*The contents in this blog relates to legislation in New South Wales.
Not all injuries at work are caused by a single incident. Many injuries are suffered over time as a result of, for example, repetitively lifting or bending or other repetitive strained movements. These injuries are also covered under the Workers Compensation Legislation.
This type of injury is considered a “disease injury.” Disease injuries are defined under Section 4 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 where the injured worker’s employment was the “main contributing factor” to the disease injury or the “main contributing factor to the aggravation, acceleration, exacerbation or deterioration” of the disease injury.
The phrase “main contributing factor” identifies as the chief or principal factor.
The date of injury of a disease injury is determined as the date the injured worker was unable to work in their pre-injury employment.
Therefore, just because it was not a particular incident that caused your injury, if you have been injured over time due to the work you were completing, you are entitled to make a workers compensation claim.
As an example, you may be employed as a process worker or machine operator where you complete a number of duties which require you to repetitively bend to pick up materials, lift and carry those materials or reach and twist to perform your duties. Over time, this may cause a lower back or neck injury. Although it wasn’t a particular fall or lifting a particularly heavy piece of equipment, you still may be able to make a workers’ compensation claim.
As another example, you may be employed as a chef where you need repetitively use your hands to mould, cut, lift and carry to perform your duties. Over time, this can cause you to suffer carpal tunnel syndrome. Again, the repetitive strain on your hands and wrists would have caused this injury.
To determine whether the employment was the main contributing factor to the injury or main contributing factor to the deterioration of injury, the medical evidence needs to be considered. Once accepted, you are able to claim your entitlements including weekly payments, medical expenses, domestic assistance and lump sum compensation.
We are able to assist with the process of the claim and confirming your entitlements.
Injured workers are entitled to receive our legal advice for your workers compensation claim at no cost. We receive funding from the Independent Review Office (IRO) who attend to our legal fees and disbursements.
Our lawyers are IRO accredited and are able to assist you with your workers compensation claim under a grant of funding from IRO.
We are therefore able to assist you with your workers compensation claim without any legal costs involved.