Published: 02 May 2017
Author: Stringer Clark

Too many workplace injuries in Colac and regional Victoria

In 2016, Colac Otway Shire residents were significantly impacted by workplace injuries. The statistics from WorkSafe speak for themselves.

Colac workplace injuries

  • 117 reports of workplace injuries or 5.8 cases for every 1000 people
  • 26 per cent of injuries were in the manufacturing industry
  • 20 per cent were in the health care and social assistance sector
  • 32 per cent of the injuries were due to body stressing
  • 24 per cent were due to being hit with a moving object, and
  • 15 per cent were due to falls, slips or trips.

Victoria workplace injuries

  • There were 25,861 workplace injuries within Victoria in 2016.
  • Almost 7000 workers in regional Victoria were injured seriously enough last year to make a claim, which equates to more than 18 injuries every day. Health care and social assistance (1267 claims), manufacturing (1039) and construction (837) were the industry sectors with the highest number of claims.
  • The main types of injury were musculoskeletal (2136 claims), muscle or tendon injuries (1336) and lacerations or amputations (959), while the main causes of injury were poor manual handling (2386), slips, trips and falls (1547) and being hit by a moving object (1128).

Workers need to be aware of their rights

At Stringer Clark we intricately understand the law and the technical details required to navigate a workplace safety case.

We encourage all 117 Colac workers impacted by injury in 2016 to seek legal advice, as it’s important they are aware of their entitlements including lump sum compensation if they have suffered a permanent injury at work.

For example, many of our clients are surprised to learn that they:

  • Can claim travel expenses to attend for medical treatment;
  • Can claim reimbursement for prescription medication required due to their workplace injury; and
  • May have an entitlement to lump sum compensation even if they are able to return to work.

What families need to know about work safety

Sadly, in 2016, 26 people lost their lives at work and 18 of these fatalities were in regional Victoria.

For the families of the people who lost their life at work, it is recommended that they seek legal advice to assist them with funeral expenses and to obtain lump sum compensation. We help navigate through the claim process at a time when attending to paperwork is often extremely daunting and when clients need to focus on other matters.

Professional local legal counsel can be life changing

We recently assisted a client in relation to a WorkCover injury, which unfortunately did not meet the threshold required to obtain a lump sum. However, their condition was such that they were unable to work, and we were able to obtain a total and permanent disablement lump sum from their superfund in addition to receiving weekly payments of compensation from WorkCover.

This client was extremely pleased, as they had not considered accessing their Total and Permanent Disablement insurance. It is satisfying work to help someone have financial peace of mind during a time when they are facing a myriad other challenges caused by the injury

Many of our clients need to travel to Geelong and Melbourne for medical appointments and its great to be able to provide them with legal advice close to home and to remove an additional burden of another trip down the highway.

Prevention is the best outcome

WorkSafe is calling on all regional businesses and workers to prioritise safety to help drive down the number of workplace deaths and injuries across Victoria.1

Stringer Clark urge all local businesses and industries to work with WorkSafe to create a safe working environment as no job is worth risking people’s lives.

While we take pride in obtaining the best possible outcome for our clients we acknowledge that no amount of compensation can truly compensate for the pain and suffering caused by having a permanent injury, and the effect this has on the worker and their family.

External links

1. Country Victorians asked to prioritise safety


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