Can I make a slip, trip and fall claim for a workplace injury?

Published 15 Oct 2018

While they form the basis of slapstick comedy routines, slips, trips and falls are no laughing matter. In Australia, between 2003 and 2015, such incidents caused the death of 386 workers and led to 23 per cent of serious workplace compensation claims, according to Safe Work Australia.

But how do those involved in workplace falls make a claim for compensation?

Civil Liability Act 2002 versus Workers Compensation Act 1987

Determining which legislation to file a claim under can be a tricky decision, especially when comparing the Civil Liability Act 2002 and the Workers Compensation Act 1987. While both Acts offer the chance to claim damages in the event of a workplace incident, they differ in the subject of proving fault.

What is the Civil Liability Act 2002?

The Civil Liability Act 2002 applies in circumstances where negligence is alleged against a defendant. So, in the case that a slip, trip or fall occurred as a result of inadequate measures to secure safety, a claim can be made. When establishing negligence under the Act, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care and, in turn, breached it.

In all workplace scenarios, every business owner has a duty of care towards their employees. They must keep work environments safe and proactively rectify any problems that come to be.

In order for a person to claim under the Civil Liability Act 2002, they must be able to prove that an individual is at fault. This is sometimes difficult as there are rules that prevent a person from being held negligent. These include:

  • The risk was foreseeable.
  • The risk was not insignificant

Furthermore, a person will not receive damages under this Act unless they have incurred permanent impairment of at least 15 per cent of total body function.

What is the Workers Compensation Act 1987?

Under the Workers Compensation Act 1987, people with a work-related injury are entitled to claim work injury damages. Furthermore, all employees must take out compulsory workers compensation insurance. This means that regardless of whether a person becomes injured at work or off-site whilst carrying out work-related tasks, they don't need to prove negligence. This is because, like the Civil Liability Act 2002, employees must practise a duty of care at all times.

If a person becomes injured in the workplace, it is reasonably necessary that the employee pays for:

  • Any medical or related treatment.
  • Any hospital treatment.
  • Any ambulance service that is required.
  • Any workplace rehabilitation service.

A worker can receive weekly compensation to assist with their loss of earnings and rehabilitation.

With both of the aforementioned being incredibly in-depth and complex, when putting in a claim for public liability, it helps to have the experts on hand. Get in touch with the team at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers to see how we can assist you.