Slips, trips and falls are among the most common injuries suffered by workers while on the job in NSW, according to an industry body.
John Watson, general manager of the work health and safety division at WorkCover NSW, noted that for many small businesses across the state, simple safety solutions are all that may be needed to combat some of the most frequently-occurring workplace injuries.
In addition to slips and falls, other common risks faced by NSW workers include manual handling, exposure to hazardous goods and chemicals, injuries from moving objects and hazardous noise, he explained.
However, a new rebate program – which is open to small businesses and sole traders across the state – could help smaller firms get the right safety measures in place to protect their workers.
Many small businesses may have been tempted to put funding for safety upgrades on the back burner in the wake of the global financial crisis, according to Watson, but the new program could open up much-needed cashflow to make necessary improvements.
The new WorkCover Small Business Rebate Program, which was launched on March 1, will provide eligible businesses with rebates of up to $500 to make safety improvements.
To qualify for the funding, small businesses must employ 20 or fewer members of staff and attend a WorkCover safety workshop within six months of their grant application.
Watson said: “The Small Business Rebate Program will help more NSW small businesses implement safety improvements, leading to safer workplaces and reductions in injury and illness rates across the state.”
He added: “Small business owners know that a safe business is a sustainable and more competitive one.”
In New South Wales, anyone who has been injured on the job – or who has suffered an injury or accident while travelling to or from a place of work – may be eligible for workers’ compensation.
This can take a variety of forms, depending on the circumstances surrounding your incident. Compensation may be made for rehabilitation and medical expenses, for example, while other injuries may result in lump sum payments if you have experienced a permanent impairment.
Speaking to a no win no fee lawyer is a wise first move if you have been injured in the workplace, as this will help you determine which types of compensation you may be eligible for.