HELP! I’ve been injured at work, what should I do?
It is a fact that very few SDA members know exactly what to do if they are injured at work and need to claim workers’ compensation. Furthermore, they don’t know what to do when their manager, for example, suggests that their department manager accompany them to the company doctor.
Let’s assume for the moment that you have injured yourself at work. Would you know what to do if you were confronted with the following circumstances?
When you reported your injury to your employer, what would you do if you were not given any information or verbally told anything about your rights to claim Workers’ Compensation or how to make a claim?
What would you do if you were not given a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form when you asked for one or when you submitted a Workers’ Compensation Medical Certificate from your Doctor?
- What would you do if there were issues when you filled out an ‘Incident Report Form’?
- What would you do if you did not get a copy of your completed ‘Incident Report Form’?
- What would you do if management tried to talk you out of claiming Workers’ Compensation?
- What would you do if management insisted on taking you to see an ‘InjuryNET’ or other ‘Company preferred’ Doctor?
- What would you do if you were not told that you had the choice to see your own Doctor if you preferred?
- What would you do if management insisted on accompanying you to medical appointments?
- What would you do if management insisted and actually came into your actual examination/consultation with your Doctor?
- What would you do if management came into your actual examination/consultation and tried to get the Doctor not to give you any time off work with your injury?
- What would you do if management insisted that you get your Doctor to change a ‘total incapacity’ certificate to avoid you losing any time off work?
- What would you do if management told you that you cannot change your treating Doctor?
- What would you do if management asked you to do tasks that fell outside your medically approved rehabilitation/return to work program?
The questions listed are a small sample of issues which injured members face on a daily basis. Because workers’ compensation is a legal minefield, it is not surprising that members are contacting the union in record numbers on workers’ compensation related matters.
Last week, for example, a member rang our office and informed us that she injured herself at work some four months earlier and now wanted to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. We informed her that yes, she was still entitled to claim compensation but she would only be compensated from one month before the time she submitted the necessary paperwork. By the end of the conversation, the member acknowledged that she should have rung us earlier, learnt more about her rights and submitted the appropriate forms to her employer shortly after she suffered the injury.
This is all very daunting! Yes it is but there is no need to worry. The SDA is on your side and we have been assisting our members on workers’ compensation related matters since workers’ compensation laws were introduced into Queensland.
For the last 25 years, the SDA has employed a workers’ compensation specialist to help and guide members through the workers’ comp minefield.
Therefore, the best advice we can give to all members is very simple. If you are injured at work and you don’t know what to do, ring or email the union office as soon as possible.
We are on your side. In any case do not put your safety at risk, it is not worth it! For further information, please ring or email the union office.