Can there possibly be more legal protection for Gold Coast workers who are injured at work? If a new Bill passes, this may be the case.
Let a Gold Coast Personal Injury Lawyer fill you in on the details.
The Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 has been proposed on 15 July 2015 to amend workers compensation law to benefit injured workers.
Under this proposed change, workers’ compensation claims arising after 31 January 2015 will no longer be subject to the over 5% WPI threshold required for an injured worker to pursue a claim against a negligent employer.
The Bill also aims to:
- Provide greater certainty of entitlement and accessibility to compensation for firefighters by introducing deemed disease provisions for firefighters with prescribed diseases;
- Prohibit prospective employers from continuing to access an individuals’ claims history; and
- Other minor miscellaneous amendments to improve the day-to-day operation of Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme.
What Does This Change Mean for Injured Gold Coast Workers?
Taking out the threshold will allow injured workers who have been stuck between 1-5% WPI to get access to common law compensation against a negligent employer.
For example, a Gold Coast employer negligently fails to provide a safety protocol and results in an injury to a heavy factory worker. The accident causes a soft tissue injury that requires extensive surgery and the worker will no longer be able to continue to lift heavy loads as required by his job. He loses his job, cannot provide for his family, and suffers ongoing pain from his injuries.
However, his injury is only assessed as a 2% WPI so he cannot pursue a claim against his employer for lost future wages, future medical and rehabilitation costs and general damages such as pain and suffering.
Is this fair for the Gold Coast worker?
Protecting Our Queensland Firefighters
The bill also provides more coverage for Queensland firefighters by introducing provisions for current and former firefighters who are diagnosed with one of the Schedule 4A cancers on or after 15 July 2015:
|Column 1||Column 2|
|Disease||Minimum Number of Years|
|primary site brain cancer||5 years|
|primary site bladder cancer||15 years|
|primary site kidney cancer||15 years|
|primary non-Hodgkins lymphoma||15 years|
|primary leukaemia||5 years|
|Primary site breast cancer||10 years|
|Primary site testicular cancer||10 years|
|Multiple Myeloma||15 years|
|Primary site prostate cancer||15 years|
|Primary site ureter cancer||15 years|
|Primary site colorectal cancer||15 years|
|Primary site oesophageal cancer||25 years|
Developing these cancers will be considered a work related disease for firefighters if they meet the qualifying period of active firefighting service. This applies to all active permanent & auxiliary firefighters.
Rural fire brigade members & volunteers may be covered as well and will be considered to be active firefighting after attending at least 150 exposure incidents. Volunteers will be subject to the same entitlements and access to common law damages as permanent and auxiliary firefighters.
An Injured Workers Privacy
This bill also protects workers’ privacy by restricting access of an injured worker’s claim history from prospective employers to not only protect privacy, but also prevent this information from prejudicing a worker’s future career prospects.
A Step Forward For Gold Coast Worker Rights
If this Bill passes, it will be a great leap forward in protecting the legal rights of Australians in Queensland by:
- Providing workers with much needed access to justice.
- Continuing to hold employers accountable for protecting the safety of their workers in the workplace.
However, until it does, a worker’s legal rights may still be in jeopardy.
Can You Protect Your Workplace Legal Rights?
It is important that you speak to a personal injury lawyer who is also an accredited specialist in personal injury.
Under the current Queensland law, if your injury falls under the 5% WPI threshold, you CANNOT make a negligence claim against your employer.
But is there any other avenue of protection available for you?
You may have the option to have your injury reassessed. However, this can be a difficult and expensive process.
It is highly recommended that you get legal advice before you take any legal actions into consideration.
Speak to one of East Coast Injury Lawyers’ accredited specialists in personal injury today!
All you have to do is fill out our free, no obligation case form and we will contact you as soon as possible to inform you of your initial legal rights. This is an invaluable service that can help protect your personal injury claim or prevent yourself from pursuing a claim that may not be successful.
Do not trust other ‘legal professionals’ who make a quick analysis of your injury without taking into consideration all of the relevant facts.
Contact East Coast Injury Lawyers today through our case form or by calling us at 1300 720 544.