TAS: Man Loses Appeal for Compensation After Leg Amputated

Yesterday the Court of Appeal in Hobart dismissed an appeal by a man seeking worker’s compensation after losing his leg in a workplace accident in 2010.

The man had his leg amputated just below the hip as he was sucked into a brick crusher at a brick plant in September 2010.

He was engaged as an independent contractor for Tasmanian Contracting Services at the time of the accident.

Last year he successfully argued to the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Tribunal he should be entitled to workers’ compensation.

However, that decision was overturned in the Supreme Court late last year when the contracting firm argued successfully that he was an independent contractor, and not a worker, therefore not entitled to workers’ compensation.

He appealed against the Supreme Court decision, which was unanimously dismissed.

Tasmanian Contracting Services state manager Mike Flynn said today his company would support any common law claim against the brick company that the man sought to take.

“[His] injury was not caused by the Tasmanian Contracting Services business model,” Mr Flynn said.

“It resulted from very clear workplace safety failures at [the brick plant], who have since been charged with, and admitted to, failing to keep a safe workplace.”

“Tasmanian Contracting Services has suffered a significant loss of business as a result of this issue and is considering its legal options.”

In March, the employer/brick company was convicted and fined $60,000 for failing to provide a safe workplace for the worker.

Mr Flynn said his company was strongly supportive of its independent contractor workforce.

“In the past four years we have placed more than 1000 contractors into work across Tasmania, with total earnings of more than $16 million,” Mr Flynn said.

The brick company’s managing director Peter Geard said his company had been supporting the man and his family since the accident in September 2010.


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