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Falling on stairs of home was not a journey claim under Workers' Compensation & Rehabilitation Act 2003 - Sharon Olive Johnston v QComp (C/2012/2) QIC 4 June 2012

Sharon Olive Johnston v QComp (C/2012/2) QIC 4 June 2012

This case involved an appeal by a worker to the Queensland Industrial Court from a decision by Workcover Queensland, QComp and the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission to reject her claim for injuries she sustained when she fell on the stairs of her home whilst on her way to her workplace.

The worker in question, Ms Sharon Johnston, was in her car on her way to work when she realised she had forgotten her ID card to access her workplace. She therefore turned her car around and went back to her home to retrieve her ID card. As Ms Johnston was leaving her home, she fell down her front stairs and suffered injury.  The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) found that it was not a journey claim under the Workers Compensation & Rehabilitation Act 2003, and therefore she was not entitled to workers' compensation benefits in relation to the injury.

The QIRC determined that the first journey ended upon her crossing the boundary of her home to retrieve her ID card. It was reasoned by the Industrial Court that the termini in such cases are the boundaries of the residence and the workplace. Here Ms Johnston was still at her home on the stairs when the injury occurred and she had not as yet crossed the boundary of her home to start her journey to work.  Accordingly, it determined that she had not as yet commenced her journey to work and therefore she was not entitled to workers' compensation as a "journey claim" under the Workers Compensation & Rehabilitation Act 2003.

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