My employee fell down the stairs after knee surgery...Is this an injury on duty?
Over the past few weeks, I've received numerous questions to our Health and Safety Helpdesk about injuries on duty (IOD). More specifically, when an injury becomes a reportable injury on duty.
So for today, let me share one of the questions with you and what our Health and Safety Helpdesk expert had to say in response.
Keep reading...You never know, you might be faced with the same situation.
EVERY incident and injury must be reported
No matter how big or small the incident/injury or accident is, it must be reported.
Make it every supervisor and managers responsibility. It doesn't have to be a stressful experience.
Use our Incident/Injury Report Form to make sure ALL the details are reported and recorded. It also includes an Investigation Checklist to complete with each person involved in the accident.
My employee fell down the stairs after knee surgery…Is this an IOD?
Janet wrote in because one of her employees fell down the stairs on the way to the clocking station in the building. The employee injured her ankle. But, two weeks before the accident she'd returned to work after a knee operation. Janet's company is under the impression that she fell down the stairs because of her knee operation, and the injury to her ankle shouldn't be classed as an IOD.
Janet wants to what she should do.
Read on to get the answer…
When we asked the Commissioner what he wants in an incident report, this is what he said...
Whenever you place a claim for one of your employees with COID, the Compensation Commissioner examines your incident report in extensive detail.
And I know exactly what he looks for!
He checks that every detail of the workplace incident or occupational injury has been included along with all the details of your investigation.
Miss JUST ONE point on his checklist, and he'll delay your claim. And your employee's compensation will now be your problem!
That's why you need to make sure you conduct a thorough incident investigation the first time around.
Here's the answer from our Health and Safety Helpdesk expert
As the fall and injury to her ankle happened at work, Janet has a legal duty to report the incident to the Compensation Commissioner if the employee received medical treatment. Her history of the recent knee surgery may be related to the fall. The employee would need to include details of her medical history i.e. she had knee surgery two weeks prior to the fall at work and any other relevant details about the knee surgery.
It'll then be up to the Compensation Commissioner to decide if it'll be accepted or rejected as an IOD.
By reporting the injury, Janet and the company won't be open to prosecution if the employee has further problems and alleges it was related to the fall at work.
The penalties for not reporting an IOD are high (Section 39 (8) and (9) of COID Act). Janet's company could also be held liable for the full amount of compensation if the injury was deemed to be an IOD and they didn't report the injury.
Find out more about IOD's in the Health and Safety Advisor
Find out how to report incidents in the workplace to the Compensation Commissioner in Chapter I02 of the Health and Safety Advisor
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