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Investigation into WorkSafe following a rise in complaints

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Victorian Ombudsman is investigating WorkSafe following a rise in complaints about WorkSafe and its Agents to 370 in the 2014/15 financial year. According to the Ombudsman, the most common complaints are about claims decisions and procedures and a failure to consider evidence. The Ombudsman will investigate whether claims have been rejected or entitlements for injured workers terminated because of financial incentives offered by WorkSafe. Independant medical examintions performed at the request of the WorkSafe Agents will also be looked at. The investigation also comes after the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service Annual Reports show that the number of Conciliation requests rose from 5.2 per cent to 13.6 per cent in the last 2 financial years.
 

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Giving Legal Advice at the Carrum Downs Plaza

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

We gave WorkCover advice, TAC claims advice and advice about negligence actions at the Carrum Downs Plaza in October and November 2015.  

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Updated Workplace Mental Health Teaching Materials available at Beyond Blue

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Beyond Blue has reported that this week it will start using new teaching materials for the National Workplace Program to help workers at every level understand how to promote good mental health in their workplace. There are tailored sessions for leaders, managers, employees and HR professionals. Check it out at:

https://www.headsup.org.au/training-and-resources/educational-programs/beyondblue-resources


 

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Frankston Council online Transport Safety Strategy Survey

Monday, October 05, 2015

Frankston Council is currently conducting an online Transport Safety Strategy Survey.  According to the Frankston Council, the Survey will help inform the Frankston Council Transport Safety Strategy which identifies local transport projects and road safety priorities.  The Survey closes on 9 October 2015. You can participate in the survey at:

http://www.frankston.vic.gov.au/haveyoursay


 

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We are located in a booming industrial precinct - Carrum Downs

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Companies in the Carrum Downs and Seaford industrial precinct pump almost 3 billion into the economy every year and employ almost 6000 people acccording to a report this week in the Frankston Standard Leader and the Herald Sun. According to the Frankston Mayor, Sandra Mayer, the precinct's job figures grew 27 per cent between 2006 and 2011. Further, the precincts contribute 30 per cent of Frankston's entire gross domestic product and were the largest drivers of revenue in Frankston city. According to Cr Mayer, "of the jobs generated, 384 were in manufacturing, which went against the state and national trend of a decline in this industry." 

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Teacher’s damages award for psychological injury confirmed

Thursday, September 17, 2015

In a recent Victorian case, it was confirmed that an employer was negligent for failing to counsel and mediate when it knew that a fraught relationship between employees was causing a deterioration in the psychological condition of one of them.

A trades teacher employed by the Box Hill TAFE, brought a case in the Supreme Court claiming damages for a psychological injury brought about by the treatment he received from a supervisor, over time and in twelve separate incidents. The teacher suffered from depression. Medical certificates of capacity given to the Box Hill TAFE by the teacher, made it clear that his psychological condition was deteriorating as a result of his relationship with his supervisor.The supervisor did not know that the teacher was suffering a Psychological condition that was at risk of deteriorating as a result of the relationship between the two. After the final, twelfth incident, which involved the supervisor having ‘blasted’ the teacher, the teacher was unable to work, and his lifestyle and enjoyment of past times were significantly affected.

In the Supreme Court decision handed down in December 2014, Justice Jack Forrest dismissed the teacher’s claim that he had been constantly bullied and harassed over a period of time and also found that he was a “totally unreliable and unsatisfactory witness."

However, Justice Forrest went on to find that the Box Hill TAFE should have taken action to prevent the teacher’s condition from deteriorating as a result of the final, twelfth incident, by giving the supervisor information about the teacher’s condition, and by counselling both and conducting a mediation. Failure to intervene in this way, the court held, was negligent and the teacher was entitled to damages for the pain and suffering he had experienced and for loss of earnings occasioned by not being able to work. For his psychological injuries the Court awarded $110,000 in pain and suffering damages and $122,000 for loss of earnings. The teacher also claimed damages for spinal injuries and was awarded $125,000.

The Court of Appeal upheld the original Supreme Court decision and the decision, handed down on 10 September can be found at:http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VSCA/2015/245.html

If you would like to discuss this decision or if you would like to know whether an employer may have negligently caused a psychological injury in a particular set of circumstances please contact Penny on 97751371 or by email: penny@peninsulainjurylawyers.com.au

 

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Launch of workplace mental health training package for union delegates

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Headsup has released a free training package for union delegates to help them recognise the signs and symptoms of a mental health condition and deliver information to workers about anxiety and depression and the workplace. The package also provides information about how the delegate can take action to support a worker.

There is a separate package for trade unions, professional services unions and service industry unions. Included in the package is an educator’s guide, a delegate’s handbook and a power point presentation. These can be downloaded from www.headsup.org.au/toolboxtalkunions. A resource pack is also available for training sessions and can be ordered from the Headsup website www.headsup.org.au

The package was piloted by the Forests Products Division of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU)

 

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Mayor's Picnic, Cruden Farm 13 September

Monday, September 14, 2015

 

It was great to participate in the Mayor's picnic at Cruden Farm, Langwarrin, on Sunday. The weather was perfect.

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641 new Mesothelioma cases notified in 2014 - Australian Mesothelioma Registry Report released 31 August 2015

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

The Australian Mesothelioma Registry reported on 31 August 2015 that as at 31 May 2015 the Registry had received 641 notifications of people newly diagnosed with Mesothelioma between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2014. Of those newly diagnosed notifications, the overwhelming majority, 518, were males and 128 were females. Further, 85% were aged 65 years or over at the time of diagnoses. 

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Common law damages awarded for scarring

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

It is possible to sue and recover common law damages for scarring in both work injury and transport accident cases if the scarring is a serious injury, caused by the negligence of another. The definition of 'serious injury' under both workplace compensation and transport accident legislation includes 'a permanent serious disfigurement'. 
 

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