Injured workers entering the West Australian workers’ compensation system often become frustrated by a lack of information surrounding medical appointments and examinations. Requests to attend medical appointments, usually to be reviewed by a medical specialist can come from the worker’s employer, their insurer or the worker’s plaintiff injury lawyer. The medical reviews that these parties may request the worker to attend are for the purpose of obtaining medical evidence, in the form of medical reports. This evidence is used for various legal purposes relating to the management of the worker’s claim for compensation. The medical evidence obtained through these examinations can determine whether a worker’s weekly payments should be discontinued, whether the worker could return to work, the level of impairment resulting from the injury, how much lump sum compensation the worker could be paid and whether the worker could make an industrial negligence claim. Not attending or obstructing a medical appointment requested by the employer or their insurer can result in a range of consequences for an injured worker, the most serious of which includes the suspension of the worker’s right to claim compensation & in particular ongoing weekly payments of workers compensation.
Instances of workplace bullying have been increasing over time.
Instances of bullying in the workplace have risen dramatically in Australia in recent times. In 2012, in response to mounting community concern, the Australian Government established a parliamentary inquiry into workplace bullying. The findings of the inquiry led to the creation of a specific bullying jurisdiction within the Fair Work Commission. Disturbingly, Safe Work Australia data confirms that workplace injuries related to bullying and harassment have nearly doubled in Australia over the past decade.
Tags: Work Accidents
What is a 'Form 36 Notice to Worker About Termination Date for Election'?
If liability in your workers' compensation claim has been admitted, a Form 36 Notice to Worker About Termination Date For Election should be sent to you by your employer or their insurer. The purpose of the Form 36 Termination Date Notice is to inform you that, if you intend to make a common law damages claim, you must elect to do so prior to the Termination Date. The Form 36 Termination Date Notice is sent approximately 26 weeks before the Termination Date.
A Termination Date sounds scary. What does it really mean?
Put simply, the Termination Date is the date, 12 months from the date on which the injured worker lodged their workers' compensation claim with their employer. Particular importance is placed on the Termination Date as it is the date by which you must elect to pursue a common law claim against your employer.
Contrary to common misconceptions the Termination Date is not:
- the date when injured workers that are receiving workers' compensation are terminated from their employment;
- the date when injured workers receiving regular workers' compensation payments have their payments cut;
- the date when a workers' compensation claim is settled or finalised; or
- the date by which all treatment in regards to a workers' compensation claim must be completed.
Workers' compensation and work related stress, anxiety and other mental health complaints.
Many Australian's find talking about work related stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns embarrassing. Australian's generally, have a reputation for being healthy, happy, hardworking, sports loving and resilient people. Contrary to this reputation, many Australian workplaces do not provide a safe and healthy environment for workers.
A recent report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimates that 20% of suicides in Australia are work related and that between 20% and 30% of workers will suffer from a serious mental illness at some point in their career.
This is a huge social problem which is estimated to cost the Australian economy $12 billion a year. Unfortunately, many workers are unaware that compensation can be claimed in regards to most work-related mental illness.
Work related stress or mental illness. Can I make a workers' compensation claim?
The West Australian workers’ compensation scheme aims to help workers return to work after suffering from a work-related illness or injury and compensates workers for lost wages, medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, medicines, travel and legal expenses while they are unable to work. If you have suffered from stress, anxiety, depression or other mental illness due to actions, events or exposures that occurred in the workplace you can make a claim for compensation. Safe Work Australia has highlighted the following key causes of mental stress in the workplace:
- Work pressure—mental stress arising from work responsibilities and workloads, deadlines, organisational restructure, workplace conflicts and workplace performance or promotion issues.
- Work-related harassment &/or workplace bullying—repetitive assault and/or threatened assault by a work colleague or colleagues; and repetitive verbal harassment, threats, and abuse from a work colleague or colleagues.
- Exposure to workplace or occupational violence—includes being the victim of assault by a person or persons who may or may not be work colleagues; and being a victim of or witnessing bank robberies, hold-ups and other violent events.
- Exposure to traumatic event—disorders arising from witnessing a fatal or other incident.
- Suicide or attempted suicide—includes all suicides regardless of circumstances of death and all attempted suicides.
- Other mental stress factors—includes dietary or deficiency diseases (Bulimia, Anorexia).
- Other harassment—being the victim of sexual or racial harassment by a person or persons including work colleague/s (SafeWorkAustralia).
Tags: Work Accidents