Little is known about the long-term health effects of COVID-19, largely because of the short time it has existed. Despite this, mounting evidence suggests that many people who have contracted the highly-infectious coronavirus have continued to exhibit serious and debilitating health issues long after testing positive.
It is therefore essential to closely monitor and record your symptoms if you believed to have been exposed to COVID-19 at work – even if they appear to be relatively mild at the outset. If you experience significant long-term health impacts you might be eligible for workplace injury compensation.
Like all workplace injuries or illnesses, employees who believe they have contracted COVID-19 at work must also notify their employer in writing. Most workplaces will have something called an incident or injury report to fill out and submit to a manager or human resources personnel. If your workplace does not have an official process you should still document details of your infection in writing to your employer.
You should include:
- the suspected date of infection
- where you were working
- what tasks you performed
- initial symptoms
- the date you informed your workplace, and
- how many days you were away from work.
To assist Australian workers who have tested positive, Maurice Blackburn has created a national COVID-19 register that allows you to quickly and easily record key details of your infection.
If you believe you have contracted COVID-19 at work, we encourage you to register with us. We’ve got decades of experience with successful workplace injury claims and know how complicated the process can be.
It is important to note that registering your details with Maurice Blackburn is not the same as making a claim for lump sum compensation and common law damages, however. This would only happen when the long-term impacts of COVID-19 were better understood, and if your symptoms continued to adversely impact your health and ability to work.
Even in industries where people are cautious, infections can and do happen. So, what should you do if you contract COVID-19 at work?
We’ve put together a short checklist to follow:
- Inform your employer of your diagnosis.
- Complete and submit an incident report to your employer.
- Lodge an official workplace injury claim form with your employer that they will pass on to WorkCover.
- Create some notes for your personal records.
- Register your details on Maurice Blackburn’s COVID-19 register.
- Monitor your health – in the weeks and months after your diagnosis.
- If you notice long-term health impacts, contact Maurice Blackburn for legal advice.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact the ASU Relationship Organiser at Maurice Blackburn, Jedd Rothman, on email@example.com or 0482 166 362