Workplace injury, the elephant on the worksite

Workplace safety is not a topic often raised in typical worksite banter, but with huge numbers of Australian men suffering from workplace illness and injury each year, perhaps it should be.

In the 2017–18 period, a staggering 306,800 men suffered a workplace injury or illness in Australia, with labourers and machinery operators the most likely to suffer.

By definition, a workplace related injury or illness is caused or aggravated by events or exposures in the work environment. It must occur on the job and as a direct result of the employee undertaking tasks required to do that particular job or travelling to and from work.

Of the 563,600 persons who experienced a work-related injury in the last 12 months, just over half (53%) received some sort of financial assistance. This is a statistic Felix Blumer, Director at Blumers Lawyers, believes can be improved.

"53% of people receiving financial assistance is a good start, however, I believe that this can be increased with more understanding around what constitutes a workplace related injury or illness and with more men coming forward to report their workplace injuries.” he says.

The statistics also suggest that men in particular, are suffering in silence.

"Men are more likely to be injured at work than women, but men are also less likely to seek compensation.” says Blumer.

For men, labourers, machinery operators and drivers, and social and community workers are the most likely to suffer injury or illness in the workplace. The most common injuries reported include pulling, pushing, lifting or bending, with the two next most common being hitting or being hit by an object and then slips and falls.

So, despite being more likely to suffer from workplace injury and illness, why are men less likely to claim for workers compensation?

Blumer believes there are two factors at play, a lack of education around what a workplace injury or illness is, as well as an Australian cultural norm of not reporting or complaining about an illness or injury.

"I believe it is a combination of men not knowing what qualifies as a workplace injury or illness and the nature of the Australian culture of a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude.” he says.

With the median compensation amount for serious workplace illness or injury sitting at $12,400, it’s worth having the conversation with an experienced lawyer to discuss your options, especially as many claims in the ACT far exceed this amount.

 

Contact Blumers Personal Injury Lawyers today for a no obligation and no cost initial consult. https://blumers.com.au/

Stats sources: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/book/work-related-injury-and-disease-key-whs-statistics-australia-2018

 

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