Hospitals are some of the worst employers say injured workers

A few days ago, I had an interesting conversation with my treating GP. We talked about bullying and workplaces and my GP told me that the worst employers are hospitals, social (government) services and charity organisations! The places and people who supposedly “care” for people are the biggest bullies you can imagine and treat their own injured workers like dirt. This is not only evidenced by the way my friend was treated in her workplace (a reputable hospital), but, more recently, by a couple of injured workers who shared their stories with us…

Hospitals are some of the worst employers of injured workers

After a number of long conversations with my psychologist she came to the conclusion that I haven’t been bullied at work [hospital]. Ive been tortured, writes injured worker Anna (nickname).

” But in this no fault no blame system. There is very little that can be done.”

My psychologist has spoken to the Workcover Ombusman many times trying to help assault victims like myself working in a government department many times without avail. He has expressed his frustration in the entire Workcover system.

In short my employer can continue to bully and injure me. That concerned me as the bullying has caused psychological distress.  I’m now going to request to leave my employment.

My health is far more important to me and my family than working in a den of Nazi’s. I do not feel safe working in that toxic, physically unsafe environment.

If I hit someone violently in my workplace I would be arrested. I would be fired due to an act of aggression.

Workcover gives my employer licence to make that fist and hit me aggressively then call it a no blame act.

Whatever workers are being told about their OHS and Workcover rights is a load of crock. When it comes to actioning some of these so called rights everyone gets cold feet. Then the true story is revealed, they can’t do anything.

Every person that this lovely ” manager ” used against me has been moved/removed or resigned, writes Sally (nickname).

Currently this lovely manager is on ” unplanned ” leave and has been for over (x) months.

This lovely ” manager ” attempted to use workers compensation against me but the insurance company through a private investigator and also my previous workers compensation case which was accepted about being harassed and bullied by this person, declined to accept this persons claim.

One wonders why this person even attempted to try and hoodwink the insurance company when they interviewed this person many times during my claim and that this person, when serious questions were put up, that the screaming and intimidating behaviour was exhibited.

I am one of the lucky ones as I didn’t give way and won’t.

NSW Health and in particular [X] Hospital has a horrid reputation for harassment.

I have had to monitor the court lists as I find it interesting on how many cases come up in relation to legal issues that [X] Hospital are trying to have dismissed about Workers Compensation Cases against them and how many claims by the courts go in favor of the employee and very few [X] Hospital wins!

With all the written correspondence that I have here I have been advised that if my case is bought before the courts that a few lovely people will be heavily fined or sent to prison.

My advise is that workers keep all written correspondence that you receive, if anyone refuses to put anything in writing then take the matter to the highest person in government claiming lack of transparency and dishonest conduct ( code of conduct ) in dealing with your complaint.

The other issue about the insurance company case managers is that these lovely people can be bought to account if you complain to the CEO of the company and that on their own website you will find codes of conduct that they will abide by and not ignore.

That’s why the insurance company I dealt with eventually assisted me. I actually was instrumental in having the CEO of EML-TMF being forced to resign as I got access to the Board of Directors of this company and also WorkCover NSW assisted me.

I still have my bad days but have learnt to accept that it was not my fault !

Yes, there are many psychopathic/ personality disordered individuals in the workplace whom are managers!

They leave a destructive path in their wake and they lack remorse.


I discovered something interesting tonight, writes Tanya (nickname).  We have a Director of Nursing called [name] in our Surgical Specialities. Now when cases that have been brought before this tribunal, (many are on the internet) a Ms (same name ) is part of that board.

Now the bullies of the hospital are all friends of this [person]. They socialise with her, been given the most choice jobs and are classed as untouchable.

No bullying complaint is ever acknowledged by her and her buddies can do and say what they please.

I’ve always wondered why they are confident they can do what they like. If this is the same [person] that sits on a medical board. Say no more….. Fascinating.


Thank you for sharing your stories and experiences and rest assured that we are keeping a very close watch on those disgraceful public hospitals

6 Responses to “Hospitals are some of the worst employers say injured workers”

  1. I am an injured nurse and have also experienced the most sickening bullying, intimidation, harassment and ill-treatment from my RTW “coordinator”, the OHS Director and my Manager. In fact during my last RTW attempt I had a nervous breakdown and vomited during a meeting. The subsequent IMWEs all certified me unfit for work for YEARS based on the psych injury I suffered during that RTW, notwithstanding that my original injury was a severe physical injury (assault). I was also unlawfully sacked and to mnake matters even more sickening, after they sent me to an unnecessary (as per IME) vocational for “NES” (New Employer Services” whilst I was suicidal (!) they reinstated me on paper…! Not very smart considering that they sent me the sacking letter. I was sacked a few weeks after having written a letter to the Director of HR, requesting an “investigation” in my allegations, in particular the reason why a) I was forced to work full time whilst I had a medico-legal certificate stating that I was NOT allowed to work unless I was provided with ergonomic support in the office (requested numerous times), b) why I was forced to postpone major urgent surgery by several months by my boss and c) why I was refused to RTW whilst I had a certificate of capacity outlining the same restrictions as prior surgery….
    This was at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (Vic).

