Mining forum provided opportunity to discuss industry concerns
11 Oct 2012
On Wednesday 10 October, the East Customer Service Centre, which manages the mining industry, held a forum and invited employers from the industry to share injury prevention and management information.
Guest presenter Venerina Johnston, University of Queensland spoke about the various research papers in Australia and overseas that highlight the importance of work in the recovery from a workplace injury, and the role supervisors play.
Ms Johnston highlighted supervisors can achieve positive injury management outcomes by simply maintaining contact with an injured worker; asking them if they're ok and letting them know they're an important part of the team.
Ms Johnston has provided WorkCover with her presentation, Minimising the impact of work injury - the importance of employers, for the next two month's only, so be sure to check it out today.
Employers shared their thoughts and experiences, and said they would like better access to tools and resources, and advice for dealing with situations where a contractor was injured while performing work for another employer.
The topics discussed at the forum allow us to better work with employers, develop a better understanding of industry and provide strategies to help employers improve their injury prevention and management outcomes.
At another WorkCover forum, solicitor Scott Falvey, McInnes Wilson Lawyers, discussed common law: what is considered a breach and what you as an employer can do to decrease the impact a common law claim can have. See his presentation far below.
Claims Manager Michael Bannister, also presented to guests at the Mining forum and discussed common law. Mr Bannister says for the mining industry, in certain roles, very few people work past the age of 60.
"Therefore, and as highlighted in a recent case, Hughes v Tucaby Engineering Pty Ltd, the loss awarded up to the age of 60 and from the age 60-67 can incur a discount of up to 90 per cent. This can result in a substantial saving on the total awarded," Mr Bannister said.
With reference to global – usually where the claimant has returned to work and is on the same wage and/or a higher wage, a court will look at the extent of the disability, how the disability will affect or is likely to affect their future employment, and the wage they are earning.
"For example, a person working in an office environment (and always has) who has a knee injury is likely to receive less than a person in a manual job.
"A person earning $500 per week will be awarded less than someone who earns $2,000 per week; any time they are out of work will be more costly to them. A person who is five years away from retirement will get less than someone in their 30s."
There are many factors a court will consider when awarding compensation.
"To minimise the loss, one of the critical ways to do this, is to keep the injured worker at work," Mr Bannister added.
For more information on common law, watch the extended version of Mr Falvey's presentation.