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Assessment of impairment

Dept Juvenile Justice v Edmed [2008] NSWWCCPD 6. Roche DP.

A prisons officer suffered two incidents of injury to his right wrist, each requiring surgery. An AMS found 9% WPI from the first incident, and 4% from the second. An arbitrator made s66 awards in respect of each, and under s67, assessed $7,500. The employer successfully appealed against the s67 allowance because neither incident met the 10% threshold.

Roche DP said [38]: ''On the evidence from the AMS, the second incident resulted in an impairment of only 4%. The two incidents combined have resulted in an impairment of 13%. To be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering a worker must establish that he or she has sustained 'an injury' (that is, one injury in either one incident or one pathology in two or more incidents) that has 'resulted in' a degree of permanent impairment of 10% or more.

"The evidence does not establish that either of Mr Edmed's incidents has, on its own, resulted in such a loss. Nor does it establish that he sustained 'the same' injury (pathology) in each incident so as to obtain the benefit of s 322(2) of the 1998 Act."

* Piets/'impairment'>>

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