Workplace Injuries and Illness – Are you aware of your obligations?
If you employ works in NSW, there are various legal requirements you need to be ware of and comply with in terms managing any injuries and illness that could arise in your business. The following provides a snapshot of some of these requirements.
Workers Compensation insurance
If you have employees or engage contractors who could be deemed as workers, you must take out and maintain insurance to cover those people in the event they sustain an injury or illness in the course of work (unless an exemption applies).
Return to work program
Employers must have a return to work program to assist when an ill or injured workers is able to return to work. A return to work program is a formal policy that sets out an employer’s commitment to assist injured workers remain at work or return safely to work as soon as possible following a workplace injury or illness. A return to work program must be developed in consultation with workers within 12 months of becoming an employers. It must be readily accessible to workers. Penalties apply for failing to establish a program and for failing to display or notify workers of the program.
Notification of workplace injuries or incidents
When injuries and incidents occur, there is either an obligation to notify within in 48 hours either to Safe Work NSW (if it is a notifiable incident) or to your insurer. Where there is fatality, serious injury or illness of a person (including injuries such as head injuries, serious eye injuries, amputation of a limb, serious burns and injuries or illness resulting in hospital admission), or dangerous incident (such as gas or chemical leaks, collapse of structures and electric shock) Safe Work must be notified immediately so that investigations can commence. You must notify your insurer of any injuries or illnesses that are not a notifiable incident.
Maintain a register of injuries
If an injury occurs and workers compensation claim will (or could) be made workers compensation laws require that a register of injuries be kept which records the following details:
- The name of the injured worker
- The worker’s address
- The worker’s age at the time of the injury
- The worker’s occupation at the time of the injury
- The industry in which the workers was engaged at the time of the injury
- The time and date of injury
- The nature of the injury
- The cause of the injury
The register may be in writing or kept electronically. Penalties apply for failing to keep a register of injuries.
If you have a query regarding your workers compensation obligations and require assistance, please contact one of our payroll experts on (02) 9223 9166 to discuss. Alternatively, you can submit an online enquiry form.