Worker loses workers’ compensation bid

An RSPCA Tasmania employee has lost his fight for a workers’ compensation claim he filed on the date of his retirement. The employee who claimed he injured his hip and lower back by falling over an office chair has lost a workers’ compensation bid after his bosses successfully defended their case using CCTV footage.

The prosecution officer lodged his claim the same day he retired in November last year, according to a recently published Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Tribunal of Tasmania decision. The claim was supported by a medical certificate saying he had fractured his right hip or pelvis about a week earlier, which the man said happened on October 31 about 2pm.

In his claim, the employee said “I went off my chair and it went sideways”, causing him to land on the carpeted concrete floor, which “hurt a bit” but became progressively more painful throughout the night.

But RSPCA Tasmania disputed its liability to pay, claiming the injury did not arise out of or in the course of his employment, adding his co-worker didn’t see the employee falling and was not told he had had an accident or been injured.

The organisation’s finance manager obtained video footage for the date the employee claimed he had fallen. The finance manager said she found footage showing the employee was “having difficulty walking by 11.45am”.

The RSPCA’s claims that his injury wasn’t caused by falling off his chair at 2pm was backed up by a doctor who thought the employee’s symptoms seemed degenerative in nature, although he said they could have been aggravated by a fall.

“On the basis of the CCTV footage, I accept that it is arguable that the worker was experiencing right hip problems at least two hours before the time that he says he hurt himself by falling over his chair,” Commissioner Lucinda Wilkins said.

Source: The Mercury

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