Physical assaults on City of Sydney parking rangers have resulted in $1.5 million worth of compensation payouts due to injuries suffered between 2011 and 2014.
Forty-five per cent of the injuries compensation was awarded across four specific incidents, with the most serious case resulting in the victim receiving $260,000.
According to the Wentworth Courier, the ranger was accosted in the process of handing out tickets, while another successfully claimed $130,000 after a similar attack.
The remaining two rangers received $160,000 and $117,000 because of injuries related to trips. In these cases, the individuals may also have been eligible to make a public liability claim.
City of Sydney council will now provide rangers with chest-mounted video cameras in an effort to prevent attacks from the general public. Lord Mayor Clover Moore said rangers faced 200 verbal attacks and 67 physical assaults over the last five years.
“Our rangers are mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, so we will not compromise on their safety,” she explained.
“We believe the use of cameras will take some of the danger and stress out of their job.”
The camera scheme is undergoing a three-month test run, which, if successful, will be rolled out to the city’s 160 rangers.
Could cameras prevent TPDs?
Particularly serious injuries can result in partial or permanent disabilities, meaning employees may not be able to return to the workplace or are forced into less labour-intensive roles.
Total and permanent disability claims (TPD) can help individuals receive a lump sum payment in such instances.
Nevertheless, one ranger who suffered significant injuries while on the job recently welcomed the City of Sydney council’s efforts to make the role safer.
Mahmud Swalah-McDahrou was attacked in 2009, resulting in a bite mark on his face and a broken leg. Despite a number of operations, he is now only able to work a couple of days a week in a desk job.
“The cameras will hopefully stop people from losing their temper and getting aggressive. If they prevent physical and verbal violence towards my colleagues, they are a good thing,” he stated.
A 2009 United Services Union survey revealed an increasing number of rangers believe incidents of violence and aggression are on the rise. This may include abuse, assault, threats and intimidation.
NSW Police recently trialled a similar chest-mounted camera scheme, with the force claiming it was a success and had a positive effect on the officers and the public.