Worker’s Compensation: What’s It All About?

What is worker’s compensation? There’s a lot of confusion out there about what exactly it involves.
Am I eligible? Is my employer obliged to provide compensation for me? Should I seek a personal injury lawyer? Do I need my own insurance? Where do I start?

Compensation schemes have been around a long time in Australia. We have a system in place to rival any G8 country. Since regulations differ from state to state, each has its own governing body. Almost any question you can think of is addressed online, for example, at Worksafe Victoria or Workcover Authority of NSW.

Before you write off the issue or simply assume you’re being taken care of, take a look at these numbers.

work related injuries

Even among professionals, personal injury in the workplace is well above 50 per 1000 for women.

Sitting in a chair all day doesn’t excuse you from the need for worker’s comp. Workplace injuries vary greatly. Here is a list of the most common injuries suffered.

type of injuries

Think you don’t need your own insurance coverage? This graph from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows accident or injury on the job doesn’t always result in time off work.

time off work

It may be tempting to forgo private insurance. It’s expensive and not everyone can qualify for it. But many people neglect to take time off because they aren’t sure they’re entitled to it. In the case of stress-related leave, some are afraid to come out and ask for what they need from their employer. Don’t be fooled by the numbers. Workplace injury can happen to anyone and you may need some time off.

You don’t need a personal injury attorney to make claims for compensation. Your first step should be to call your state’s governing authority and get information. An experienced professional will give you an overview of how to file a claim and which steps to take first. Don’t be afraid to call your local government support office. They will advise you what is the most likely and beneficial procedure for your case.

If you are concerned that your claim might damage your employer or your career, think again. 99% of cases, your employer would subscribe to insurance premium that would cover them in case of an accident/ worker injury. The likely cause of grief from your employer is not so much the money their insurance will have to disburse but rather the increased paperwork required for your direct line of management.

Amy Knapp is an HR blogger for an Australian Job Search engine matching annonymous reviews with job listings. If you consider getting a new construction jobs, it might be worth checking what past employees say about their safety track record. Get the inside info with Insidetrak