In this case, the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission has
found that 'a nothing event' was able to cause an
aggravation to a previous work related neck injury, thereby
allowing the worker to receive further compensation to cover the
period of the aggravation.
Mr Pope was employed as a store person. He claims to have
sustained an injury to his neck as a result of an incident on 21
November 2014 when using a Reach forklift.
Importantly, Mr Pope lodged three workers' compensation
applications in 2014, for incidents sustained in February, June and
November. In all incidents he claims to have sustained neck
The November incident occurred when the forklift came to a
sudden stop causing Mr Pope to grab a handle to prevent him falling
out of the forklift. He says he aggravated the previous neck
injuries in the November incident.
Curiously, Mr Pope referred to the November incident as 'a
nothing event' and described the forces involved as 'very
modest indeed'. However, Mr Pope claimed the November incident
caused an aggravation of underlying pathology as the neck injury
from the previous incidents had not fully healed.
Mr Pope's treating doctor, Dr Gatehouse, was the only doctor
to give oral evidence. Dr Gatehouse acknowledged that:
Mr Pope had received no further medical treatment, apart from
physiotherapy, after 8 October 2014; and
when Dr Gatehouse reviewed Mr Pope on 11 November 2014 (10 days
before the incident) his symptoms seemed to have settled down and
no further treatment was recommended.
Despite this, Dr Gatehouse said he did not know whether the June
injury had resolved prior to the November incident, although it
appeared the symptoms had ceased.
The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission agreed that the
November incident caused an aggravation of the previous neck
injuries, which were otherwise becoming symptom free. Accordingly,
Mr Pope was entitled to receive compensation for the period of the
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