Making a workers compensation claim: a guide for manufacturing employers

Did you know that on average for every thousand employees in the manufacturing industry, 37 have put a workers insurance claim within a 12-month period?

As an employer you have the responsibility to arrange workers insurance for your employees in NSW (It’s compulsory for all employers in NSW, unless you are considered an ‘exempt employer’). When it comes to making a workers insurance claim there are some step you must take to ensure the process goes smoothly for you and your injured worker.

Here’s a breakdown of what to do and what to expect when your employee is injured.

Step 1: Notify us of an injury

After you’ve provided the necessary first aid to your injured team member, your worker, you or a representative for either you or your worker must notify us (or your insurer) electronically, in writing or by telephone within 48 hours.

If you don't report a work-related injury within five days of becoming aware of the injury, you may be required to pay a 'claims excess payment', which is equivalent to one week of the worker's weekly payments.

Once reported, you will receive an injury notification number (sometimes referred to as a claim number).

To notify us of an injury you can:

If it is a notifiable incident you must also contact SafeWork NSW immediately on 13 10 50.

What is a notifiable incident?

A ‘notifiable incident’ under the work health and safety legislation is when:

  • a person dies
  • a person has serious injury or illness
  • a potentially dangerous incident occurs.

Significant penalties apply if you fail to notify SafeWork NSW of an incident. For more information on notifiable incidents, visit SafeWork NSW.

What you’ll need to notify us of an injury

The more information you provide to us about the injury or illness, the sooner we can get the right level of support for you and your injured team member.

Here is the information you need to provide:

  • the worker’s name, address, contact telephone number
  • name and address of your company
  • name of the treating doctor and contact telephone number or name of the hospital (this is it is desirable to help the claim progress faster)
  • date and time of the injury and description of the injury and details of how it happened
  • name and contact details of the person making the notification and their relationship to the worker
  • date when the worker stopped work
  • if the worker had time off work, and if medical treatment was required

We've also provided a list of optional information you may provide if available:

Notify us of an injury or make a claim

Step 2: Document the injury

Even if an injury doesn’t result in a workers compensation claim, you need to keep a record of what happened. This is called a register of injuries. The register of injuries must be kept in writing or on a computer and be readily-accessible in the workplace. It’s also best practice to record ‘near misses’ as a means of injury prevention.

Here are some things you need to record:

  • how the injury/illness occurred
  • when the injury/illness occurred
  • who was involved — was there more than one person?
  • description of the injury/illness
  • a record of each notifiable incident must also be kept.

SafeWork NSW provide a Register of injuries / illness Template to help you with this. It's important you maintain your register of injuries, as penalties apply if you don’t.

    Further information about injury notification

  • How long does it take to complete the online injury notification form?

    The time it takes to complete our online form will depend on the injured person’s circumstances, and the amount of information you need to provide.

    Generally speaking, a simple injury notification will take around 10 minutes. If you have a lot of information to provide, including documents to upload, please allow around 20-30 minutes to complete the process.

    You have a maximum of two hours to complete the form, after which, the session will time out and your information will be submitted.

    If you’re short on time, you can notify us online that an injury has occurred, and continue to provide us with information by phone later.

  • What happens after I submit the form?

    Please note that notifying us of an injury does not automatically confirm liability, however, once you submit the form, we’ll have enough information to provide provisional support while liability is being determined.

    Provisional support may entitle the injured person to weekly compensation payments for up to 12 weeks, as well as medical treatment of up to $7500 in total.

    If there are services the injured person may need whilst liability is being determined and you’re unsure if pre-approval is required, please don’t hesitate to contact us for further information.  

  • Update an existing notification or claim a reimbursement online

    If you’ve already notified us of an injury and have an injury notification number or claim number, you can update us online by providing additional documents.

    If you have an existing claim with another agent (eg. Allianz or GIO), please continue to provide updates to them.

    Update an existing notification or claim a reimbursement

  • Who will see the information I provide online?

    Information provided through the injury notification form is covered by the icare privacy statement.

    Once you submit the form, your information will be sent to us. We’ll send an email receipt to the nominated email addresses.

  • Timeframes for assessing the information you provide

    Within three business days of reporting an injury, we'll have reviewed the information provided, and will call the injured person and the employer, as required, to find out more about the injured person’s progress, the injury, or if possible, provide an outcome on any information that’s been given.

    Within seven days a full assessment will have occurred. In most cases, liability will have been determined and the injured person will receive confirmation of the level of support available relative to the assessment. We'll contact the injured person and employer at this time.

Step 3: What to do following an injury

Following an injury, there are certain things you can do to support the injured person through their injury and recovery at work.

    What you can do

  • Keep in touch

    Staying in close contact with an injured worker can be mutually beneficial for both parties.

    Keeping them in the loop with what’s happening at work may help them stay connected and reduce the risk of isolation and other side effects of being unable to work.

    Staying informed of their recovery can also help your business more effectively plan for their return to work.

    It’s important to reassure the injured person that they are missed and that you are there to support their recovery.

    If it’s appropriate, encourage their team members to phone, email, visit or text. Positive and considerate contact can help people recover and get back to work more quickly.

  • Address and resolve any issues

    Recovery can be influenced by other issues within the workplace (such as conflict with a co-worker) or at home (such as transport difficulties).

    These can be barriers to returning to or recovering at work.

    If it’s appropriate, consider addressing or resolving any issues which may deter the injured person from returning to work. The more supportive the workplace, the better the chance of the injured person recovering at work quickly.

  • Talk about the return to work plan

    It’s important to let the injured person know early on how you’ll support them and what you’ll do to help them recover at work.

    A return to work plan is one way of supporting recovery at work. The return to work plan is completed by the employer in consultation with the worker and the worker’s supervisor (if applicable), taking into account medical information provided by the nominated treating doctor and any other treatment providers.Having this plan will mean all parties are working together to support the injured person’s recovery.

    Read the Guidelines for Workplace Return to Work Programs

  • Make contact with the treating doctor

    An injured person must choose a nominated treating doctor (NTD) in order to receive compensation payments.

    Even if you have a preferred doctor or a medical practice located nearby, workers have the right to make their own decision about where they wish to receive their treatment and the doctor that provides their treatment.

    Early contact with the doctor demonstrates your commitment to your worker’s/ employee’s recovery and provides you with an opportunity to discuss their normal duties and the availability of other suitable duties.

    If you are unable to make contact immediately, leave your details with the medical practice and make sure you are easily contactable.

    Consider sending an email to the doctor with information about the nature of your business, the availability of duties the injured person may be able to perform whilst recovering, and your contact details.