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Workers Compensation

A new work capacity certificate is being developed in Queensland in response to stakeholder consultation.

The new certificate will focus on what work can be done after injury, supporting early and safe rehabilitation and return to work, and encouraging return-to-work discussions as early as possible.

The Office of Industrial Relations has almost completed its consultation with stakeholder focus groups and peak representative associations and consideration of survey responses and written submissions about the fit note.

The new certificate is expected to start being available in July, with full implementation by January 2017.

“To ensure the success of this transition, a website dedicated to doctors will be developed to support their education needs,” according to a Queensland Government media release.

For more details, visit WorkCover Qld

Published on 25 February 2016 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email. Subscribe online today

Employers have been barred from obtaining the workers compensation claims history of prospective employees, among a number of changes under new laws passed in the Queensland parliament last week.

The Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 prevents employers obtaining a copy of a prospective worker’s compensation claims history from the Workers’ Compensation Regulator.

In other changes, the new laws allow workers with than less than 5 per cent impairment to seek workers compensation damages under common law.

The new provisions also permit workers prevented from making damages claims between October 15, 2013 and January 31, 2015 to seek additional compensation payouts.

Meanwhile, firefighters diagnosed with a deemed disease will have their injury automatically deemed a work injury under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation (Protecting Firefighters) Amendment Bill 2015. This law also passed in the Queensland parliament last week.

The deemed diseases include the following cancers: brain, bladder, kidney, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukaemia, breast, testicular, prostate, ureter, colorectal, oesophageal and multiple myeloma.

For more details, visit the laws

Published on 24 September 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email. Subscribe online today.

The preliminary findings of a NSW Government workers compensation survey reveal a lack of support for workers.

The findings are part of a survey of injured workers’ experiences in the NSW workers compensation system.

A lack of case management support and access to quality information are the main problems, said NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property Dominic Perrottet in a media statement.

“While some injured workers have had positive experiences, we can see many are concerned about better information and timely communication, financial support for medical services and retraining, and being supported by their employer and insurer,” Perrottet said.

The full results of the survey will be released in August.

For more details, visit the Minister’s statement and the government’s ‘what workers think’ video

Published on 30 July 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin.

The doctor in the Pel-Air plane crash near Norfolk Island has been awarded $959,478 in the Supreme Court of NSW.

In November 2009, Dr David Helm and nurse Karen Casey were working for CareFlight, transporting a seriously ill patient and her husband from Samoa to Melbourne on a plane operated by Pel-Air Aviation Pty Ltd when it crashed near Norfolk Island.

Helm sustained scratches, bruising and multiple soft tissue injuries and an injury to his spine. He returned to work at CareFlight on modified duties. Over time the pain in his back worsened. He will never recover from his injuries, which have not only affected his work but also his study, his ability to interact with his children and his leisure pursuits.

He sued Pel-Air Aviation Pty Ltd in the Supreme Court of NSW and last week was awarded $959,478.

Casey, who was more severely injured than Helm, also successfully sued Pel-Air Aviation Pty Ltd, however, the decision on the amount of damages to be paid has been adjourned until 1 July.

For more details, visit the ruling and the award

Published on 18 June 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin.

A $500 safety rebate is on offer for commercial estuary fishers operating in New South Wales.

“The rebate allows fishers to claim up to $500 towards the cost of purchasing and installing eligible safety equipment, including Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs), if they are operating as a sole trader or employ 50 or fewer employees and commercial estuarine fishing is their main business,” former NSW Minister for Finance and Services Andrew Constance said in a media statement.

To be eligible for the rebate, fishers must have a WorkCover NSW officer visit them to discuss workplace safety; hold a current commercial fishing licence with endorsements for estuary general fishery issued by the NSW Department of Primary Industries; have an Australian Business Number (ABN) that states the main business location as NSW; and, if relevant, have a NSW workers compensation insurance policy.

“Rebates do not cover GST, freight or insurance, second-hand items or repairs and service,” WorkCover added in a media statement.

For more detail, visit the rebate information.

Published on 23 April 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

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