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May 11, 2024 • 9 min read

Employer Obligations When a Work Injury Happens

Learn employer responsibilities and compliance steps when a work injury occurs to support injured employees effectively.

Written by: Stephen Zeng

Workplace safety is a top priority for employers, but accidents can still happen despite best efforts. When a work-related injury occurs, it’s crucial for employers to understand their obligations to ensure the well-being of their employees and comply with legal requirements.

From immediate reporting to Safework NSW to notifying the insurer and assisting workers with the claims process, navigating these obligations is essential for maintaining a safe and supportive work environment. In this guide, we’ll delve into the key steps employers need to take when a work injury happens, outlining each obligation and its significance in ensuring timely support and compliance with regulations.

1. Immediate Reporting for Serious Injuries

As an employer, one of your primary obligations when a work injury occurs is to ensure immediate reporting to Safework NSW. This is particularly crucial if the injury is deemed “serious”, “dangerous”, or if it results in a fatality. You must report such incidents promptly by calling 13 10 50. This immediate action is essential as it allows for an urgent investigation and ensures the preservation of the incident site until an inspector arrives.

2. Importance of Documenting Employee Injuries

Regardless of whether a workers’ compensation claim is made, it is mandatory for employers to record the injury in their register of injuries. This register serves as a comprehensive record of workplace injuries and is vital for monitoring trends, identifying hazards, and implementing preventive measures.

3. Notifying Workers’ Comp Insurer

Within 48 hours of becoming aware of the injury, employers are required to notify their workers’ compensation insurer. This initial notification, known as the “initial notification”, helps with initiating the claims process. As the notifier, you must provide detailed information such as the date, time, and description of the injury, as well as your business’s and the worker’s contact details.

4. Providing Information to the Insurer

When notifying the insurer, certain key pieces of information must be provided, including the worker’s name and contact details, the employer’s business name and contact details, treating doctor’s information (if applicable), and a thorough description of the injury and how it occurred.It’s important to make sure the information is accurate and complete to help the claims process go smoothly.

5. Alternate Notifiers and Assistance for Workers

In cases where the employer fails to notify Safework NSW or the insurer, or refuses to provide necessary information, workers have the option to seek assistance from alternate notifiers. Representatives such as doctors or union representatives can act as alternate notifiers, and workers can contact the Information and Assistance Unit (IRO) on 13 94 76 for support.

6. Time Limits for Claiming

“By adhering to these obligations, you not only meet legal requirements but also demonstrate your commitment to the safety and well-being of your employees.  “

Workers typically have a maximum of six months from the date of injury (or death) to submit a claim for workers’ compensation. However, there are exceptions to this time limit, such as circumstances involving absence from the state or honest mistakes. Additionally, special arrangements exist for cases where injuries are discovered long after the incident. Understanding these time limits and the claiming process is crucial for both employers and workers to ensure compliance with legal requirements and facilitate a smooth claims process.

Source: Report an Injury

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*The details in this article were correct and current when it was written. However, changes in business practices, policies, and other pertinent areas may have occurred since then. Readers should confirm the current validity of the content on their own.

Stephen Zeng
Stephen is the director and the principal writer at AusRehab, leading workplace rehabilitation provider, with a focus on addressing and resolving workplace injuries.

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