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Worker’s Compensation Reforms Seriously Needed

Victims of occupational accidents should be able to claim worker’s compensation through an effective system of assurances and protections. The current system is supposed to be a safety net to prevent disastrous consequences of becoming injured at work, however, the current Australian worker’s compensation system has been criticised as unsafe for not providing effective assurance or protections for victims of workplace accidents.

Decisions made in the current compensation system have been unjust, unreasonable, wrong, immoral and unethical. Insurers and consultants have not been providing adequate protection recently. One recent victim of the insurance industry was injured by a six-to-seven tonne excavator on a work site. He received an initial payout from his worker’s compensation scheme, but the payout ceased quickly for no observable reason. In this case, policy has been criticised as simpering to economic incentives for this injured worker to return to work. The injured person was significantly impaired following his injury, however, and was unable to return to work. The case went to court, and the injury party was able to receive worker’s compensation once again after the initial decision was overturned. 

Despite the conclusion of this individual case, the original decision to cancel the worker’s compensation was strongly rebuked by decision-makers in the situation. The insurer was heavily criticised for being unjust, unreasonable and wrong.

$687,000 was stripped from another victim of worker’s compensation negligence which resulted in her emotional state becoming very vulnerable and anxious. The insurance company, in this case, received an independent medical report to sustain a decision to refuse remuneration which should have been received as workers compensation. The wrongful behaviour of the insurance company was terminated by a medical panel who deemed the victim unable to return to work and deserving of a lump sum payout.

Internal stakeholders in the insurance sector have said that decisions made by insurance companies have ruined people professionally, financially and socially. This was in the context of yet another victim of workers compensation payout cessation. In this case, the patient was injured at work performing routine responsibilities. The patient suffered pain down his arm, down his torso, down his leg as well as mental health problems and was cut from the workers comp payout account without any warning. However, the worker was indeed awarded his compensation after taking the matter to tribunal.

According to other insurance industry stakeholders, not much has changed in recent times. Insurance companies have often internal policies which are inconsistent and lead to victims of trauma, injury and disabling accident suffering more than they already have when payments are ceased. In the wake of this, the New South Wales Government has recently reformed insurance claim bureaucracy to make applying for a payout far easier and more transparent. Professional medical opinion will be used to determine the outcome of workers compensation payout claims rather than discontinuous internal policy. This is a positive step forward for New South Wales and promises the outcome of greater responsibility on the part of insurers.