List member Jennifer Hewson appeared for the applicant, a FIFO mine truck operator who injured his lower back while attending an on-site meeting with management. The injury occurred when the applicant attempted to stand at the end of the meeting, but was unable to do so due to severe pain. Despite the applicant’s pre-existing degenerative disease, the senior member found the applicant suffered an ‘injury’ as there had been a sudden and ascertainable, physiological change in his spine. Therefore, the applicant was entitled to compensation pursuant to the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth).
The case helpfully summarises the legal principles to be applied in determining whether an injury is compensable, including where employees are required to work in remote locations.
See the decision here: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/AATA/2017/185.html