Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
To be clear, as I see it there are three different paths inthese cases:
Compulsory 3rd party claims - these are made not against someone at fault but against the government mandated vehicle isnurance trust or whatever. In these cases the status of the road may be relevant (diferent jurisdictions and so forth)
Workers comp - whichis generally against the employers insurer
Action by the injured party directly against the other party - either directly or their insurance company. In such case the status of the roads is not a issue.
This is what I mean when I refer to separate issues.
Wombat - your case is more than a little interesting and I note that you specifically stated worker comp, not compulsory third party or direct action agisnt the other party.
However I'd venture that, in the case you described there is ample wriggle room - if your employer was deemed to encourage the activity, then workers comp may be aopplicable. . At a guess I'd say my employer could be liable too as he actively encourages the ride to work day, has a breakfast for it, has a travelsmart committee promoting it, etc. Whether or not it is in paid time is not the be all and end all of liability.
Anyway, when I next see my mate in the business I'll ask him whether he'd advise his claims people to accept such a claim straight up or reject it first (it will have been tested in court somewhere) and to what extent NSW and others differ. I doubt if many employers supporting travelsamrt initiatives have ever considered whether they are at greater risk for supporting such activities.
Of course, it is always possible that your state chose it's own path. It happens. But I'd still make the first assumption that you are not covered to and from work, notwithstanding your fortunate success. I am confident that, generally, employers are no longer liable for the journey and haven't been for quite some time.
Unicyclist's don't need a training wheel
There was no issue as to whether my employer encouraged cycling. It was covered just the same as if I was injured while driving a car to/from work or using a lift or escalator in my employers high-rise building - and irrespective of my fault or not.
IIRC, each state followed the same path as NSW - it was only in the early 90's that the Milton Friedman school of creative destruction, sorry National Competition Policy, led to changes - made first in Vic which was an economic basket case at the time. It is quite common in other 1st world nations for journey claims to be covered - this is a case where some Aus states have beaten the rest of the world to the bottom.
WombatK - Jerry Garcia, Grateful Dead
I should note that Worker's Compensation pays for health related expenses as well some losses related to loss of productivity (insofar as to the employer if you are not working). It won't pay for things like your damaged bike.
Photos: Michael's bicycle obsession
2009 Pegoretti Responsorium Ciavete Custom :: 1982/3 Colnago Super :: 2006 Cannondale Six13 Pro :: Late 1980s Repco Superlite
Workers comp (NSW) did cover damage to clothing, for my stack several years back on the way to work.
New helmet, rain jacket, gloves and leg warmers. Had to send all damaged gear to insurer and they were real quick to send out a cheque made out to the LBS who had provided a replacement quote.
Can you link these bike accident stats? I'm in WA and sticking to bike paths to appease my wife (and 7 month old daughter) but would much prefer to eturn to road riding when commuting. If statistically it's the same risk of injury or death, then I may as well just ride on the road.
Check the BTA blog or ask Velogrrl or Cyclesnail - they have a reference to the most recent studies. (I had it and then clustered my email having not tested my big backup with the latest version of the software - yes, idiot I know)
The big danger of paths is where they intersect driveways or roads. Highly dangerous spots. Oh, and the CityWest train station
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
I concur with wombatK ... in NSW you are covered by workers comp - when travelling from work to home & vice versa.
I actually had a claim accepted for one of my staff breaking his arm after falling off his skateboard in a private carpark. The short cut thru the industrial carpark was his usual route home - the mode of transport was a moot point......1 pebble + 1 skateboard ridden at speed in the dark = 2.5 weeks off work - then light duties for a few more weeks......
There was a Monash Uni study from 1988 http://www.monash.edu.au/muarc/reports/muarc002.pdf that suggests that cycling on roads is about 2.6 to 3 times more risk than cycling on footpaths.
It does not specifically have a category for shared paths, but it's hard to imagine them being much worse than footpaths - and tends to refute the contention that paths are at least as dangerous as roads. Not the sort of reference you want worrying spouses to read...
