Council in court after failing to lodge WorkCover claim

The Banyule City Council appeared in the Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court and was charged with failing to submit a worker’s compensation claim to WorkSafe within the requisite 10-day timeframe. Following a guilty plea, the council received a 12-month adjourned undertaking sans conviction, along with fines totalling $4,000.

An early childhood educator at the council’s Heidelberg West childcare centre incurred injuries to her hip and lower back after tripping over a water pipe on-site in September 2022. Subsequently, she submitted a capacity certificate and a filled out claim form on the 21st of September, a day before two public holidays. Notably, the council’s Return to Work Coordinator went on leave for four weeks shortly after these events.

Despite carrying on with salary payments until the educator resumed her full-time duties on the 19th of October, the council overlooked her additional medical expenses that were part of the compensation claim. The persistence of this gap prompted an investigation from WorkSafe.

When in December, the educator sought her claim number and insurer details from the council and received no response, WorkSafe stepped in. On their advice, the woman submitted her claim directly to the agent and finally achieved acceptance.

This unfortunate incident underscores the importance of rigorous WHS management systems, like Bluesafe SWMS, and well-structured policies. These work safety tools ensure that businesses efficiently address worker injuries, avoiding potentially costly and damaging delays or missteps.

Jason Lardelli, Executive Director of Return to Work Victoria, asserts that employers have no excuse for falling short when caring for injured employees. He stresses the necessity of filing the correct claim forms promptly, using products like Bluesafe WHS Management System to do so. This commitment allows workers to receive the support they need all the way through their return-to-work journey.

For additional information on lodging claims, contact WorkSafe’s advisory service through the phone number 1800 136 089 or follow the related link. The service operates from 7:30am to 6:30pm from Monday to Friday. For added support, reach out to WorkSafe by utilising the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) or the National Relay Service.

More contact details:
Phone: 0438 786 968
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