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We have put together information to keep injured or ill persons informed of what to expect.
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All employers play a crucial role in the prevention and management of workplace injuries.
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Information for Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Nurses, Exercise Physiologists and Doctors.
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Other key stakeholders are also encouraged to provide Information and comments about issues of relevance .
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Home » Employers » More Useful Information » About WorkCover NSW

About WorkCover NSW


WorkCover NSW “administers and enforces compliance with occupational health and safety (OHS), injury management and workers compensation legislation, and manages the workers compensation system. "

WorkCover primarily administers New South Wales occupational health and safety law, including the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Workers Compensation Act 1987. WorkCover prepares codes of practice for particular industries, and investigates reports of unsafe practices in particular workplaces.


WorkCover assesses, manages guides and reinforces legislation in a number of areas concerned with occupational health and safety, workplace illness and injuries.  


Health and Safety

WorkCover offers advice on how to raising a workplace safety issue and ensure:


  • The rights and responsibilities of everyone in the work place, including employers, employees and people visiting the workplace,
  • The duty of care of people in the workforce, including planning for the prevention of accidents to people in the workplace, and what happens when these duties aren’t met
  • The appropriate knowledge and handling skills of different chemicals,
  • Prevention and management of bullying and psychosocial issues of employees and employers,


Injuries and Claims

The WorkCover Authority of NSW is responsible for providing protection to workers and employers in the form of a compensation system for work sustained injuries, which can provide:


  • Weekly payments
  • Lump sums for permanent impairment (and pain and suffering where applicable)
  • Payment of medical bills
  • Provision of legal assistance to pursue a claim
  • Intensive rehabilitation assistance.


Workplace injuries must be managed to ensure that the worker recovers and is able to return to work. It not only includes treatment and rehabilitation, but also the retraining of the worker and the management of any compensation claims. The idea is that through good management of the injury, the worker may be able to return to work as soon as possible, and that all parts of an employer’s policies for the return to work program are followed.


When an Injury Occurs


If a worker is injured, it is their responsibility to immediately report it to their employer, and the details of the incident must be added to the register of injuries – a list containing all current injuries suffered by workers, caused in the workplace. From here, if the injury is deemed serious enough, a claim can be made to the insurer. This can be made by anyone; however it must be done within 48 hours of the injury being notified. The insurer should then give the person who notified them a notification number, which can be used to track their notification. The following information must be provided:


  1. Worker’s information – their name, residential address, contact details and date of birth
  2. Employer’s information – the business name, current business address and employer contact
  3. Treating Doctor information – the name of the doctor or hospital where the injured worker is being treated
  4. Injury or illness details – the date of the injury, description of how it happened and a description of the injury itself
  5. Notified information – the name of person making the notification, relationship to injured worker and contact details
  6. Supporting information – anything else the notified considers necessary.


Key people in the Treatment Team


The Nominated Treatment Doctor “heads the treatment team and makes referrals to all specialists and allied health care workers to provide treatments to the injured worker to enable a quick recovery and capacity to return to work.  The NTD and allied health providers have to abide by administrative procedures proposed by WorkCover. Chiropractors, exercise physiologists, hearing service providers, independent consultants, osteopaths, physiotherapists, psychologists and counselors, remedial massage therapists are all subject to these requirements.


The role of return to work coordinator, and rehabilitation providers.    


A return to work coordinator should be nominated by an employer to help injured workers to return in a safe manner. The return to work coordinator can be an employee nominated by the employer, or a person /  organisation  contracted specifically for this purpose. Rehabilitation providers  must be accredited with Workcover NSW and are subject to ongoing administrative procedures . 


Only an employer or insurer can request referral to an external rehabilitation provider and nominate who that provider is.  The Worker: however, has the right to choose a provider of their own as they do with any treatment provider or theirNominated Treating Doctor (NTD).


As part of the return to work program, an employer must be able to provide suitable duties for the worker during their recovery period, so that they are still able to continue working and do not have to take time off work completely. These duties should be short term, with a goal of assisting the recovery process, must comply with the worker’s medical certificate, and finally must be agreed upon by the employer, the worker, and their doctor. WorkCover itself also runs various programs to help injured workers in returning to work. These include:


  • Short periods of work experience called work trials to assist them in developing or redeveloping skills, and to build up physical and psychological fitness
  • Formal retraining of skills at TAFE or university if the worker is unable to find suitable work after injury
  • Funding to help with purchasing equipment to modify the work environment to the injured worker’s needs
  • The Job Cover placement program (JPP), which provides a financial incentive to another employer to employ the injured worker In the case of a worker being injured, the employer, worker and insurer all have certain responsibilities to ensure that they are compensated, and given assistance so they can make a full recovery and return to work.


Insurance and premiums

To pay for the various initiatives in WHS, injury prevention and for injury management and compensation to affected workers employers must pay a compulsory premium. The amount of premium that is paid by the employer depends on a few factors such the:


  • Industry in which they operate
  • Amount of wages paid to workers
  • Costs of any claims made by injured workers and
  • Dust diseases levy.


If an injury does occur in the workplace, the employer will be covered for the cost of compensation to the worker that is injured, provided the employer has a ‘workers compensation insurance policy’. Due to the workers compensation system, any injured worker may be able to get compensation in the form of:


  • Weekly payments
  • Lump sum payments for permanent impairment (and pain and suffering where applicable)
  • Payment of medical and hospital expenses and rehabilitation assistance.


Payments will be made to the injured worker on a weekly basis, the amount dependent on the severity of the injury. In cases where the worker is injured permanently, they may be entitled to lump sum payments. The employer must send the claim to the insurer within 7 days of receiving it, and the insurer may ask the employer questions about the claim, and ask for extra documentation which must be provided before the claim can go through. A complying agreement must then be made in writing between the insurer and the injured worker. If an employer has not notified the insurer about a workplace injury or will not provide the worker with their workers compensation insurance policy number, advice can be made through the WorkCover Assistance Service on 13 10 50.

WorkCover’s website


The WorkCover website  states that it only provides general information about the rights and obligations of workers and employers under the workers compensation and WHS laws  It states that THE “ website is intended to provide general information about the law only and is not intended to represent a comprehensive statement of the law as it applies to particular problems or to individuals, or as a substitute for legal advice”  Suggestions are made that (you -  stakeholder)  should seek legal advice if you need assistance on the application of the law to your situation.


A complex system now even more complex  

Workers compensation is inherently complex with multiple stakeholders and complex legislation concerning the rights and obligations of those involved in the system.  Included are employers, insurers, workers, injured workers, treating doctors, allied professionals, rehabilitation on providers and lawyers who are all governed by specific pieces of legislation and guidelines.  All of these stakeholders need access to reliable information and at times support when they are faced with particular problems that need to be solved. 


In June 2012 there were some significant legislative changes made by the O’Farrell Government that has enormous implications for all involved in the system.  The objectives although primarily cost cutting by targeting injured workers compensation entitlements significantly affects other stakeholders such as treatment providers and employers as well. 


This web site will make give you the information  you need or guide  to where you need to go


Click on the information pages relevant to your situation, provide us with feedback in our online forum, and  check out our latest surveys.






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