A man who was beaten in his sleep at a Moranbah mining camp has been given the go-ahead to apply for compensation.
The Industrial Court of Queensland dismissed an appeal by Mackay employer Civeo Pty Ltd against the state’s Workers’ Compensation Regulator.
On December 15, 2010, Mr Shane Cumbers was asleep in his room at MAC Moranbah Village, which was owned and operated by Civeo.
At about 1.50am, the appliance technician was woken by someone hitting his face and ribs after gaining entry into his room. Mr Cumbers received soft tissue injuries to the right side of his face, thorax and right rib cage.
Earlier that evening, Mr Cumbers had been drinking alcoholic beverages and smoking marijuana with others at the camp before heading to bed at 11pm. The court heard the man who entered his room gained entry with a master key he had obtained.
Mr Cumbers identified his assailant as one of the people who had been at the gathering but who did not work for the appellant and who he had met at the gathering, but not previously. His assailant said nothing during the attack.
Justice Glenn Martin said while Mr Cumbers had been in bed when he was injured, he was eligible for compensation because he was in accommodation his employer “induced or encouraged” him to use.
“That reasoning applies with similar force to the circumstances of this case. Mr Cumbers’ injury occurred at and by reference to a place and in circumstances where the employer had induced or encouraged him to be. His injury arose out of or in the course of employment,” he said.
Mr Cumbers made a worker’s compensation claim for physical and psychological injuries. His claim was approved, but Civeo asked the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission to over-rule the decision.