In sentencing at the Sunshine Magistrates’ Court yesterday, Magistrate Fitzgerald said the worker’s offending was a deliberate and orchestrated dishonesty that boiled down to theft.
Nathan Higgins, of Melton, pleaded guilty to one charge of fraudulently obtaining payments and three charges of providing false or misleading information under the Accident Compensation Act 1985.
Mr Higgins was a self employed truck driver when he suffered a workplace injury to his left hand in January 2009.
Despite continuing to receive compensation payments for his injury and stating he was unfit to work or could only work on modified duties, Mr Higgins took up a job as a bus driver from August 2009 to July 2010 and earned almost $30,000.
The court heard the worker’s income was in addition to the $26,909 he received in compensation payments during this period.
A WorkSafe investigation into the matter found Mr Higgins failed to tell his doctor of his return to work and continued to submit certificates that stated he was unfit to work or fit for modified duties only.
He later admitted to submitting false declarations and failing to tell his insurance agent of all his earnings, the court was told.
Magistrate Fitzgerald convicted and placed him on a community correction order for 12 months, with a condition to perform 100 hours of unpaid community work.
He was also ordered to pay restitution of $26,909 and costs of $500 to WorkSafe.
Yesterday’s matter follows a recent prosecution of a woman who went back to work after suffering a back injury, but kept claiming workers’ compensation benefits.
She was ordered to repay $13,597 in benefits to which she was not entitled to, a $1500 fine and costs of $1500 to WorkSafe.
Farm fined $80,000 following forklift incidentNews
18 Feb 2019
Company fined $100,000 following forklift injuryNews
04 Mar 2019
New chemical sites under investigationNews
09 Mar 2019
Update on waste chemical sitesNews
15 Apr 2019
Taskforce to clean up additional dangerous goods siteNews
13 Jul 2019
Retailer fined $150,000 after plant crushes workerNews
04 Aug 2019
Truck driver pleads guilty to WorkSafe fraudNews
16 Mar 2012
Non-compliance leads to $15,000 fineNews
15 Dec 2011
WorkSafe investigates Campbellfield fatalityNews
01 Aug 2011
Safety issues raised and ignored, young truck driver diesNews
11 Oct 2011
Men suffer serious injuries after workplace accidentNews
23 Sep 2011
Two get court for plank prankNews
12 Sep 2011
Forklift tragedy leads to $375,000 fineNews
24 Dec 2012
Man dies after being hit by garbage truckNews
14 Mar 2013
Docks death costs company $330,000News
25 Jun 2013
Inspector teams head to the coastNews
18 Feb 2015
Company fined $42,000 for safety failingsNews
17 Aug 2012
Truck driver and farmer die in separate incidentsNews
17 Mar 2017
Awards have 25,861 reasons to promote safetyNews
10 Apr 2017
Country Victorians asked to prioritise safetyNews
13 Apr 2017