Whilst a significant section of the WorkSafe Annual Report relates to financial reporting for the 16/17 financial year, some interesting points in relation to WorkCover claims and processes were made. These include the following:
- Approximately 45% of workers with a mental injury have not returned to work within six months of their injury, compared with 18% of workers with a physical injury. Anecdotal evidence that psychological claims are often rejected and require litigation may account for the poor return to work results experienced by those with a mental injury.
- 3% of Victorians work on farms, yet almost 30% of workplace deaths occur on them. Quad bikes are one of the main causes of serious injuries and fatalities on Australian farms. See our article on the recent quad bike WorkSafe policy change.
- One quarter of all mental injury claims are made by workers in the healthcare sector. Further, they are nearly 5 times more likely to lodge an occupational violence claim than other workers. With 95% of healthcare workers experiencing verbal or physical assault, WorkSafe has initiated a campaign called It's Never Ok . This campaign is particularly aimed at reducing occupational violence towards aged care workers, nurses and paramedics.
- 103 prosecutions were made against employers with a success rate of 90%.
- There were 2,608 serious injury applications received in the 2016/17 financial year. This is down by 6.5% from the previous year.
A disappointing trend that emerged from the WorkSafe Annual Report is the increasing consequences of mental injuries and the prolonged claims processes on the Victorian workforce.
Whilst significant headway into the management of physical injuries has resulted in better outcomes for workers, the same cannot be said for psychological injuries.
Read the full report.
For advice about your potential rights and entitlements following an injury at work, call our lawyers direct on (03) 9321 9988.