What is WorkSafe Victoria?
If you’ve done any reading online about WorkCover, you have no doubt noticed that there are plenty of references to WorkSafe and to WorkCover.
Is there any difference between the two? Is there anything you need to know to help you navigate the WorkCover scheme?
The official name of WorkSafe is the Victorian WorkCover Authority. This is the government insurance body that manages both the workers compensation scheme and Victoria’s workplace safety regime.
It is referred to as both the Victorian WorkCover Authority and WorkSafe Victoria, which is a trading name.
What is the role of WorkSafe Victoria?
WorkSafe oversees the administration of the worker’s compensation scheme in Victoria.
It is no longer the case that WorkSafe actually manages any WorkCover claims. They have a panel of insurance companies that manage all the claims on WorkSafe’s behalf.
This has allowed WorkSafe to have less staff but is of course paying significant amounts out for claims management.
They do however still have significant involvement in the compensation scheme. They manage all premiums recovered from employers to fund the scheme and all of the panel insurance firms are reimbursed by WorkSafe.
If you have a common law claim, that is a WorkCover injury where you sue the employer for damages, WorkSafe Victoria will be involved. They have staff that are consulted and give instructions on payment of damages. This means that when we as WorkCover lawyers are dealing with lawyers on the other side of a common law claim, they are also taking instructions from someone at WorkSafe Victoria.
Besides all of this, WorkSafe also administer the state-based safety scheme for workplaces. They are both federal and state laws regarding safety in the workplace. What this means is that if there is an incident at work that requires investigation, someone from WorkSafe will investigate it.
It also means if you have a complaint about a safety issue in the workplace you can contact WorkSafe about it. One important distinction to note is that if you have a local WorkCover or WorkSafe office it is very likely they are only there to do safety investigations and workplace inspections. They will not be able to assist you at all with a Worker’s Compensation claim.
If you see references to the WorkSafe Act, what they are actually referring to is either the old Accident Compensation Act or the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act. These are Victorian laws that cover the WorkCover scheme. There are separate laws for workplace safety in Victoria.
WorkSafe Victoria phone number
If you need to contact WorkSafe Victoria, their phone number is 1800 136 089.