- Workers Compensation: Your Rights
- Australian Statistics for Workplace Injuries
- 1. Body Stressing / Repetitive Strain (39.3%)
- 2. Falls, Trips and Slips (23%)
- 3. Toppling incidents / being hit by moving objects (15.4%)
- 4. Psychological or Mental Health Injuries (5.8%)
- 5) Vehicle Incidents (2.4%)
- About Workers Compensation Claims
- Top Ideas for Minimising Your Risk of Workplace Accidents
- What to Do If You Have a Work-Related Injury
- Work Related Injury Lawyers Closeby
Injured at work? Did you know that if a workplace injury occurs, research has shown that the employee bears the brunt of the cost?
Your employer has a legal duty to provide a safe work environment; sadly, accidents happen, and workers can suffer serious injuries like broken bones, internal organ damage, musculoskeletal disorders, open wounds, and other injuries.
Workers Compensation: Your Rights
Fortunately, as a worker in Queensland, you are insured by QLD WorkCover and can make a workers’ compensation claim if you suffer a work-related injury or illness. However, your weekly benefits are a percentage of your usual wage, not your full income.
Australian Statistics for Workplace Injuries
Workplace injuries still happen even though your employer is legally obligated to provide you with a safe and healthy working environment. In a statistical report produced by Safe Work Australia, it was found that there were a total of 104,770 personal injury claims for a work-related incident in 2017. Of these personal injury claims:
- Labourers lodged 25% of workers’ compensation claims.
- 18% by Technicians and Trades Workers
- 16% by Community and Personal Service Workers
So, what can you do to reduce your risk of personal injury at work? A good place to start is to know the hazards associated with your line of work and understand your rights regarding work health and safety.
Below, we examine the leading causes of common workplace injuries and provide tips and suggestions on how to avoid them.
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1. Body Stressing / Repetitive Strain (39.3%)
The most typical type of workplace injury that employees experience is musculoskeletal injuries and repetitive strain injury (RSI). RSI is often associated with hands and wrists, but repetitive strain also causes severe neck and back injury.
While musculoskeletal disorders can be caused by repetitive motion, they are also triggered by pulling, pushing and lifting hazards. In actuality, risky manual lifting is to blame for more than half of upper-limb injuries.
Repetitive strain injuries occur in multiple industries but are often associated with white-collar workers who work mainly on a computer doing repetitive tasks. Both white and blue-collar employees are at risk of developing RSI, as are workers in the age range of 35 to 54. If your job requires you to do these tasks, you have a higher risk:
- Performing a repetitive motion that stresses your muscles
- Having a prior injury in that area of your body
- Keeping the same physical position for an extended period
- Maintaining bad posture while working
- Having overall poor physical health
If you work in these industries, you are more at risk of acquiring RSI:
- Hairdressing and beauty
- Construction and mining
- Manufacturing on an assembly line
- Plumbing and Electrical
- Using a keyboard for extended periods
- Massage and other physical therapy
- Packing Goods
- Playing a musical instrument
You can prevent muscular and joint stress by
- Providing adequate training and supervision for carrying out tasks (such as training for proper lifting techniques)
- Having a qualified Work Health and Safety inspector regularly check workstations for the risk of muscular stress
- Practicing good posture and taking regular breaks.
2. Falls, Trips and Slips (23%)
Are you aware that the number two cause of workplace injuries in Queensland is slips, trips, and falls? These kinds of accidents account for nearly a third of all reported occupational injuries. Generally, a work-related injury due to a slip, trip or fall is frequently caused by physical work conditions, such as:
- Poor lighting
- Slippery surfaces
- Wrong footwear
And physical hazards such as:
- Goods not stored
And behavioural factors such as:
- Running instead of walking
- Distracted by electronic devices
- Lack of Sleep
Typical physical damage from a slip, trip or fall includes:
- Bruising, abrasions, strains and sprains
- Cuts and bleeding
- Work-related back injuries
- Dislocation of joints
- Fractures of joints
Back and spine injuries are a common outcome of an accident at work caused by a slip, trip or fall.
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3. Toppling incidents / being hit by moving objects (15.4%)
Safe Work Australia’s report found that falling objects accounted for 29% of all workplace fatalities, making it the second most common cause after vehicle accidents in 2016.
If you operate with heavy objects or work in an environment with shelves, you may be susceptible to serious injury like abrasions, concussions, and the like. To ensure the prevention of such injuries, it’s crucial that you follow the Workplace Health and Safety procedures implemented by your employer and ensure you wear the correct safety gear.
4. Psychological or Mental Health Injuries (5.8%)
The causes of mental health conditions at work are many and varied. Workplace stress and trauma can originate from several circumstances.
- Workplace bullying and harassment
- Exposure to workplace violence
- High-pressure working environment
- Working too many hours
- Poor job role clarity
- Failure to manage change
- Poor working conditions
- Inability to control workplace behaviour
- Repetitive and Boring tasks
These factors can all contribute to high levels of stress, which, if prolonged, can lead to psychological or physical work-related injuries. Under Australian legislation, your employer has a duty to protect you from psychological stress. To prevent workplace mental stress, your employer should encourage regular breaks and create work processes that maintain good office morale for you and your colleagues.
5) Vehicle Incidents (2.4%)
Workplace accidents resulting from vehicle incidents are frequent causes of personal injury. This includes accidents such as:
- Forklift/motor-vehicle operation accidents
- Road accidents by employees commuting to work
- Cargo/ delivery truck accidents
These accidents can have profound implications. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that you wear seatbelts when driving and follow all other safety precautions your employer implements to protect your safety and health in the workplace.
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About Workers Compensation Claims
When you are hurt at work, you can claim financial support like weekly payments and reimbursement of health care and rehabilitation costs. Generally, many injuries, illnesses, and mental health conditions qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Fortunately, Splatt Lawyers provides work-related injury legal services on a 100% no win no fee basis, which means you have no financial risk when making a workers’ compensation claim. There are no upfront costs, so start now by Calling 1800 700 125
Guide to Workers Compensation Payouts
You could claim a workers’ compensation payout when the unexpected happens and you suffer occupational harm. Learn how this works. Check out our Comprehensive Guide to Claiming a Workers Compensation Payout >
Top Ideas for Minimising Your Risk of Workplace Accidents
Often, injuries at work happen when workplace safety is not the main focus. Your employer has a general duty of care to provide a safe and healthy workplace; however, all employees have an obligation to keep each other safe. Being active in raising awareness of risks in your workplace is an excellent place to start.
a) Workplace Health and Safety
Large employers typically have an official Workplace Health and Safety program that monitors injuries and takes steps to prevent them in the future. Employers can take action to minimise future risks when workplace harm is documented in one place.
b) Raise Workplace Risk Awareness
Understanding the circumstances in which a worker can be injured at work presents a chance to raise awareness. Training workers in safe manual handling procedures and monitoring their performance will help minimise risk. When performing risky tasks, ensuring employees take breaks and avoid distractions from devices can also be beneficial.
c) Work Health and Safety Audit
When organisations strive to reduce workplace injury rates, they often conduct a WHS risk assessment. This report seeks to document work hazards, measure risk and review the controls that are currently in place. By doing this, employers improve their workplace and provide a safer working environment.
What to Do If You Have a Work-Related Injury
Injured at work? You may be eligible to make a worker’s compensation claim if you suffer a workplace injury or illness. Workers compensation law can be complex and daunting, but you can get help from an expert workplace accident lawyer who can guide you through the process. At Splatt Lawyers, it’s free to know your legal rights. Get immediate support when you are injured at work – Call 1800 700 125.
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