Stroke survivor learns honesty is always the best policy
Soans v KDR Victoria Pty Ltd T/A Yarra Trams (2022)
KDR Victoria Pty Ltd trading as Yarra Trams employed Mr Soans as a tram driver. In July 2021, Mr Soans suffered a stroke. As a result, he was in hospital for 4 weeks and unable to attend work. Mr Soans did not advise Yarra Trams that he had suffered a stroke.
Upon Mr Soans’ return to work, Yarra Trams required him to attend two medical assessments:
- The first health assessment was required by the National Standard for Rail Safety Workers. In this appointment, Mr Soans did not mention he had a stroke, and simply said he had felt weak and tired but had not received a diagnosis. The examining doctor obtained Mr Soans’ hospital records and certified him unfit for work for 3 months, as required by the National Standard. Mr Soans was advised that a specialist would need to clear him to return to work.
- The second health assessment was a Category 1 medical assessment. Mr Soans stated he had a stroke on his medical history form and advised he was waiting for an upcoming specialist appointment. However, when asked by the examining doctor, Mr Soans did not say he had a stroke and he did not advise that he had been certified unfit for work for 3 months under the National Standard. In the absence of this information, the examining doctor certified Mr Soans fit for work.
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