Thursday, January 21, 2010

farmdoc's blog post number 641

It’s joked that if you scratch a doctor you get a bush lawyer. In my case it’s true. As 95% of my work’s in the workers compensation jurisdiction, I can’t but be interested in the legislation and how it’s interpreted by tribunals and courts. So imagine my excitement when I saw this ABC News report’s headline: ‘Mine worker wins compo for going fishing’. It’s a short item, but the further I read the more incredulous and aghast I became. Essentially a Northern Territory mine diesel fitter successfully claimed workers compensation for injuries he sustained in a vehicle crash on a late night journey to fish in the East Alligator River (pictured). The employer appealed the liability decision and the Northern Territory Court of Appeal decided the fishing trip was indeed work-related and so the man should continue to receive compensation. The Court’s logic was that though the employer may not have been aware of this particular fishing trip, it was aware of the general practice and, by its acceptance of that practice, it induced or encouraged workers to engage in such trips during shift changes. What rank bullshit. But still, I’m only a bush lawyer and no doubt the Court’s staffed by eminent jurists. Ho hum.

1 comment:

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