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October 2021 is Safe Work Month, which aims to improve safety and health in your workplace. It may also be a timely reminder to check your insurance and estate planning, to ensure your loved ones are protected in case you are impacted by an incident at work.
The theme for National Safe Work Month this year is think safe. work safe. be safe. Being healthy and safe in your workplace can mean being free from physical and psychological harm. A safe and healthy workplace benefits everyone.
A total of 73 Australian workers were killed at work between 1 January and 19 August in 2021.1 This figure compares to the 182 workers who were killed at work in 2020 and 183 workers in 2019.
Workers have also had to deal with challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic environment.
In 2020, Australian workers lodged 1,222 COVID-19-related workers’ compensation claims, including 826 by workers who had contracted the virus.2
Of the claims, 212 related to the mental health impacts of COVID-19 and 57 to testing or isolation requirements. More than two-thirds (69%) of the claims were made by workers from the health care and social assistance industries.
Work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths continue to affect workers, employers and the community and the economic cost nationally adds up to around $62 billion a year.3
Cost of work-related injury and disease on the Australian economy
Cost of workplace injuries
of the cost is borne by workers, 5% by employers, and 18% by the community
The total amount of workers’ compensation paid each year for work-related mental health claims
Median number of working weeks lost for a serious claim
Source: Australian Workers Compensation Statistics, Safe Work Australia, at swa.gov.au
Your life and your ability to make a living are your greatest asset. Personal insurance provides a financial safety net to help take care of yourself and your family following an unexpected event such as illness, injury or death.
Your super is a good place to start when you check what life insurance you have and when choosing life insurance that’s right for you.
ASIC’s MoneySmart website3 says most super funds offer life insurance, with eligible members typically given default life cover, Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) and income protection cover automatically.
Life Cover – In the event of your death, this cover can provide a lump sum to help keep your loved ones financially secure.
Total and Permanent Disability – TPD insurance can provide a lump sum to assist with living expenses, debts and medical costs.
Income Protection – If an illness or injury means you can't work, income protection can provide you with an income to help meet your living expenses.
Check your latest superannuation statement or log into your online portal to see what you are currently covered for. For QSuper members you can do this by visiting Member Online.
To make sure you and your family are protected you can use the MoneySmart calculator to help see if there is a gap, or if you’re a QSuper member visit our insurance needs calculator.
Your super, including any life cover, doesn't automatically form part of your estate, and can't just be included in your Will. To ensure your loved ones are protected, you may nominate who you would like to receive your super if the worst should happen.
With QSuper, there are three nomination options:
If you have an Accumulation account, you can make a binding death benefit nomination as to who you would like to receive your super (and any insurance benefit you may have) in the event of your death.
If you have an Income account, you can either make a binding death benefit nomination or choose to nominate someone to continue receiving your Income account payments.
You have the option not to make a nomination.
A binding death benefit nomination lets you decide who will receive your super (including any insurance benefit you may have) in the event of your death.
There are rules about who you can nominate to receive your super. Generally, a super beneficiary is someone who is dependent on you at the time of your death. You can nominate one or more of your dependants.
If you are making a binding death benefit nomination, you can also choose to nominate your legal personal representative (the executor of your Will) to receive your super and distribute it according to your Will.
So, this Safe Work Month, be sure to check your insurance to ensure your loved ones are protected in the event of an unfortunate incident at work.
Find out more about Safe Work Month
QSuper members have access to over-the-phone financial advice. Personal financial advice may help members save money right now, build a better future retirement, protect what they have and set strategic goals.
Find out more
1. Safe Work Australia, 19 August 2021, Preliminary worker deaths by industry of workplace, accessed 23 August 2021, at www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au
2. Safe Work Australia, 1 January to 31 December 2020 Fact Sheet, Covid-19 related workers’ compensation claims, accessed 23 August 2021, at www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au
3. ASIC, MoneySmart, Insurance through super accessed 11 September 2020, at www.moneysmart.gov.au
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