1 min read

Are we obligated to make adjustments for injuries not caused at work?

Question: A person who has been employed with us for 7 months has just brought to our attention that she has ongoing issues with her back due to four car accidents that she was involved in prior to commencing employment with us. She has been receiving ongoing treatment from various medical practitioners.

Her current doctor has made recommendations to change her workstation by getting a new chair and possibly a stand-up desk. The doctor has told me that we would need to pay for any changes to her workstation.

Can you please let me know what our obligations are, particularly as we had no prior knowledge of the worker’s condition? Is it our responsibility to implement and pay for the changes recommended by the doctor, and are the doctor’s recommendations binding?

My understanding is that if the work exacerbates the worker’s back, then it is our legal obligation to change the work to cater for her needs. How could we do this? What other things do we need to be aware of to make sure that we manage the situation effectively and appropriately?

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