SAFETY ON THE DOCKS

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Rearview shot of a man in workwear looking at a large commercial dock

A news advertorial by Catie Norman

With thousands of ships passing through the Port of Melbourne each year, dock workers play an essential role in ensuring the smooth operations of our docks and ports.

However, the nature of loading and discharging cargo vessels involves a vast array of risks, and waterside workers are more likely to be killed than the average worker.

According to Safe Work Australia, stevedoring has a rate of serious injury three times higher than the average rather for all industries and over twice the rate of construction. In an average year at least one stevedoring worker is killed on the job.

Working around cranes and forklifts puts dock workers at risk of crush injuries and broken bones, whilst the extreme weather conditions can lead to strains and sprains due to slips and trips.

Accessing cargo, climbing ladders and working on the top of containers presents a serious fall risk for workers, which can lead to serious injury or even death.

Working in restricted or enclosed spaces, working with suspended cargo or unsecured loads, noisy machinery and hazardous chemicals are further hazards associated with stevedoring operations.

Given the dangers involved in this type of work, the stevedoring industry has high rates of injury.

However, in our experience, many of these injuries could be prevented with adequate training and supervision of workers.

If you’ve been injured while working on the docks you may have a claim for workers compensation and we would encourage you to consult a legal practitioner who specialises in WorkCover claims.

Let Shine Lawyers fight for your rights and help you acquire the compensation you need for your recovery. Our worker’s compensation lawyers work on a no win, no fee basis.

 

What to do if you are injured?

  • Report your injury to your employer immediately and complete either an incident report or an entry in the register of injuries. Retain a copy of any incident report or entry that you complete.
  • Seek medical treatment and ensure you provide a full and frank history of how you were injured and the nature of your injuries.
  • If your injury is going to require ongoing medical treatment and time off work lodge a WorkCover Claim as soon as reasonably practicable after your injury. Ensure that you retain a copy of the claim for your records.
  • If your WorkCover Claim is rejected and you wish to dispute the rejection lodge a request for conciliation with the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service within 60 days of receiving the decision. Failure to lodge a request for conciliation within this time can mean that you forever finalise your right to dispute the rejection of your claim;
  • Seek legal advice from a practitioner specialising in personal injury law to discuss your potential rights and entitlements. Initial consultations are generally free and there is no obligation to proceed further and pursue a claim.

Catie Norman is the Branch Manager of Shine Lawyers Sunshine.                

Contact Shine Lawyers to schedule a free no-obligation consultation on 1800 860 461.


 

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