Injured whilst working from a home office – What Happens Now?

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, many people are now working from home for the first time. This raises the question – what happens if I get injured while working from your home office? Will my injury still be covered under the usual WorkCover claims process?

What is a work-related injury?

‘A personal injury arising out of, or in the course of, employment if the employment is a significant contributing factor to the injury.’ If the injury falls within that definition, the employee may be covered. Once the claim is made, WorkCover will contact the employer to further claim.

This includes injuries arising when working at a home office, travelling to and from work and while on break from work. Injuries covered comprise of physical injuries, psychiatric disorders, diseases, aggravation of a pre-existing condition or death form an injury or disease.

Typically, the most common injuries that arise from working in a home office are the gradual stresses and strains caused by the frequent and prolonged use of inadequate equipment to support posture and manual labour. Further incidents can arise when a person trips or falls over cluttered walkways and up staircases. All these injuries are potentially claimable under WorkCover.

Lodging a Claim

To submit a compensation claim, you may call WorkCover Queensland, complete and submit the online claim form or fax or post the completed claim form.

If the injury is serious, the employer may need to notify Workplace Health and Safety Queensland of the incident. To notify an incident you may call WHSQ, complete and submit the online incident notification form or fax or email the completed incident notification form.

In most cases, injuries that occur within a home office will be covered by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.  According to Worksafe Queensland, injuries sustained while working from home are compensable if the injury arises out of or in the course of your employment, and the employment was a significant contributing factor that lead to you being injured.

Self-Insurance Claims

Where your employer is self-insured, their insurer will need to be notified to make a claim for workers compensation, as would be the case for an injury sustained at your usual place of employment.

If you have been injured whilst working at your home office, you should

  • Seek medical assistance and obtain a work capacity certificate;
  • Advise your employer about your injury and provide them with your work capacity certificate;
  • Lodge your claim for workers compensation with WorkCover Queensland (or contact your employer if they are self-insurers);
  • Start your rehabilitation – this could include continuing work

If you encounter any issues with these steps, or your claim is complex, please contact our client engagement team or call us on (07) 3252 0011 to book an appointment with one of our Compensation Lawyers or Employment Lawyers today.

Written by Eduardo Cruz & Ervin Hii (student placement)

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