Worker gets payout for a cricket injury at work

Mar 15 2019

 A worker injured while playing cricket at a major South Australian mining site will get to keep his compensation payout after a tribunal threw out an appeal by Oz Minerals' insurer.

Last year, the SA Employment Tribunal found he was entitled to compensation for a knee injury
The appeal judges found his employment at the Oz Minerals site was a contributing factor to his injury
The South Australian Employment Tribunal last week dismissed an appeal by Oz Minerals' insurer, ReturnToWorkSA, which disputed that mine worker Benjamin Backhouse was entitled to compensation because he was injured in a sporting or social setting.
Last year, tribunal deputy president Michael Ardlie found Mr Backhouse could claim compensation for the injury because playing cricket to "stay awake" in order to reset his body clock as he transitioned from night to day shift did not breach work fatigue rules.
He was awarded undisclosed damages.
In February 2016, Mr Backhouse was working on a fly-in fly-out (FIFO) basis at Oz Minerals' Prominent Hill mine site, near Coober Pedy, when he was injured during a two-hour spontaneous cricket match as he moved on to day shift.
He had just completed seven days of night shifts, finishing at 6:00am, and had a 24-hour window to reset his body clock before starting a week of day shifts.
Mr Backhouse finished work and went straight to the camp to have breakfast, before heading to the bar in the "wet mess" where he claimed to have had five drinks until the service stopped at 9:30am.
Two-hour cricket match was a spontaneous decision
He started playing cricket at 10:00am in a bid to stay awake so he could sleep that night ahead of his first day shift.
The tribunal was told documents recorded Mr Backhouse, who was working for Perth-based company Byrnecut Australia, had consumed 10 standard drinks at the bar that morning.
"The worker denied ever drinking 10 standard drinks in the period from when the bar opened until it closed," the tribunal stated.
Mr Backhouse had a blood alcohol reading of 0.048 per cent when he was injured.
The company's code of conduct states that it is a worker's responsibility to manage the transition between shifts and to take "every precaution" to reduce the impact of fatigue, stress, alcohol or drugs.
Workers must be in a fit state and "not expose themselves or others to unnecessary health or safety risks".
Source: ABC News

Last changed: Mar 15 2019 at 9:20 AM