Originally published in the Dandenong Journal
Alarming WorkSafe Victoria figures show that almost 26,000 people were injured in workplace accidents during 2016. The city of Greater Dandenong was the second highest region to launch WorkCover claims and construction jobs were found to be the third highest industry to make workplace injury claims.
Tina Toutzaris-Sabo, a Practice Director at the Springvale office of Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers, regularly represents tradies, apprentice tradies and labourers who are injured at work. Tina knows the physical nature of this type of work not only through representing tradies, but also by being married to one!
The most common injuries suffered by tradie clients are back, neck, shoulder and knee injuries, said Ms Toutzaris-Sabo.
Tina explains that these injuries can be caused by heavy lifting, repetitive lifting, bending, twisting, looking up for prolonged periods, falls trips and slips, and working in awkward or confined spaces. An injury can result through a specific incident or develop over a period of time.
The number of apprentice tradies who suffer serious injuries at work is very concerning to me, says Tina. I have come across young apprentice tradies who have had limbs amputated because they were not properly trained and supervised. Others were not provided with adequate tools and equipment to safely perform their job.
Any person who has been injured at work and needs medical treatment or time off work, is able to claim financial assistance through the WorkCover scheme.
Often people do not want to lodge a claim against their employer out of loyalty, however injured workers need to understand that the WorkCover scheme is designed to protect everyone, Tina explains.
It is important that all injuries are reported to employers as soon as workers are injured or become aware of their injury.
It is very important for tradies to take care of their health as their bodies and their physical ability is their source of income.
Contact Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers (03) 9321 9988 for free legal advice. Our services are offered No Win, No Fee, No uplift fee.