What to do if your employee is hurt at work
Here's an easy step-by-step guide to making the workers compensation claims process smooth with some tips from our Heads of Claims.
1. Talk to your employee
After offering first aid and medical treatment, the first thing to do is contact your employee. Asking how they are and addressing any concerns as best you can, can make them feel supported during a time when they’re feeling uncertain or apprehensive.
“As an employer or manager, you need to make sure the employee feels supported,” says Shalene Watson, Head of ACT, TAS & NT Workers Compensation Claims. “Focus on the worker and get them the appropriate treatment they need.”
“Ideally, the first response from an employer is also a personal one, because this typically leads to the best possible financial and recovery outcomes for all,” adds Toni Strutt, Head of WA Workers Compensation Claims.
“QBE has a reputation for treating people like human beings – not a number. This is how we build trust and give people back some sense of security in their time of need.”
2. Tell us about the injury
The immediate next step for an employer after you’ve spoken to the injured worker and they are safe, is to talk to QBE and your broker,” says Watson.
“You may also need to consider an internal review of how the accident happened to make sure it doesn’t happen again. There may also be requirements to notify your local Safe Work/Work Safe organisation.”
Safe Work Australia defines a notifiable incident as any incident 'arising out of the conduct of a business or undertaking at a workplace' such as:
- the death of a person
- a serious injury or illness, or
- a dangerous incident.
After speaking with your broker or QBE, complete a claim form, or notification form (these are available on our Workers Compensation claim state-by-state page) and send this to us. This needs to be submitted to QBE within a certain time period based on the state or territory you are in (see Step 4).
“If you have completed an incident report in house, you can submit that as well,” says Watson. “It helps us understand what happened.”
3. Talk to the worker about formalising their claim
“It is important for employers to understand the difference between a notification of injury and a duly made claim,” says Watson. “The notification of injury is where the employer or the injured worker reports an injury in the workplace. However, it is not until a duly made claim is submitted that an insurer can pay on the claim."
“It is up to the injured worker to decide whether a duly made claim is to be lodged,” says Watson. “If they do choose to make a claim, they’ll need to submit a worker’s report of injury – also known as an employee claim form - and a medical certificate from their doctor.”
“There’s also an QBE employer’s claim form. This claim form is not legislative, but it helps us with the details,” adds Strutt.
An employer also needs to submit an employee’s payslips as part of the paperwork so QBE can calculate the injured worker’s average weekly earnings and can pay the person correctly.
The claims process varies state to state – for details on making a Workers Compensation claim with QBE, select your state from our Workers Compensation claim state-by-state section.
4. Know your obligations
Each state and territory have different legislation around workers compensation.
It’s important you find out what is required in your state or talk to your QBE Case Manager.
You need to be aware of the timeframes or notification and the lodgement of a duly made claim, as well as legislation around provisional liability.
Provisional liability is an interim decision on liability. It allows an insurer to start payments of medical expenses or weekly benefits to an injured employee while the claim is investigated and before a decision on actual liability is made.
“Under provisional liability, once the claim is duly made the employer needs to continue to pay the injured worker on receipt of a medical certificate,” says Watson. “If we deny the claim, we would still pay the provisional liability back to the employer.”
Can a broker help?
“The broker can be really important for the employer,” says Ryan Job, Key Accounts Manager, Workers Compensation. “As a trusted advisor, they can help the employer through the process and help to avoid delays.”