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Case 43

The worker lodged an application for compensation on 15 February 2013 for an injury to his right thumb which he allegedly sustained at work on 12 February 2013. At the time of the workplace incident the worker reported to his employer that he was pulling a scraper knife out from a drawer in the work kitchen. He said the scraper knife was stuck under other utensils and whilst he was trying to remove the knife, he put his right hand down into the drawer to move some things out of the way. As the scraper knife came loose, it sliced his right thumb which then required stitches.

On 25 February 2013 the employer advised the worker that they had surveillance footage of the actual event and advised him that his reporting of how he sustained the injury was false. The employer advised that the worker was offered the opportunity to watch the footage but he chose not to and apologised and admitted to reporting a false injury to the employer on three occasions. The worker was subsequently terminated for this false reporting.

The footage showed the worker removing the scraper from the drawer quite easily but then turned his back slightly away from the camera where he appears to have deliberately cut his hand with the knife.

The worker was charged with fraud for misrepresenting to WorkCover how he cut his hand and attempting to make a claim for compensation. The matter was heard on 28 November 2013 at the Caboolture Magistrates Court in the worker's absence. He received a fine of $1,000 with a conviction being recorded. He was also ordered to pay WorkCover's costs.