Commuting and workers compensation

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:04 am

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.
Unchain yourself - Ride a unicycle .Image
User avatar
ColinOldnCranky
 
Posts: 4696
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:58 pm

by BNA » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:58 am

BNA
 

Postby wombatK » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:58 am

ColinOldnCranky wrote: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.

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

Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us -Jerry Garcia
User avatar
wombatK
 
Posts: 5211
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:08 pm
Location: Yagoona, AU

Postby vitualis » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:12 am

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.

Regards.
Michael Tam
Photos: Michael's bicycle obsession
2009 Pegoretti Responsorium Ciavete Custom :: 1982/3 Colnago Super :: 2006 Cannondale Six13 Pro :: Late 1980s Repco Superlite
User avatar
vitualis
 
Posts: 949
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 12:15 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Postby msn » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:36 am

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.
msn
 
Posts: 345
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:03 pm
Location: Quakers Hill, NSW

Re:

Postby Mububban » Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:47 pm

il padrone wrote:Any accident is more likely to involve a motor vehicle, giving you TAC cover. Statistically the bike paths are at least as dangerous as the roads.


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.
Mububban
 
Posts: 191
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:19 am

Re: Re:

Postby Thoglette » Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:12 am

Mububban wrote:
il padrone wrote:Any accident is more likely to involve a motor vehicle, giving you TAC cover. Statistically the bike paths are at least as dangerous as the roads.


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 :-)
User avatar
Thoglette
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:01 pm

Re: Commuting and workers compensation

Postby nitecheck » Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:55 am

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......
nitecheck
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:47 am

Re: Re:

Postby wombatK » Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:42 pm

Thoglette wrote:
Mububban wrote:
il padrone wrote:Any accident is more likely to involve a motor vehicle, giving you TAC cover. Statistically the bike paths are at least as dangerous as the roads.


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 :-)

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.
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.

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
Rissel wrote:Despite the perceived risks of cycling, the absolute magnitude of the risk is low, and the benefit-to-risk ratio is overwhelmingly positive; for chronic disease prevention, obesity reduction and mental health, the benefits are substantial
WombatK

Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us -Jerry Garcia
User avatar
wombatK
 
Posts: 5211
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:08 pm
Location: Yagoona, AU

Re: Commuting and workers compensation

Postby nitecheck » Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:38 pm

"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 “road conditions” being outright deadly to a cyclist “note I ALWAYS slow down & give right away to walkers….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 “single file” bridge” - I actually got so concerned - I was just about to dismount - lay the bike down & ask her if she need medical help …no kidding - then she continued to walk on.. So if you consider my general “nature” …you may appreciate that I did not take “nicely” to a “caution” by a “20ish hi-way patrolman” for using the same foot path at 8 pm - without a soul in sight…. & 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 “unfriendly” to a cyclist. Riding the same route a few days ago - the same “blu-berry” (the purple sports cops - it‘s an awful colour!) passed me at speed - I caught the backward glanced as he raced off - at least 40-50kms over the limit…..mmmm - might be needing a defence in the future …me thinks….yes I know the penalties are “slight” 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.
nitecheck
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:47 am

Re: Commuting and workers compensation

Postby wombatK » Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:49 am

nitecheck wrote:"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?

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 ?

Cheers

WombatK
_______________________________________________
Chinese proverb: You can not not eat for fear of choking. :lol:
_______________________________________________
User avatar
wombatK
 
Posts: 5211
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:08 pm
Location: Yagoona, AU

Re: Commuting and workers compensation

Postby nitecheck » Sun Apr 12, 2009 1:50 am

Hi wombatK

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... :roll: 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... :evil:
nitecheck
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:47 am

Re: Commuting and workers compensation

Postby wombatK » Sun Apr 12, 2009 5:17 pm

nitecheck wrote:Hi wombatK

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.

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.
nitecheck wrote: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... :roll: 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... :evil:

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

Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us -Jerry Garcia
User avatar
wombatK
 
Posts: 5211
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:08 pm
Location: Yagoona, AU

Re: Commuting and workers compensation

Postby rmgrimes79 » Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:11 pm

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!!! :shock: then if you have private health you can then choose to return as a private patient!!!! how stupid is that???? :roll: 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
rmgrimes79
 
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:33 am
Location: Townsville QLD

Re: Commuting and workers compensation

Postby nitecheck » Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:59 am

rmgrimes79 wrote:for assessment - the only emergency is at the public hospital!!! :shock: then if you have private health you can then choose to return as a private patient!!!! how stupid is that???? :roll: though mostly us nurses just sort things out and let the managers work out where if they need to stay in house for treatment !


