No diploma, no problem as OHS faker gets compo

THE South Australian Employment Tribunal has ruled mining contractor Lucas Total Contract Solutions must reinstate weekly compensation payments to a man injured on the job but later sacked for falsifying documents and falsely claiming to hold a diploma in occupational health and safety.
No diploma, no problem as OHS faker gets compo No diploma, no problem as OHS faker gets compo No diploma, no problem as OHS faker gets compo No diploma, no problem as OHS faker gets compo No diploma, no problem as OHS faker gets compo

Demaria offered excuse after excuse until finally presenting a document, which it turned out he had created himself.

Dean Demaria started working for Lucas as a plant operator in 2013, with his resume and employment application falsely claiming he held a diploma in OHS from Swan TAFE in Western Australia.

It turned out Demaria had only completed one unit of a Certificate IV course.

He also neglected to tell Lucas he actually did that unit while serving a three-year jail term.

Demaria got the job nonetheless, and started working 12-hour shifts driving trucks before being trained to operate scrapers.

He was working on a scraper in 2014 when its steel door blew shut and struck him in the head, breaking his safety helmet and causing him to fall 2m backwards, landing on his back.

The injury to his back led to surgery to relieve pressure on his spinal cord and ongoing pain and discomfort, and a claim for compensation, based on average weekly earnings of $2095.06 gross per week.

After a period of recovery Demaria decided to return to the mine site to work as a health and safety coordinator, which prompted the HR manager and health, safety and quality manager to ask to see an original copy of his diploma from Swan TAFE.

Demaria offered excuse after excuse until finally presenting a document, which it turned out he had created himself.

None the wiser, the company's HR manager uploaded the certificate onto the Lucas TCS database.

Suspicions soon arose about the authenticity of the document, as it did not have a date on it or a certificate number.

When the HR manager rang Swan TAFE to check they discovered Demaria's document was false.

Demaria was subsequently sacked for serious and wilful misconduct, and told his weekly payments of compensation would also be stopped.

He expressed regret for the circumstances of his termination then went out and completed a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety.

Appearing in front of the employment tribunal Demaria conceded that while his dismissal was legal he was still partially incapacitated after the workplace and he had done enough to restore mutuality to a degree sufficient enough to warrant the reinstatement of his weekly compensation payments.

The South Australian Employment Tribunal agreed, and ordered Lucas to reinstate Demaria's weekly compensation payments.

In a statement the tribunal said the cumulative effects of Demaria's positive words and actions following his termination and discontinuance outweighed the negatives.