Workers compensation and injury management provides protection to workers in the event of an injury or illness. It supports workers to Recover at Work wherever possible, or to return to meaningful work at the earliest possible time. Staying at work, or returning to work as soon as safely possible following a workplace injury, is good for health and wellbeing.
The University has established procedures to support a timely, safe and durable return to work.
- provides physical, psychological and financial benefits to employees
- minimises disruption to work
- reduces costs to all concerned.
Prevention is key
Prevention is key to reducing injuries and incidents at work. If you feel uncomfortable at your workstation or when completing a task there are some preventative measures you can take:
- Request an ergonomic assessment
- Have a discussion with your immediate supervisor or Health and Safety Representative
- Lodge a hazard report
- Review the information on manual handling, ergonomics, and risk management
- Complete a health and safety training course
What is injury management?
Injury Management is the process that comprises activities and procedures established and undertaken for the purpose of achieving a timely, safe and durable return to work for workers following workplace injuries/illness.
The Western Sydney University Return to Work Program (PDF, 156.47 KB) includes a summary of the processes involved when a workplace injury occurs including injury management, responsibilities of various parties, rehabilitation and return to work.
Information for staff
Does the University have an injury management process?
Yes. Please see the Injury Management Policy .
Am I eligible to lodge a workers compensation claim?
In NSW, if you are injured or develop an illness through the course of your employment, and work is determined to be a real and substantial contributing factor to your injury or illness, you may be eligible to receive workers compensation benefits in relation to the injury or illness, under the:
NSW Workers Compensation Act 1987, and
NSW Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998
Casual and part-time workers are covered provided the injury or illness arose out of, or in the course of, their employment where there is a real and substantial connection between their employment and the injury or illness. See SIRA for more information.
When can a worker make a workers compensation claim?
The legislation provides for a worker to claim workers compensation benefits when they suffer an injury or contract a disease which arises out of, or in the course of, their employment where the employment is a substantial contributing factor to the injury.
To claim workers compensation for an injury, medical evidence is required indicating that you suffer from an injury or illness as a result of your employment.
As a worker, if you are claiming compensation you must supply information that shows you:
- were employed
- received an injury from or during the employment
- have lost income, need medical treatment or may incur other expenses because of the injury.
Your employer may provide the above information to the insurer on your behalf. You may also provide other information that supports your claim. The injury or illness may be physical or psychological.
No compensation is available for a psychological injury if the injury was caused by reasonable action taken (or proposed to be taken) by your employer.
For more information read the Guidelines for Claiming Workers Compensation.
Who decides if a claim is accepted?
Legal liability for workers compensation claims is determined by the University's insurer having regard for:
- The legislation
- The circumstances of the claim
- Medical evidence
- Relevant information provided by the claimant and/or the University
- Previous cases that may be similar for which legal liability has been accepted.
What is occupational based rehabilitation?
Occupational based rehabilitation is a process whereby an injured employee may be brought back to work on 'alternative duties' as part of a 'recover at work plan'.
Return to work plans, when required, are developed in consultation with the injured worker, the treating doctor, the supervisor and the Injury Management Coordinator.
If the worker has severe injuries or has a complex illness or disease a Rehabilitation Provider may also be involved.
What is a rehabilitation provider?
Rehabilitation providers are external organisations who are independent and are accredited by SafeWork NSW. Rehabilitation providers are appointed by the insurer to oversee and coordinate injury management and recover at work processes.
Work Break and Journey Claims
You may be able to make a claim for injuries incurred during work breaks and for some journeys to and from work.
Work Break claims
You may be able to make a claim for injuries received during an ordinary work break (e.g. morning tea or lunch break) or authorised temporary absence. You must not, however, subject yourself to 'any abnormal risk of injury' during a work break or authorised absence.
Claims while on a journey
A worker is eligible to apply for a workers compensation claim if injured on a journey where there is a real and substantial connection between their employment and the accident that caused the injury.
Workers who are injured in motor vehicle accidents while travelling between their workplace and home may be entitled to compensation under the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Scheme. Information on CTP entitlements is available on the Motor Accidents Authority website.
A worker will not be able to receive compensation for a journey claim if there is 'serious and wilful misconduct' by the worker. For example, if a worker is involved in a motor vehicle accident and is found to be under the influence of alcohol or other drugs which contributed to an injury sustained in the motor vehicle accident.
With motor vehicle accidents, the worker may have the option of claiming either workers compensation for personal injury or through compulsory third party (CTP) if another driver is found to be at fault.
Only personal injury to the worker can be claimed on a workers' compensation journey claim, no vehicle or property damage can be claimed.
What is the procedure for claiming workers compensation?
If you have been injured and need to claim workers compensation you should:
- Complete the Accident/Injury/Incident/Hazard Notification Form
- Visit your family doctor and obtain a WorkCover NSW - Certificate of Capacity
The above-mentioned documents must be completed and forwarded to the WHS unit as soon as possible and within 48 hours from the date of the injury.
What are the employers' legal obligations?
In New South Wales, workers' entitlements to workers compensation are protected under the NSW Workers Compensation Act 1987 and the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998.
Under these laws the employer is legally bound to take out and maintain a current workers compensation policy so that injured employees are able to access rehabilitation and workers compensation benefits if they are injured.
The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) administers both Acts and is responsible for ensuring that employers establish systems and procedures to comply with the legislation.
Do I have to obtain a SIRA NSW - Certificate of Capacity to make a claim?
Yes. All claims for workers compensation must be supported by a WorkCover NSW - Certificate of Capacity. The certificate must be completed by your treating doctor (usually your family doctor) and submitted with the claim form. Please see the SIRA website - for more information.
What about an injured person who is not an employee?
In NSW any person who is not a 'worker' or 'deemed worker' (employee) does not have access to workers compensation entitlements.
Western Sydney University has taken out special insurance to cover any liabilities that may arise when a non-employee is injured whilst on University property. The person can only recover compensation provided they can prove that there has been negligence on the part of the University.
What about students?
Students are covered by special policies that have been taken out by the University and the Students' Union. For more information you should contact the Office of the Dean of Students and/or the Students' Union.
If a student is employed by the University and suffers an injury or illness which arose out of, or in the course of, their employment where the employment is a substantial contributing factor, they are entitled to the same benefits as an employee .
To make a claim they must follow the same process as every other employee.
How do I obtain the appropriate workers compensation claim form?
There are a number of forms that are relevant to claiming workers compensation. Not all forms need to be filled out in every case. To assist you to choose the appropriate form there is a short explanation of the forms below along with a link.
NOTE: Do not complete a claim form until you have spoken to the University's Injury Management Coordinators. You may not need to complete a form as there may already be sufficient information about your injury in order for a claim to be lodged.
Failure to complete claims forms accurately, and in full, may result in your benefits being delayed or your claim being denied.
The Injury Notification Claim Form PDF, 167.35 KB - should be completed in some cases when claiming workers compensation. Claimants must complete the form fully and provide as much information as possible regarding the injury. There is no need to complete the employers section of the form as this will be completed by the WHS Unit.
The Accident/Injury/Incident/Hazard Notification Form - must be completed in every case when claiming workers compensation. Claimants must complete the form fully and provide as much information as possible regarding the accident and injury.
The Other Work Related Claim Form - must be completed when making a 'journey claim'. This form is to be competed in addition to the Workers Compensation Claim Form as it provides supplementary information for the insurance company.
The Statement of Witness to an Injury - must be completed by any person who has been a 'Witness to Injury' and who may need to be contacted by the insurer.