If an employee is injured in the workplace they should first seek medical attention and report the incident to their employer verbally or in writing within 24 hours, regardless of whether or not they want to make a claim for workers’ compensation.
In accordance with the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1995, employers must notify SafeWork SA by telephone or facsimile as soon as practicable after an employee suffers a notifiable work-related injury.
The employer must then notify Employers Mutual or WorkCover within 5 working days of receiving the report from the employee and provide them with the Claim form completed by the employee (or their representative), a WorkCover Medical Certificate and an Employer Report Form. These forms are provided by a medical practitioner and WorkCover.
The Claim form will request if the employee (or their representative) wishes to report a workplace injury and/or seek compensation payments. Employers cannot refuse to report a claim, and penalties may apply if they delay the reporting.
In the case where an employee makes a claim and providing that all mandatory information has been provided and a ‘reasonable excuse’ for not commencing payments does not exist, the employee is entitled to continue receiving an income (known as ‘provisional weekly payments’) for up to 13 weeks or until the claim has been determined.
The employer is required to pay the first two weeks of weekly payments to the injured employee while WorkCover is responsible for the continuation of such payments thereafter. However, if the employer provides a copy of the Claim form, WorkCover Medical Certificate and an Employer Report Form within two business days of the incident, they may not be required to cover the two weeks of payments.
Once a claim has been lodged, a case manager from Employers Mutual will be assigned to the employer and employee to work through the following:
- whether the employee is eligible for workers’ compensation;
- manage the employee’s claim for compensation;
- provide the employer with information about rehabilitation and compensation; and
- manage and coordinate the employee’s rehabilitation and return to work.
Once an incident occurs in the workplace an employer must take reasonable steps to prevent a reoccurrence of a similar workplace accident.
For more information, call the Business Advisory Centre on 08 8300 0101.