Injured at work? Know your rights.
- Created on Monday, 02 October 2017 04:14
If you are injured at work it is important to know your rights.
- If you suspect you have been injured (physically or psychologically) at work it is important that the event is recorded in the Incident Report Book. Under the OHS Act 2004 (VIC) your employer is legally obliged to make the Incident Report Book accessible to all employees.
- It is important that injured employees seek immediate assistance from their own treating medical practitioner (doctor). The employer may ask you to consult with their ‘own doctor’, however at this stage of the process it is the employees’ right to choose. The ASU strongly recommends that injured workers consult with their own doctor. After all no one knows you better than your own family doctor. Ensure you also contact the ASU 1300 855 570 to externally log the incident.
- The next step is to file a WorkCover claim with the aid of your doctor. An injured worker has the ability to make a claim within 30 days of becoming aware of the injury. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate, injure or terminate an employee for exercising their right to make a WorkCover claim.
If your WorkCover claim is rejected by the employer’s insurer, your ASU membership assures you assistance through Union Assist who provide expert advisors in any process of conciliation.
Once a WorkCover Claim has been accepted, the employer must take all reasonable steps to provide a Return To Work Plan when the injured employee has some capacity to work. The ASU will help you in the RTW process in conjunction with your doctor to ensure that your return follows a fair and just process.
It is of the utmost of importance that any employee injured at work makes a WorkCover Claim for the following reasons:
- It establishes a legal record of injury in the workplace. This is important for legal reasons, particularly if the injured worker suffers loss of income due to the inability to work, or medical complications down the track.
- Making a WorkCover Claim also alerts the Victorian Worksafe Authority that there may be OHS concerns on site, particularly if there are a number of claims. This allows preventative measures to be put in place by WorkSafe the employer and local Health & Safety Representatives, reducing possible injuries in the future. It also ensures that any injured employee will not be out of pocket for medical expenses, treatment and rehabilitation. The employer cannot evade their responsibility and liability for an injured worker.
So if you are injured at work, make a WorkCover Claim. This will ensure that you are protected and are able to focus on recovery, as opposed to being left out in the cold. For absolute clarity, please find the Maurice Blackburn guide to making a Workcover claim in the State of Victoria.