Many small business owners are aware of their responsibilities with workers compensation, however what happens when the injury occurs outside of the workplace? Here are some things to keep in mind if an employee injures themselves but still wants to work.
  • As an employer, you must take reasonable measures to ensure that the injury will not be exacerbated by any tasks the person will be completing.
  • Gain as much information as you can about the injury and the types of work that is appropriate for it, e.g. if your employee has injured their back, are they able to sit or stand for long periods of time? Can they continue to lift objects? If so, what weight limit should you enforce?
  • A health care professional may have to visit your workplace to ensure they give the correct advice as to what work the employee is able to handle with their injury.
  • Once you have the relevant information about the injury, work out the kinds of tasks your employee can continue to do and discuss with them how they will complete these tasks.
  • Have a plan in mind about who can help cover the employee’s workload while they are unable to do certain things. Having a colleague take over smaller parts of their work may help your employee focus on the main aspects of their work and ultimately recover quicker.
  • Speak to your employee about who needs to know what information regarding their injury. Some employees may not want anyone to know why they needed time off work or a reduced work load, especially if it is a mental health issue.

Be clear and open with any injured employees to ensure they understand how you are there to help. Offering reduced workloads or time off work to help recover will not only benefit the employee, but will help them get back to work faster. Forcing employees to work when they are unable to can cause much more harm than good, especially due to decreased productivity and a higher chance mistakes will be made.

For more information about handling injuries that have occurred outside of the workplace, contact us on (08) 9316 9896 or

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