The study is pretty thorough in trying to come up with an exposure related risk factor. But something it might be missing is that cyclists using the roads probably travel much faster than those using footpaths. A large part of the extra risk might be directly attributable to speed rather than location of the riding. So should the study fall into the wrong hands, you could try this line
Some more recent sources that quote this study that might be worth a read are
Cycling and health: an opportunity for positive change (Bauman and Rissell, MJA 2009).
and Bicycling Injuries and mortality in Victoria, 2001-2006 (Sikic et al, MJA 2009).
FWIW, I try to plan my routes to avoid arterial routes and in spite of the stats feel more threatened on footpaths than roads because you are less visible, have to give way at every T intersection, and frequently don't even have decent lay-backs to transition to the road at crossings.
Make sure the doubters are aware of the overall benefit
WombatK - Jerry Garcia, Grateful Dead
"Results were provided on exposure patterns, accident involvement risk estimates of both road and footpath cycling and their interactions, accident involvement risk estimates of selected behavioural components and helmet wearing rates....
It shows that road cycling is a much riskier activity by a factor of 2.6 overall. On road cycling on arterial roads is three times more dangerous than cycling on the footpath in these locations; the same ratio applies on the non-arterial network."
wombatk - It's an interesting study. I wonder if it can be used as a supportive evidence when challenging a charge related to an adult rider using a foot path? Reason for my query is that from time to time - I will use a foot path due to the â€œroad conditionsâ€ being outright deadly to a cyclist â€œnote I ALWAYS slow down & give right away to walkersâ€¦.to the point - that only the other week I quietly waited nearly 10 mins behind a Octarian lady while she was catching her breath on a â€œsingle fileâ€ bridgeâ€ - I actually got so concerned - I was just about to dismount - lay the bike down & ask her if she need medical help â€¦no kidding - then she continued to walk on.. So if you consider my general â€œnatureâ€ â€¦you may appreciate that I did not take â€œnicelyâ€ to a â€œcautionâ€ by a â€œ20ish hi-way patrolmanâ€ for using the same foot path at 8 pm - without a soul in sightâ€¦. & I only do so because the road is way to "busy" - due to road works at the intersection & about 400 meters either side of the road works - is very â€œunfriendlyâ€ to a cyclist. Riding the same route a few days ago - the same â€œblu-berryâ€ (the purple sports cops - itâ€˜s an awful colour!) passed me at speed - I caught the backward glanced as he raced off - at least 40-50kms over the limitâ€¦..mmmm - might be needing a defence in the future â€¦me thinksâ€¦.yes I know the penalties are â€œslightâ€ but the point is - a cyclist should be able to use a foot path (with respect to other users) if it safer than the road.
That's a very good point - and you would have to wonder why it was not suggested by the authors of the study, or by Bauman & Rissel or Sikic et al.
Perhaps Harold Scruby and his mates at the pedestrian council would go ballistic about any such change to the law. See for example his campaign for speed limits around 10 kph on shared paths. You haven't said where you found the octarian lady or where the bridge was, but it seems very similar to the Iron Cove bridge site where the Guliano incident occurred - except that this was a shared bicycle/pedestrian path.
Do you think it would be worth campaigning for use of footpaths if it was conditional on a 10 kph limit ? I suspect your safety margin would be even way better than 2.6, but would it be any practical use ?
Chinese proverb: You can not not eat for fear of choking.
This is foot bridge over a creek... that is at the end of Margaret St St Marys & leads to Mamre Rd. Can't add the URL from whereis..sneeky...thought I could just add the topo pic.
The speed limit is 60 k/h on Mamre Rd ....but hardly do most drivers abide by it..with 70-75+ k/h being the norm ...this includes semi-trailers! Plenty of crashes & police bookings - however more traffic lights & a round about or two on the 2km straight - could slow the traffic down... silly me ... this actually means spending money to save lives ....not reaping revenue whist keeping the "cash cows" driving in a manner "deadly" until all 12 points have been used......mnnn - I'm never getting into parliament with these ideas.
