Violence at Work: Who’s Liable and Who’s Entitled to Workers Compensation Under the Law? | BPC Law blog

You’d be aware that when it comes to workers compensation claims, many regarding bullying or harassment in Sydney workplaces are paid out quickly. But what about if a worker is attacked in a random act of violence? Could a lawyer help them get fair compensation?

Compensation Law

When we’re talking about random acts of violence at work, think robberies and armed assailants. Now, most jobs aren’t high-risk, you don’t expect to get robbed or attacked, and neither do the business operators think it’s going to happen. This is where you run into issues of whether the attack on the worker was foreseeable.

To avoid paying large amounts of compensation, a business or place of employment will argue that the act of violence was so unlikely to happen that it was almost impossible, and therefore why would they need to have safety measures in place? Often in such cases, even if the judge thinks that the business did not do everything they could have potentially done to prevent such an incident, the court will find that the judge is focusing too much on hindsight. So could a business get away with never having to pay our compensation?

Of course not, the law expects any business or employer to assess real risks and to reduce these risks. If the risk is likely, something needs to be done, but if the risk is highly unlikely, the law doesn’t expect any employer to spend money on preventing it from happening as their money might never be put to good use.

Workers Compensation

CCTV cameras might not be deemed necessary in every place of work

In essence, if you have suffered because of an act of violence at work, to get your workers compensation appeal approved the likelihood of that attack comes into question. If it was likely that you would be attacked at work, e.g. you work at a service station, and your employer didn’t keep you safe, then you’ll find your claim will most likely get through. However, if you work in a safe industry and the attack was extremely unlikely, chances are that you won’t receive compensation.


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