Gary’s Safety Tips
G’day everyone, it’s Gary here, and today I want to talk about a topic that affects many of us in the workplace: compensation for injuries caused by a lack of adherence to Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS).
Let’s be real, accidents happen, but that doesn’t mean we should accept them as the norm. One of the main reasons for workplace injuries is a failure to follow the SWMS. This can occur due to a lack of training, a disregard for safety protocols, or a failure to provide adequate resources to enable workers to adhere to the SWMS.
When an injury occurs due to a lack of adherence to the SWMS, the injured worker has the right to seek compensation. In Australia, the workers’ compensation system provides a safety net for workers who are injured on the job. Workers’ compensation covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses incurred as a result of the injury.
However, workers’ compensation is not always enough, especially when the injury is severe and life-changing. In such cases, the injured worker may be entitled to additional compensation, which can be sought through a common law claim.
A common law claim allows the injured worker to seek compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of future earnings. This type of claim is usually pursued when the injury is severe and has long-term consequences, such as permanent disability.
To be successful in a common law claim, the injured worker must prove that their employer breached their duty of care. This means showing that the employer failed to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their workers, such as providing adequate training, resources, and equipment.
It’s essential to note that pursuing a common law claim is a complex process that requires the expertise of a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can assess the strength of the claim, gather evidence, and negotiate with the employer’s insurance company to reach a fair settlement.
Now, let’s talk about the employer’s responsibilities. Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, employers have a duty of care to ensure the safety of their workers. This duty includes developing and implementing SWMS that are appropriate for the nature of the work.
Employers must ensure that their workers are adequately trained in the SWMS and have access to the resources and equipment necessary to implement the SWMS. They must also monitor compliance with the SWMS and take corrective action when necessary.
If an employer fails to meet their duty of care and a worker is injured as a result, the employer can be held liable. This liability can result in hefty fines, legal fees, and compensation payouts.
But let’s be clear, the goal is not to punish employers. The goal is to ensure that workers are safe and protected. By providing a safe workplace, employers can avoid the physical, emotional, and financial costs of workplace injuries. They can also foster a positive workplace culture that values safety and respect for workers.
In conclusion, injuries caused by a lack of adherence to SWMS can be devastating, but workers have the right to seek compensation. Workers’ compensation is available to cover medical expenses and lost wages, but in severe cases, additional compensation can be sought through a common law claim.
Employers have a duty of care to ensure the safety of their workers, including developing and implementing appropriate SWMS, providing adequate training and resources, monitoring compliance, and taking corrective action when necessary. By meeting this duty, employers can avoid liability and create a safer and more positive workplace culture.
Remember, safety is everyone’s responsibility, and we must all work together to create a workplace that values and protects workers. If you’ve been injured at work due to a lack of adherence to SWMS, don’t hesitate to seek legal advice and pursue the compensation you deserve.