Australia: Out of or in the course of employment: Truck driver denied injury compensation - 26 August 2015

In this alert, Senior Associate Jacqi Marshall and Solicitor Hannah Staunton discuss the recent decision of Huhu v Simon Blackwood (Workers' Compensation Regulator) [2015] ICQ 021 where the Industrial Court of Queensland upheld the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission's decision to deny a truck driver access to workers' compensation after suffering a lower back injury while cleaning a work truck at home on the weekend.


In January 2014, Mr Huhu (worker) commenced employment as a truck driver with Anything's Possible Transport Pty Ltd (employer). The workers' normal hours of work were from Monday to Friday. He did not work overtime.

On Friday, 7 February 2014 the worker drove the employer's truck home after he completed his work shift. Allegedly, while cleaning the truck on 9 February 2014, the worker fell to the ground and subsequently injured his lower back when the door handle snapped off as he was climbing into the cab of the truck.

The worker lodged an application for compensation pursuant to the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Act) but his application was rejected by WorkCover Queensland on the basis that he failed to satisfy section 32(a) of the Act which provides that an injury (for which compensation is payable) is a personal injury arising out of or in the course of employment, if the employment is a significant contributing factor. The Workers' Compensation Regulator (Regulator) confirmed WorkCover Queensland's decision.

The worker unsuccessfully appealed the Regulator's decision in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC). He argued that his injury did arise out of or in the course of his employment for the following reasons:

  • the truck was his office;
  • he was induced or encouraged to clean the truck because his employer expected that the truck remain clean;
  • cleaning products were kept in the truck for cleaning purposes;
  • other workers cleaned their respective trucks on the weekends;
  • the employer never specified where the cleaning should be performed; and
  • he told the employer that he was going to clean the truck on the weekend.

The QIRC preferred the evidence submitted by the owner of the employer company over the worker's own evidence and found that the employer did not permit the worker to take the truck home on the weekend, and that the cleaning required was simply to remove any rubbish which might be accumulated in the cab of the truck at the end of his work shift.

Latest Appeal

The worker appealed the QIRC decision to the Industrial Court of Queensland before Justice Martin. Although there were a number of grounds for appeal, the worker's main ground for appeal was that the QIRC erred by wrongly concluding that his injury did not arise out of or in the course of his employment.


Justice Martin delivered judgment against the worker on 13 August 2015. In reaching a decision His Honour applied the test established by the High Court in Hatzimanolis v ANI Corporation Limited (1992) 173 CLR 473 which was later revisited in detail in Comcare v PVYW (2013) 250 CLR 246.

The Hatzimanolis test requires consideration of how the injury was brought about and whether the employer induced or encouraged the worker to be engaged in the activity. His Honour found that the employer did not induce or encourage the worker to take the truck home and clean it over the weekend and, consequently, that he was not engaged in employment, nor was he doing anything incidental to his employment at the time of the incident.

Take Away Points

The Queensland courts have made it clear in numerous recent decisions including Ziebarth v Simon Blackwood and Campbell v Australian Leisure & Hospitality Group Pty Ltd & Anor1that the Hatzimanolis test will be applied when considering whether a worker has satisfied the definition of injury imposed by section 32 of the Act when his or her personal injury was suffered during an interval or interlude.

Other jurisdictions within Australia are also adopting a similarly narrow view when determining whether an employer induced or encouraged a worker to engage in a particular activity. In the recent decision of Pioneer Studios Pty Ltd v Hills, a worker was denied access to workers' compensation after having sustained personal injury at a party held at the employer's premises. Similarly in the decision of Westrupp and BIS Industries Ltd a worker failed in his claim for compensation as he could not prove that his employer required or encouraged him to be at a tavern on a mine site when he was assaulted.


1[2015] ICQ 016

© HopgoodGanim Lawyers

Award-winning law firm HopgoodGanim offers commercially-focused advice, coupled with reliable and responsive service, to clients throughout Australia and across international borders.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.