Compensation is available in Victoria to workers who suffer an injury arising out of or in the course of their employment and make a claim with WorkSafe. There are also laws in place making it mandatory for employers and self-employed persons to notify WorkSafe of certain incidents.
If you are seeking compensation for an injury
If you have been injured at work, the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act sets out your obligations and your rights to make a claim for compensation.
Firstly, you should make sure you visit your doctor or a hospital and seek appropriate medical treatment for your injury.
Secondly, you should make an entry in the ‘register of injuries’ which your employer is required to keep at your workplace. You should notify your employer of your injury within 30 days of it occurring, although there are some exceptions, for instance where:
- It is not practicable for you to give notice
- You were not aware of your workplace’s register of injuries
- Your employer exerted influence or duress upon you not to notify your injury in the register
- You were absent from Victoria
Thirdly, you should complete a Worker’s Injury Claim Form and submit it to your employer. You are required to do this as soon as practicable after your injury. It is important to note that any claim for injury must be made prior to you ceasing employment with your injury employer, or else your claim is deemed not to have been made.
Claim forms are available from the WorkSafe website. Your employer should also display a notice at your workplace which summarises the requirements and process for making a claim.
If you wish to apply for weekly payments as a result of time off work due to your injury, you will need to submit a WorkSafe approved certificate of capacity with your claim, which you can obtain from your doctor or hospital.
Once your Worker’s Injury Claim Form has been given to your employer, they are required to forward it to Worksafe within 10 days of receipt. Failure to do so is an offence under the Act.
In some circumstances, for instance where your employer cannot be found, refuses to receive your Worker’s Injury Claim Form or is likely not to comply with its obligations to forward your claim, you are permitted to give your Worker’s Injury Claim Form directly to WorkSafe.
WorkSafe or its authorised agent must make a decision whether to accept or reject your claim within 28 days of receipt. If your claim is accepted, you may be entitled to payment of reasonable medical and like expenses, weekly payments of compensation and possibly also lump sum compensation.
It is important to understand that a failure to comply with the above reporting requirements does not mean you are unable to make a claim – it can be overcome, however you should seek legal advice to understand the impact.
If you or someone you know has been injured at work and needs advice about their rights and entitlements, we can help. To arrange your free initial consultation, contact our legal team on (03) 9321 9988 or submit an online enquiry today.