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Types of injury or illness

Regardless of the type or severity of your injury, your employment must be a ‘significant contributing factor’ for the injury be considered work-related.

The following sections will help you understand the types of work-related injuries that can occur.

These types of injuries are defined as ‘damage to the body from an external force’ and can be different degrees of seriousness.

They can include:

  • cuts and lacerations
  • burns and abrasions
  • penetrating wounds
  • broken bones and fractures.

Mental injuries (also known as psychological and psychiatric injuries) are conditions that cause abnormal thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.

They include (but aren’t limited to):

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • post-traumatic stress disorder.

These are abnormal medical conditions that affect all or part of your body as a result of things like infection, inflammation, or environmental factors.

They can include (but aren’t limited to):

Aggravated injury

Sometimes doing your job can make a pre-existing injury worse or more serious. The pre-existing injury could be work-related or non-work-related.

If this happens, you’ll need to make a new claim.

Ongoing symptoms

Sometimes you might continue to have symptoms from your original injury, even after you’ve gone back to work and your claim is closed.

If you’re experiencing ongoing symptoms, you can contact WorkCover (or the worker’s compensation section of your employer if they’re self-insured).

Once it’s confirmed your symptoms are related to your original injury, your claim might be reopened. Contact WorkCover on 1300 362 128.

Very serious physical injuries (also called ‘critical injuries’) are those that cause permanent damage or impairment. You can read about them, as well as claiming when someone dies at work, by following the links below.

Our injury information pack (DOCX, 0.61 MB) is designed to help employers understand what is required in the event of a workplace injury, and to support an injured worker with a timely return to work.