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Case 31

On 26 July 2010 the worker lodged an Application for Compensation for an injury to his right leg whilst working as a Crane Operator. The claim was accepted and compensation was paid for the period 27 July 2010 to 4 March 2011.

On 24 March 2011, the worker, through his lawyers, made an application for an assessment of permanent impairment. His impairment of 10% was based on the understanding that he could only return to the workplace to operate a crane by 'remote control'.

Information was received that the worker was working as a crane operator on a construction site. Further enquiries found he had commenced working on 27 September 2010 and that the work was ongoing.

On 17 May 2011 the worker's permanent impairment was reviewed in light of evidence proving that the worker was operating cranes in the normal manner, ascending and descending a vertical steel ladder. His assessment was revised to 0%.

The worker was charged with fraud for return to a calling and attempt to defraud by misrepresenting the extent of his alleged restriction, impairment and functional loss when he was assessed for permanent impairment.

The worker pleaded guilty on 5 July 2012 and was given 12 months imprisonment wholly suspended for each of the frauds and three months wholly suspended for three false and misleading statements and ordered to pay restitution of $28,791.