been handed over to medical practitioners, ambulance staff, or the person who will care for them, then it’s time to look around and assess the situation, its impact on other staff members, and resolve any issues.
Your injured worker will decide whether they want to lodge a WorkSafe claim.
If they anticipate losing income because of the time it will take to recover, and/or they envisage incurring significant cost for treatments, they may wish to claim compensation from WorkSafe.
The injured worker is required to complete the Worker’s Injury claim form and provide a Certificate of Capacity from their medical practitioner. You then complete the Employer section, remembering to give the injured worker a copy of the completed form.
Worker’s injury claim form:
The Employer then completes an Employer Injury Claim report:
and lodges it with your WorkSafe Agent together with the following documents:
· Worker's injury claim form
· Injured worker's medical certificate ('Certificate of Capacity')
· Any other relevant documents like invoices or receipts for medical expenses.
You have 10 calendar days to lodge the claim with your WorkSafe Agent from the time you receive the worker's injury claim form from your injured worker – there may be penalties for failing to meet this timeframe.
Your WorkSafe Agent will advise you if the Claim has been accepted within 28 days, and will assist you through the ongoing process.
You may be asked to cooperate with a Circumstance Investigator, who is appointed to collect more information on your worker’s injury, including witness interviews. This provides the Employer with an opportunity to give your WorkSafe Agent detailed information on the events that took place.
You now need to consider what your injured worker can do when they return to work. Workers generally experience a faster recovery if they can safely continue working.
We’ll look at Return to Work next.
On your Radar:
· Communication – the injured worker is still one of your employees and needs to be kept in the loop, just as they are in the workplace. Email, phone, message – let them know they are still part of the team by including them in usual communications.
· Return to Work – as soon as the injured worker is safe and receiving appropriate treatment start to consider what they might be able to do in the workplace.
· Whatever contributed to the worker’s injury needs to be looked at as well – is it a process that should be changed or user training required or a job requiring different skills? Whatever it is – take a good look at it and rectify if required.
Go to www.worksafe.vic.gov.au for a detailed guide of the process.