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If you are employed on a farm, that farm is your workplace and you're covered for injury compensation under WorkCover.
Farms are one of the most dangerous workplaces in Victoria, accounting for about one third of injuries in Victoria.
The misuse of tractors, quad bikes, chain and bench saws, harvesters, generators and earth-moving equipment are all typical causes of these deaths and injuries.
Farm managers have a responsibility to train their workers thoroughly in the use of all farming equipment and operating procedures, and to keep equipment in good repair. Employers must all make sure employees wear and use the right protective equipment. It's not enough to simply issue a manual. Training requires that the procedures be explained and adhered to.
Of course, in order to claim compensation under WorkCover for your injury, you must be an employee or member of staff.
If you've been injured and are unsure about whether or not you may be covered and have a claim to compensation, please contact an injury lawyer in one of our local offices.
All injuries, accidents and incidents that occur in the workplace should be recorded and, in some cases, also immediately reported to WorkCover.
These records should be part of a farm's health and safety risk management procedure.
Injuries, accidents and incidents can be recorded on an Accident and Incident Register. Near misses should also be recorded. Use the hazard/near-miss report template to record these.
Everyone on the farm should have access to these documents, know where they are kept and how and when to fill them in.
Don't hide an injury, or delay in reporting it.
Tell your manager or supervisor. Your employer is required by law to keep a Register of Injuries. Make sure your injury is recorded.
Lodge a WorkCover claim form immediately. Your employer must give you a claim form on request. Fill out your injury details. Your manger or supervisor must then fill out and sign a portion of the claim form and send it to their Insurer.
Make an appointment to see your own doctor for treatment as soon as possible. It is important it is your doctor, because they know you and will put your interests first. You are entitled to be treated by the doctor of your choice.
It always pays to get legal advice. We are injury experts. Our first appointment is free. Come and see us, even if you simply wish to check you've followed the right steps, or you need advice on what medical expenses you may claim.
John Cramp is a Partner of the firm and leads a team of experienced lawyers and consultants to whom Stringer Clark and its clients have access.
If you'd like to make an enquiry about a legal matter, talk about a career at Stringer Clark, or perhaps have a suggestion on how we can improve our service or even our website, we'd like to hear from you.
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