Zara Lee Easterman suffered personal injury on 22 May 20213 driving from work and subsequently died. The Workers compensations awarded her father, Stephen Easterman, the sum of $498,950.

Zara worked 12 hour night shifts from 7.00pm to 7.00am being on for six days, then off for two days. Zara normally lived with her parents at Manilla on her two days off. Her place of employment, Namoi Cotton Gin, is at Boggabri, a journey of approximately one and a half hours from her parent’s home in Manilla.

Zara arranged to stay at the house of a close friend, Adam Kirton, in Gunnedah during the six days that she was working each week at the cotton gin in Boggabri. This was 37 minutes from Boggabri and the drive was on a very good highway.

The 22 May 2013 was to have been the sixth day that the applicant had worked night shift of 12 hours’ duration. In the normal course she would have returned the following day to her parents.  Zara and her fellow workers were all sent home early because there was a failure on the line and they were not required to return to work that shift. There had been no breaks between her commencing work at 7.00pm and her leaving at 9.25pm or thereabouts.

The commission concluded that the applicant’s employment had a real and substantial connection with the applicant’s accident by reason of her tiredness from her employment activities and the duration of them. That the fatigue caused by the long hours required in her employment was a real and substantial connection with the circumstances of the accident or incident in which the deceased suffered her injuries and which resulted in her death.

The full finding can be found here

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