Many injuries in the workplace go unreported because employees do not want to cause a fuss, embarrass themselves, or admit to making a mistake. Read on to discover why all workplace injuries must be reported and how to properly report them.
Why Workers Must Report All Workplace Injuries to their Employer
Reporting Workplace Injuries Improves Workplace Safety
One extremely important reason to report a workplace injury is to alert your employer about hazards so safety procedures can be improved. Even if an injury seems minor, it could happen again to you or to another worker with more severe results. By alerting management to an injury, the set method for doing a particular task can be assessed to determine whether there is a better way to do it.
Small Injuries Can Become Bigger
Sometimes a regular cut can but become infected or a sore shoulder can turn out to be muscle damage. If the injury is not reported when it occurs, there is no record that it happened at work.
If you end up needing treatment or time off, you could find yourself in a dispute over whether the incident really occurred in the workplace.
When it comes to things like insurance and worker’s compensation, proof is essential. Furthermore, there may be first aid options or medical treatments that you are unfamiliar with that will prevent the injury from becoming worse.
The point is, an injury can actually be much worse than it seems at the time so you simply cannot risk leaving it unreported.
Why Employers Must Report All Their Workers Injuries
What Employers Must Report About Workplace Injuries
You must report any employee workplace injuries you become aware of regardless of whether or not the worker intends to make a claim for workers’ compensation. Even if you do not agree that the injury is compensable, the injury may or may not require medical treatment or time off for the worker.
If you have concerns about the legitimacy of the injury (for example if you believe the injury did not occur at work) you can report these concerns to your insurer but you still must report the injury. You must also report any payments made to the worker for compensation or instead of wages due to time off as a result of the injury.
The maximum penalty of failing to report an injury is 50 penalty units. Click here for more information on penalty units.
When do I need to report a workplace injury?
You must report an injury to your insurer no later than eight business days after becoming aware of it. It is an offense not to report the injury within this timeframe unless you have a reasonable excuse, such as technical issues.
How do I report a workplace injury in Queensland?
To report a workplace injury in Queensland to WorkCover, you can either:
- Call WorkCover Queensland on 1300 362 128
- Complete the approved form (pdf) and upload it using WorkCovers online service
- Complete WorkCovers online form
What to do after reporting a workplace injury
Once you have reported an employee’s injury, you should advise the employee of their right to lodge a workers’ compensation claim and provide them with an Application for compensation form if they wish to do so. You should also advise the worker of their right to access their choice of medical or other treatment provider.
If you are paying for the worker’s treatment or an amount in place of their wages for time off, you should be aware that employers may only pay for compensation if:
- the worker has made an application for compensation under section 132
- the employer has complied with its reporting obligations under section 133A.3
Click Here for more information on reporting injuries from Workplace Health & Safety Queensland
How To Record Workplace Injuries, Accidents, Incidents and Near Misses
The best way to track and record workplace injuries to ensure that they are correctly reported and followed up in your workplace, is to use an internal Incident Report Form and Incident Register.
Any time there is an injury, accident, incident or near miss in your workplace, complete an Incident Report Form and record the form in your Incident Register.
This will help you keep track of workplace injuries and incidents over time, ensure that they are correctly followed up, and ensure that safety controls are put in place to prevent a similar occurance in future!
For more WHS templates visit our WHS Templates Safety Store!
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