10 k/h? "We" coast over this? & even climbing ... our min is surely closer to 12 k/h... it would difficult to abide to 10 k/h......ahhh..... I see....just perhaps Harold Scruby have already considered the reality of the situation BEFORE coming up with 10 k/h speed limit...clever little sods...
Google maps is friendlier - just click on the link box then paste it inside url brackets [url=xxxx]describe link[/url]
-like this - the url is really long, but works.
I can see why you prefer the footpath here - there's no shoulder, and lots of impatient drivers speeding towards the M4.
Scruby's footpath speed limits are ridiculous - a jogger gets along at 14 to 16 kph, kids regularly cycle at higher speeds and both are legally entitled to use footpaths. How can you expect a 10 year old to comply with such a limit ? Unfortunately Scruby has the ear of government. Evil nanny state stuff.
WombatK - Jerry Garcia, Grateful Dead
i work for a private hospital in a large regional area in north qld and im covered riding to and from work. i had a friend park her bike, just twist her ankle as she turned around and work cover paid for rehab and everything
must say though as we work at a private hospital the workplace health and safety policy is to render 'appropriate first aid' and then take the person to the emergency department for assessment - the only emergency is at the public hospital!!! then if you have private health you can then choose to return as a private patient!!!! how stupid is that???? though mostly us nurses just sort things out and let the managers work out where if they need to stay in house for treatment !
"I know its a buget 'cause its got lots of numbers in it!" GWBush
Ahhh....the old "medical system shuffle" - been there or should that be "still" there"
One of my daughters has to go to public hospital 4 times a year for a check up on her heart....each & every time I have to bring a letter of referral from her GP - even though her specialist at the hospital books her appointments in advance. Once I accidently left her referral at home & the hospital staff were actually going to deny her the check up (which is actually & literally a potentially critical assessment for her - if she is not doing well her meds need adjusting ASAP or much more if she is on the decline).
There was all hell to pay that day = I would not take no for an answer... apparently I should meek, accept the situation & not be a trouble maker, go off to home until another appointment is available??? ...I'm certain security were only a few minutes away ...before the dept head (her Dr) turned up & cut thru the red tape...& checked her out.
I've asked her GP about the situation & he just shakes his head - "it's the system" - he's the 1st to acknowledged that he is not qualified to make assessments of wether my daughter needs to see the specialist - but simply fills out the paperwork - with a swipe/sign here - Medicare bill....there really has to be a better way.
Although I would not do it - I bet I could actually photo copy or spoof a referral on the PC - nobody actually checks the authenticity of the referral - itâ€™s just important to have the piece of paper available on demand.....
We have good healthcare when compared to many countries - but I just wonder how great it could be if the rules were actually made to include alittle common sense?
A colleague of mine is lodging a Workers Compensation (QLD) claim after a stack riding to work. There was no other vehicle/person involved and it only the second commute attempt by this person. My concern is that my employer may deem commuting to work an unacceptable risk for staff due to increased emphasis on eliminating work related injuries. Has anyone come across this situation?
My personal view is that the positives of a commuting staff far out weight the negatives. But the positives don't get reported to head office, where injuries do.
I know the laws changed in NSW with regards workers comp and travelling to and from work...to the poorer too. In NSW you are no longer covered under workers compo I believe.
As such we have taken life insurance out against myself simply so the better half is not left in a financial pickle. The interesting thing was that in the questions about risk and that, I was asked if I played sports but cycling didnt come up anywhere. But like in all things insurance, I am sure there is some fine print in there some where for the insurance company to try and avoid their obligations.
I cant see how legally a company can state that commuting to work via bicycle is an dangerous, no more dangerous than a car.
Hope it works out well for your work mate
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users