Worker’s compensation is intended to provide financial support to employees that have suffered an illness or injury in the course of their work. This means that the injury must have happened at work, such as in the office, or travelling for work, such as moving between client sites. It does not, however, cover those that were injured on the way to and from work from home, which is not considered a work-related injury.
Work related injuries can be either physical or psychological. Some of the most common injuries covered by worker’s compensation include:
Accidents in the office or workplace
Workplace accidents can become the basis of a workers compensation claim if they take place on-site or in the course of your work. They can include things like:
- Physical injuries from falling, tripping or slipping
- Physical injuries from pulling, pushing, lifting or moving objects
The majority of the time this is caused by negligence, such as office clutter, protruding objects or spills. If this type of accident occurs at the workplace it may be considered a workplace injury and justify a worker’s compensation claim.
Injuries caused by unsafe working environments
While similar to workplace accidents, injuries caused by unsafe working environments cover a broader range of issues including:
- Physical injuries or illness caused by exposure to hazardous substances in the course of work such as chemicals, electricity, bacteria and viruses.
- Physical injuries caused by dangerous events such as exposure to sound or pressure.
- Physical injuries caused by unsafe elements in the environment, such as unsafe scaffolding or broken fixtures.
These issues can cause an acute injury or an injury sustained over time due to the nature and conditions of the workplace. Such injuries and illnesses can then form part of a worker’s compensation claim.
Trauma caused by repetition or cumulative damage
Some damage is less obvious but over time can cause serious distress to the body. These include:
- Trauma to the body caused by repetitive tasks such as typing or hammering.
- Back or body injuries caused by repetitive lifting, squatting or reaching.
- Back or body injuries caused by staying in one position for a long time such as sitting in a car seat or at a desk.
These types of injuries are called repetitive trauma injuries or nature and conditions injuries and if your lawyer can prove that they were caused due to work-related activities they can be used to claim worker’s compensation.
Work-related psychological injury
Work-related psychological injuries have become better recognised recently. Work-related psychological injuries can include:
- Psychological injury or illness caused by witnessing or being a part of a traumatic event during work
- Psychological injury or illness caused over time by work such as stress, depression or fatigue
- Psychological injury or illness caused by abuse in the workplace such as bullying, sexual harassment or discrimination.
When it comes to claiming worker’s compensation for psychological injuries it is very important to be able to prove that it was caused by or in the course of your work, which is why it is important to talk to a worker’s compensation claim lawyer as soon as you can to start building an effective case.