Monday, 27 October 2014

It seems our charity sector has been hit

with another rise in fees - this time for "Workcover". Workcover is the scheme which is supposed to provide funding for injured workers.
Like all other such government run schemes attempts to abuse it abound. The odd thing is that not everyone who is injured at work benefits from the scheme while others do. Don't ask me how that works. I am puzzled. I suspect others are too. The pay outs can also be very small for some injuries and large for others.
I personally know of two cases, one where someone broke their wrist slipping on oil left on the floor by a fellow worker and the other where someone cut their hand on a jagged piece of metal. The first injury needed considerable medical attention. The second injury was caused by a failure to wear the heavy safety gloves supplied by the employer. It required several stitches. 
Now, the first injury received the greater compensation, yes? Wrong. It was the second injury which received a hefty pay-out. How that was achieved I do not know. I have not asked. It is probably wiser not to know.
Workcover "blew out" some time ago. The unfunded liability is now a huge problem. Money is needed to cover the present claims - money that should be covering future claims.
So Workcover has hit the charity sector. The claim is that most of the claims have come from the charity sector - although they have failed to provide any proof of that. One large charity with a pay base of $6.5m has, it is said, been hit with a Workcover bill of $1.1m.  Can that possibly be correct? I don't know. I admit I am wary of taking figures in the media as correct.
What I do not doubt is that the sums are large because I also thought of something else. Our knitting guild is required to have "public liability" insurance. We meet in a hall which is already covered by such insurance but this is not good enough. Apparently we indulge in a dangerous activity and we are likely to injure not just ourselves but each other. It costs the guild a considerable sum of money each year - and the price goes up each year.
What sort of injury would be covered by this insurance is uncertain.  The sort of injuries likely to occur would be much more likely to be related to the premises we meet on and they would be covered by other insurance. We contribute to that through our hire of the hall.
Of course if someone is injured because of the carelessness of other people we need to ensure that they get the care and assistance they need but does that mean we need to cover everything else, including our own carelessness? Should it be a sort of lottery? We need to be more careful about cleaning up the oil on the floor so we don't injure others and more careful about wearing safety gloves so we don't injure ourselves.
Do we in fact just need to be more responsible?

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