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What to Do When a Workplace Accident Occurs


It’s easy to believe that workplace accidents happen to ‘other people’. The reality is that workplace accidents can, and do, affect a great range of people and the impact on workers, families and businesses can be devastating. Fortunately, credible legal support is available. By utilising the services of a law firm that specialises in worker’s compensation and personal injuries (such as Sinnamon Lawyers), you will get the qualified advice and support that you need.

Work can be dangerous

There’s no denying that some jobs are more dangerous than others. Regardless of the nature of the work being performed, employers have a duty to ensure that the health and wellbeing of all staff is protected. Even when precautions are taken and an organisation is diligent about workplace health and safety, accidents and injuries can occur. Subsequently, laws exist for the protection of workers from workplace hazards and afford them protection and support if a legitimate injury is sustained in the course of their work.

What do employers have to do?

There is no denying that the area of workplace injuries is complex. Despite the complexities that exist, there are general requirements that employers must fulfil to create a safe workplace for their employees. In the event that safe work practices are not enforced and a safe workplace is not provided, employers can face significant penalties. Laws state that employers must:

  • Create and uphold a safe workplace for all employers. In this regard, workplace safety includes the facilities and work systems that employees use and access.
  • Make it possible for employees to handle all equipment and substances in a safe manner. Employers must also provide areas for the safe storage of harmful materials.
  • Provide training, supervision, information and direction that supports employees to effectively and safely carry out their roles.

The protection of workers also includes protection from bullying and harassment in the workplace.

Employee responsibilities

Employee obligations are certainly serious, but employees also carry responsibility for workplace health and safety. Employees must make sure they act reasonably in the workplace and in a way that protects their own health and wellbeing. It’s important that employees understand and follow workplace policies, procedures and processes in addition to be mindful that their actions are not dangerous to other staff.

In the event of a workplace accident:

If an accident occurs or an injury is sustained in the workplace, it is necessary to follow particular guidelines for compensation to be received.

  • Within 48 hours of the accident occurring, the employer should be informed of the accident and/or injury. Insurers should also be notified within this time period.
  • In the event of a serious injury, medical help should be sought and WorkCover (or similar organisation) should be contacted.
  • A report of the incident should be documented and all appropriate compensation forms completed.

For a workplace injury claim to be successful, it’s critical to demonstrate that the injury mainly occurred as a result of the job being performed. Also taken into account will be factors such as the nature and duration of the task and the likelihood of the injury happening outside of the employment and associated duties.

If you are affected by a workplace accident, it’s important that you seek professional legal advice and support to help you navigate the complexities of workplace compensation and personal injury.