Tag results for: worksafe
Workplace Bullying - A New Right to Sue?
In October 2012, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Employment handed down its report on workplace bullying (Workplace Bullying "We Just Want it to Stop"). The report examined various aspects of workplace bullying and made 23 recommendations. Much of the report is necessarily devoted to an analysis of workplace bullying and acknowledgement of the problems associated with its prevalence and cost (both economic and social). Some of the measures will take time to implement, presuming that the requisite inter-governmental agreement can be secured.
The Committee's report reproduced the Ryan Carlisle...Read full article »
A victory for common sense on defining serious injury - for now
What's in a definition? When serious injury is involved and large compensation payments are at stake, quite a lot.
WorkSafe excels at blocking workers who are attempting to have their injury classified as "serious".
Because a serious injury classification opens the door to more substantial benefits, including lump sum payments, the government and the employer put up strong opposition, particularly when there are grey spots in the law that can be exploited.
The finer print on defining serious injury is one of those grey spots. However, a recent court case has cleared up...Read full article »
Breakthrough on serious injury gateway at Vic Court of Appeal
Supposing you're at work. One day on the job, you fall, injuring your neck very badly and also your knee. You are rushed to hospital and your neck is operated on. There is a problem with the knee but it is of less severity than the neck.
As you're recovering, you continue to have serious problems with your neck and less serious but still quite debilitating issues with your knee. The neck injury is considered to be a Serious Injury under WorkSafe, but the knee injury is considered to be a bad...Read full article »
A new legal service for Cobden, Terang, Camperdown and the Shire of Corangamite
I was really pleased when we decided to open a new legal office in Cobden.
It's been on our radar as a firm for a while and it makes sense. Lawyers servicing Cobden, Terang, Camperdown, Port Campbell, Timboon and across the region generally have been in short supply, given the number of people living in the area. Given our determination to maintain services in regional communities, and job opportunities, I'm confident that our new Cobden office will be welcomed.
We've long serviced the south west of Victoria with specialist advice...Read full article »
Tougher bullying laws mean that there are more legal options available - but how effective are they?
Angela Sdrinis and Carol Andrades continue to examine legal avenues to compensation.
Part 2: Legal Remedies for Bullying - Tort of Intentional Harm, Anti-Discrimination Laws, Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) and the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
As noted in Part 1 of the blog, there are thresholds which apply to the recovery of common law damages arising out of personal injury at work, including bullying behavior. In New South Wales, there has been at least one example (Naidu’s Case – see below) of...Read full article »
Bullying at work - tougher bullying laws mean that there are more legal options available, but how effective are they?
Over two instalments, Angela Sdrinis and Carol Andrades examine legal avenues to compensation.
Part 1: Legal Remedies for Bullying-Criminal Law, Compensation and Negligence
Bullying at work has had a lot of media coverage following the death of Brodie Panlock, who committed suicide after being mercilessly bullied at work. On 31 May 2011, the Victorian Government passed legislation known informally as Brodie’s Law which made bullying a criminal offence in some circumstances.
Bullying can constitute a breach of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004...Read full article »
A new legal service in the North and North West of Melbourne
RCT legal consultant, Ian Jupp, writes of the firm's new office location in Melbourne's North West.
Having only recently opened our new office in Glenroy, it has been good to meet with many locals who are in need of specialist injury lawyers in Glenroy, Broadmeadows, Westmeadows, Tullamarine and Campbellfield - in fact, right across the suburbs that are near Glenroy.
Of more a surprise was to see just as many clients seeking legal advice in relation to injury claims across the...Read full article »
Will there be anything left for me when the lawyers are done? Questioning your legal fee agreement can reduce your legal costs.
Shaun Marcus, Senior Associate with RCT, offers advice on how clients can protect themselves against being ripped off.
I've been in practice for 8 years as a plaintiff lawyer, mainly representing clients who have been injured at work or on the road and want to take their case to court.
The first interview with a client is always critical. It reveals a lot about how they feel as much as it does about the...Read full article »
New WorkCover law enables Treasurer to tax at will
Legislation just introduced by the Baillieu Government will give the Treasurer, Kim Wells, the power to tax the Victorian WorkCover Authority at will.
The government late last year flagged its intention to pull $471M out of the WorkCover scheme as a "dividend" over the next four years, which is really just a raid on its cash. It was met with howls of protest from many, including the former Chairman of the Victorian WorkCover Authority, James MacKenzie, who slammed it saying, "The big risk is that employer premiums will have to rise, or benefits...Read full article »
Non-English speaking workers are compo casualties - Safe Work Australia Report
If English isn't your first language, chances are you are missing out on injury compensation benefits.
A recent report released by Safe Work Australia reveals that workers with non-English backgrounds are up to one third less likely to claim for benefits if injured.
According to the report, only one in three (34%) of injured workers born in a non-English speaking country apply for workers compensation. That compares to a claim rate of 45% among workers born in Australia.
While the report does not delve into the reasons behind...Read full article »
Don't let a bumper crop turn into a grim harvest
By Michael Burdess, with thanks to Tanya Neilson
Good weather and bumper crops may also yield a bitter harvest of farm injuries for any farmer who tries to take short cuts.
WorkSafe has already rightly issued stern warnings to farmers about the increased risk they run if they try to cut corners while gathering in this season's crops.
This comes on the back of record numbers of farm injuries across country Victoria, and the alarming statistic that so far this year, half of all workplace deaths across the State have occurred on farms.
I...Read full article »
Lodging a WorkCover claim doesn't mean you're suing your boss
Mary: "John is still off work. It's been weeks now. His hernia is giving him grief. He's waiting on the doctor to call hin with a date for surgery."
Bob: "What's he living off?"
Mary: "Just his savings. He's scraping by, but he's struggling."
Bob: "He should consider lodging a WorkCover claim."
Mary: "Yeah, He's mentioned it but he doesn't want to. He's not that type of guy."
Working in a smaller community, I often overhear this kind of conversation. Lodging a WorkCover (or WorkSafe) claim still carries a stigma with it among some people, particularly in the...Read full article »
Harassment allegations at WorkSafe - media reports
The Age reports today on the worrying culture of bullying allegedly in place at the State's key workers compensation authority, WorkSafe.
The story maintains that bullying and stress claims are at an all-time high within the Authority.
It is embarrassing for WorkSafe that runs a high profile media campaign against workplace bullying, while also encouraging workers to return quickly to work during their rehabilitation.
In the experience of our workplace accident and compensation practice, our injury lawyers are often dismayed by the dismissive nature of WorkSafe to claims made for stress, often as a result of...Read full article »
Barb, a nurse, speaks about her work injury and the challenge of rebuilding her life.
Barb knew from the time she was a child that she wanted to be a nurse. She rose to become a charge nurse and gained a special interest in working with people with cystic fibrosis, a passion that took her to hospitals around the world.
That all ended one day when she sustained a seemingly innocent injury while lifting a heavy patient, accidentally twisting her knee while trying to protect her back.
Expecting to be back in the Ward after a short treatment, she was confronted by...Read full article »
WorkSafe now continues to pay superannuation to injured workers
(that is, as long as your workplace injury was after 5 April 2011)
It has long been a source of frustration, if not anger, among injured workers that, having suffered the pain of a workplace injury, which can often end their jobs, they then incurred the indignity of having their Super suspended forever, with little prospect of adding to their retirement money.
One of the welcome, if often overlooked, changes made to compensation law last year now requires WorkSafe to continue paying superannuation to injured workers.
Under changes made to the Accident Compensation Act, WorkSafe will...Read full article »