NSW Workers Compensation

The NSW workers compensation scheme is complex. However, there is a legal aid type scheme to help injured workers in NSW obtain legal assistance, in order to understand their rights and entitlements. This means you do not pay legal fees. The scheme is administered by the Workers Compensation Independent Review Office (WIRO). We routinely obtain funding from WIRO to represent NSW workers compensation clients to:

  • Investigate claims for weekly benefits, medical treatment or permanent impairment;
  • Dispute insurer decisions where liability is denied, treatment is declined or where entitlements are ceased; and
  • Commence proceedings at the NSW Workers Compensation Commission.

Obtaining Legal Assistance

WIRO funding covers your legal fees as well as things such as expert reports and clinical records.  In order to access this funding, simply contact us to book an initial consultation.  In that consultation, we will discuss important facts such as:

  • When you were injured and how.
  • Whether you have already made a workers compensation claim in relation to your injury, and if so, what was the outcome.
  • What assistance you require.

Once we have identified the nature of your claim, and providing we consider you have some prospects of success, we make an application on your behalf to WIRO. The aim of the scheme is to ensure all NSW workers are fully appraised of their rights and entitlements following a workplace injury.

Entitlements

An injured worker may be eligible for all or some of the following payments:

  • Weekly benefits
  • Medical or related treatment
  • Occupational rehabilitation services
  • Travel expenses to attend appointments for medical and other treatment
  • Lump sums for permanent impairment
  • Damages under general law
  • When the injury results in the death of the worker, the dependent family members may be eligible for death benefits and/or funeral expenses

elringtons can help you

Because of the legal aid type scheme for injured works in NSW, it will cost you nothing to speak to us. We have represented clients to:

  • Establish liability for injuries;
  • Dispute denial of medical treatment;
  • Dispute cessation of weekly benefits;
  • Obtain expert opinions about injuries;
  • Obtain permanent impairment assessments; and
  • Obtain lump sum compensation following a death of a family member.

We understand the impact a workplace injury has on your life: physically, emotionally, and financially.  We use this knowledge to build rapport with our client. Matthew Bridger and Tom Maling represent clients in NSW workers compensation matter.

Matt Bridger is an accredited personal injury specialist by the NSW Law Society. He has over 25 years’ experience helping injured NSW workers. His experience enables him to provide expert and timely advice to assist injured workers.  Tom Maling, who trained as a Registered Nurse and uses his health knowledge to understand your injury experience and advocate on your behalf.  Tom also has a particular interest in working with client’s who have received a psychological injury at work.

Please do not hesitate to contact Matt Bridger or Tom Maling to discuss your circumstances.

p: +61 2 6206 1300 | e: Info@elringtons.com.au

Further Reading

Employees working from home?

Employees working from home and employer’s liability

Are you looking for ways to limit employer liability when your employees work from home?

Flexible work place arrangements are increasingly common with many workers now performing work duties from home. Accidents and injuries are inevitable depending on the nature of the work, there are ways for employers to reduce or limit their liability.

Employers should do the following in clear written terms of agreement:

Place limits on the scope of when the employee is employed by specifying the days and hours when the employee is “at work” and when they are not;

Require the employee to maintain a log book recording their time of commencement of work and when they stop for lunch and stop for the day. The log should contain a section in which the employee can record any incidents that occur during the work day;

Require the employee to notify you via email when they commence work for the day, when they stop for lunch and stop for the day;

Place limits on the additional tasks that the employee can undertake as part of their employment when they are working at home;

Formally restrict the parts of the employee’s home which are recognised as their actual “home-based work place” so that the rest of their house is not;

Clearly stipulate the employee’s primary duties in a way which restricts the types of activities that will be found to be incidental to their employment; and

Recognise and address any additional risks that exist – for example, if the employee wishes to work from home because they have recently had a baby, ensure your agreement clearly reflects for both parties what are the expectations regarding the care to be provided to the child and the tasks to be performed.

Employers should address the following:

Does their policy of Workers Compensation insurance provide coverage for work places in the home?

Does the employee have a policy of insurance that covers accidents in the home while working?

Is the home based work area OH&S compliant? Issues such as whether there is a First Aid kit, safety manual or functioning smoke alarm may need to be addressed.

An effective way of documenting the condition of the workplace is by requiring the employee to complete a safety check-list which contains these requisite OH&S items and others. Depending on the nature of the work, employers should consider completing a routine inspection of the employee’s home office or work space, and place obligations on the employee to comply with directions and maintain particular conditions.

Case Study

Our client was a qualified child carer working for a Not For Profit organisation providing child care services in the home. Up to four children would be cared for in her home. Lifting injuries are common in the child care industry however, Elringtons’ client was aware of proper lifting practices particularly with young children who can sometimes be difficult to handle when upset.

On a rainy day, our client had safely lifted up a 20 kg, 5 year old child who was in her care. At the same time, another small child ran past her from the room where the children were usually minded, into the back yard which was wet and slippery. Our client tried to follow the darting child into the back yard whilst still holding the 5 year old when she slipped on wet paving and fell. She successfully turned her body to one side to save the child she was holding but injured herself in the process.

Elringtons successfully acted for the child carer on the basis that is was an inevitable accident whilst performing work in the home. The injuries were significant, affecting the child carer’s ability to work in the future Our client received workers compensation coverage from the Not For Profit organisation’s insurer for her injuries.

Conclusion

The above suggestions are, depending on the circumstances, likely to reduce an employer’s liability for a worker’s injury claim. In some circumstances however, inevitable accidents occur and it is imperative that employers, who provide flexible work place arrangements where work is conducted in the home, ensure that their insurance arrangements provide adequate cover

For advice in relation to your obligations as an employer, or your rights as an employee, please contact Matthew Bridger:

e: mbridger@elringtons.com.au | p: 02 6206 1300