If an injury occurs in the workplace, make sure:

  • the worker immediately receives first aid
  • the incident/accident is reported as soon as possible
  • the worker visits a medical practitioner of their choice to obtain a First Certificate of Capacity (available from WorkCover WA’s gpsupport site)
  • the worker fills in a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form. This can be provided by you, your insurer, or WorkCover WA.

For details on your obligations once a workers’ compensation claim has been received see the Receiving and managing claims and Return to work sections.

It is a requirement of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 that employers whose employees suffer certain ‘notifiable’ injuries must notify WorkSafe WA.

Mining, onshore petroleum and geothermal operations must notify the Resources Safety Division of the Department of Mines and Petroleum of any accidents and dangerous incidents.

Within seven days of knowledge that any worker is suffering from a specified occupational disease (see Schedule 3 of the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981), the employer is required to write to WorkCover WA giving notice.

The notice must include the name and address of the worker, and the time the disease impacted upon the worker’s ability to work.

Claims for compensation in relation to industrial diseases are referred to an Industrial Diseases Medical Panel.

All claims for compensation in relation to pneumoconiosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer and diffuse pleural fibrosis are referred to the Industrial Diseases Medical Panel (IDMP) for determination.

The IDMP is made up of physicians who specialise in diseases of the chest or occupational disease. The IDMP operates independently, with WorkCover WA providing administrative support and funding only.

The IDMP examines workers who may be adversely affected by pneumoconiosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer or diffuse pleural fibrosis, to determine the following questions –

  1. is, or was, the worker suffering from pneumoconiosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer or diffuse pleural fibrosis?
  2. if so, is, or was, the worker thereby less able to earn full wages?
  3. to what extent if any does, or did (a) pneumoconiosis; (b) mesothelioma; (c) lung cancer; or (d) diffuse pleural fibrosis, adversely affect the worker’s ability to undertake physical effort?
  4. what other, if any, disease or physical condition is, or was, contributing to the worker’s being less able to earn full wages, or death and to what extent?
  5. is, or was, the worker fit for work? If so, at what level – light, moderate, or heavy?
When appearing before the Industrial Diseases Medical Panel:

  • The worker is medically examined by the panel members.
  • Work history, medical history, medical evidence and symptoms are discussed with the worker.
  • The worker’s CT results and lung function tests are examined.
  • The worker may have a medical practitioner who has examined or treated him/her make oral submission to the medical panel.
Following the examination of the medical evidence provided and a review of the worker, the Industrial Diseases Medical Panel (IDMP) makes a determination as to whether one of the four diseases listed above is present. The IDMP’s determination is provided to you and the worker.

The determination of the IDMP is final, conclusive and binding on both parties. There is no restriction on the number of appearances an applicant may make before the IDMP.

It is important to note that the IDMP can only make a determination regarding pneumoconiosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer and diffuse pleural fibrosis based on the available medical evidence. If the IDMP determines the worker is not suffering from one of these four diseases, it does not imply that there is nothing wrong, nor does it prevent the worker from making a claim for other conditions which may be compensable under the provisions of the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981.

Determinations in absentia

Provided sufficient medical evidence has been supplied and the IDMP agrees, a worker’s determination may be made without an attendance. This applies only where a worker is unable to attend due to hospitalisation or distance.