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 - it’s just important to have the piece of paper available on demand..... :roll:

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?
nitecheck
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:47 am

Re: Commuting and workers compensation

Postby nitecheck » Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:06 am

wombatk....great pic...should see it at 0700-0800hrs - the whole main road is full of traffic....normally speeding to a complete stop :twisted:
nitecheck
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:47 am

Re: Commuting and workers compensation

Postby Christina Brinkmann » Mon May 20, 2013 10:01 am

Hello
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.

Thanks
User avatar
Christina Brinkmann
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:30 pm
Location: Sunshine Coast QLD

Re: Commuting and workers compensation

Postby gretaboy » Mon May 20, 2013 10:43 am

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
Image
gretaboy
 
Posts: 1210
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 11:23 am
Location: Hunter Valley

Re: Commuting and workers compensation

Postby diggler » Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:34 pm

I've had 2 accidents going to work in NSW and they were both covered. Last one was a few years ago. Not sure if law has changed.
That's what a fool does. I'm invincible, I'm paying money ... uh ... The girl's happy, she's got no money, I got my rocks off. How good is this?
diggler
 
Posts: 488
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:23 pm

Re: Commuting and workers compensation

Postby bychosis » Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:11 am

It only changed recently. June last year AFAIK. Google may tell more.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.
User avatar
bychosis
 
Posts: 2259
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:10 pm
Location: Lake Macquarie

Re:

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:17 pm

xavdav wrote:
Strawburger wrote:Never i would have thought. If you are travelling to or from work and involved with an accident it is covered through the insurance company of your employer. I am pretty sure it's covered whether you are at fault or not.


What I am wondering is :is there ground for an insurance companie to turn down a claim by arguing that you are not travelling by the safest way? regardless if you are at fault or not.

Whether or not you are covered will depend substantially on your state as most/all jurisdictions in my lifetime have taken steps in my lifetime to legislate out of existence, legislate to clarrify or legislate to modify the otherwise applicable common law that did give you a common law claim for losses arising out injury directly on the way to work. Typically legislation that gives us workers compensation also takes away that common law right - which stinks imo.

As far as cycling being less covered however due to danger then I would be extremely surprised if it was any different to taking a car or a bus. I am sure that that would apply if you chose to hang-glide to work but cycling is a fairly normal way to get to work. Cycling would not be considered a mis-adventure.

In WA workers are, in general, not covered to and from work. There are always exceptions. For example, maybe there is if the boss required you to pick something up on the way home. Or possibly if he required you to start work at a different than normal location. These are educated guesses only as I have no great experience in these things and, beside, government is always fiddling with this stuff.
Unchain yourself - Ride a unicycle .Image
User avatar
ColinOldnCranky
 
Posts: 4696
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:58 pm

Re: Commuting and workers compensation

Postby grantw » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:42 pm

bychosis wrote:It only changed recently. June last year AFAIK. Google may tell more.



Yes journey claims (regardless of how you travel, providing it was your usual means and route to work) are no longer covered by workers comp in NSW. This came into effect last July with the start of the financial year.

Interestingly a number of Unions have taken out insurance for members so that they are now covered for journey claims. At the end of the day though you will be dealing with an insurance company however.
Image
User avatar
grantw
 
Posts: 1451
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:22 am
Location: Wollongong

Re: Commuting and workers compensation

Postby wombatK » Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:30 pm

Workcover qld still have this pn their web site.
http://www.workcoverqld.com.au/rehab-an ... rney-claim

It would be surprising if hasnt been wiped out as speedily as it was in nsw after its change in govt - so maybe you need to call them and check.

Sent from my GT-I9100T using Tapatalk 2
WombatK

Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us -Jerry Garcia
User avatar
wombatK
 
Posts: 5211
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:08 pm
Location: Yagoona, AU

Previous

Return to Commuting

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users



Popular Bike Shops
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ebay Ebay AU

“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter

> FREE BNA Stickers
> BNA Cycling Kit