  2. Injured workers face hostility: NSW Nurses

    by John McPhilbin

    ”Every day I have pain. At every step the insurer has resisted paying for treatment.” – Emily Orchard

    Despite our submission of survey results being ignored by the recent Workers Compensation Inquiry Committee, we are relieved that the NSW Nurses Association have capitalised on our important findings. This comes from their July edition of The Lamp .

    29 June 2012

    For people on workers’ compensation, coping with injury or illness may be the least of their worries.

    Dealing with uncaring and hostile employers and/or insurers is a far greater cause of stress to people on workers’ compensation than their injuries and/or illnesses.

    This is revealed in a survey of NSW workers presented to the state parliamentary committee that recommended drastic cuts to workers’ compensation benefits.

    Carried out by the Injured Workers’ Support Network, the survey received detailed responses from more than 300 people who were either receiving workers’ compensation, in dispute over their claims or back at work in a limited capacity.

    Of those surveyed, 42% nominated dealing with their employer/insurer as the biggest cause of stress. A further 20% said dealing with the workers’ compensation system was the major stress factor. Only 16% named their injury or illness as the most stressful factor.

    An alarming 59% of survey respondents reported having contemplated suicide following their injury. Fifty-five percent said their relationships had suffered significantly and 34% were now separated or divorced.

    Convenor for the Injured Workers’ Support Network, Michelle Burgess, said the survey showed many injured workers experienced the claims management process as hostile and uncaring.

    “Unnecessary and often inappropriate pressures are being placed on many injured workers, which do not assist their rehabilitation needs,” Michelle said. “In too many cases, injured workers report that employers do everything they can to stop them from returning to work and that insurers attempt to bully them and their treating doctors into treatment schedules that ignore medically accepted treatment standards.

    “Insurers routinely deny and delay treatments and then fail to monitor and manage ongoing treatments when they are finally approved.”

    Poor case management by insurers who were poorly equipped to understand or appropriately manage many of the cases they receive was also a major contributing factor to cost blowouts in the workers’ compensation system, Michelle said.

    “Any attempt to reduce benefits will add further hardship on people who already consider current benefits to be both unfair and inadequate.”

    workcovervictim July 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm
  3. Bullying in Hospitals appears to be much much more widespread than I thought. A SA injured nurse wrote the following (via email):
    I had a chat to Worksafe SA [date] concerning bullying in the South Australian workplace. As to date there are no laws to convict or prevent anyone from bullying you in your workplace. Worksafe will only mediate. There is no law to stop bullying, therefore employees remain undefended and vulnerable. In South Australia employer can injure an employee and do what they like without a significant challenge. Even if they have had evidence an assault has occurred. So far in South Australia when the HR of a company and employee come head to head before a tribunal. The result has always been poor for the employee and satisfactory for the company. South Australia has not accepted the new National OHS standards because the Liberal government and independents choose to block the new legislation. Worksafe also claimed, that the whole of the SA public sector is based on employment by nepotism and favouritism. The open defiance in becoming part of the national OHS system is a clear support of workplace bullying which ensures complete safety to employers and managers who bully. The new act means the bully can face criminal charges. Now you know why South Australia carries the highest rates of injured workers not returning to their work places and why injured employees are bullied on to unemployment benefits. How many people in South Australia have chosen unemployment benefits over a Workcover claim to avoid bullying would be an interesting research?
    Now why would the government want to disturb this happy little nest of [insert parasite here]?
    Workcover also claimed the South Australian Government can’t hold out forever. Maybe a little people pressure will kick the brake off? Maybe if people complained to the Independents and Liberal party this ball will start rolling.

    workcovervictim3 July 3, 2012 at 10:14 am
  4. Because bullying is so common in NSW Hospitals staff have become almost desensitised to it and to some degree it is ‘normalised’. When I tell stories to people outside the hospital system about things that occur at work they are horrified, yet within the hospital these ‘horrific’ stories are just part of the culture. I used to come home and complain to my husband how degrading it was that a senior nurse manager would walk behind me while I was at my computer, put her fingers in my hair, mess it up and walk away laughing; my husband would tell me “that is not degrading… it is assault”, yet when I discussed it with my colleagues we would describe it as “belittling”. As most bullying managers in NSW Health this one went on to be promoted and is now a Director of Nursing at another hospital, it appears to be very common for the bullying ones to be successful. No, I did not complain, I witnessed others complain about this manager and their careers did not exactly thrive following their complaints. Yes, I was gutless, or maybe I just ‘played the game’ to keep my nose clean.

    Several years later I did complain about management and my life has been a misery ever since. I only recently heard the expression ‘managerial mobbing’ which is an accurate description of what I have experienced ever since complaining. After over 30 years of having a reputation as a good hard worker and having good health I am now on workers comp suffering from depression and anxiety and having regular counselling. I have returned to work several times and each time they have made my life more miserable than the last. While back at work I attended a meeting to try to resolve work issues (that arose following my citicism of management), a Union Organiser and HR were present as well as two Directors. In the meeting one Director actually sat and ridiculed me for having been on what he described as “pseudo stress leave” he then went on to laugh at me when I got upset, making other derogatory comments so the Union terminated the meeting. After the meeting (which the Union Organiser described as absolutely disgusting and said he’d never seen anything like it), HR typed up ficticious minutes of the event which were no doubt dictated by the offending Director, the other Director present (my boss) complained about my treatment to the General Manager – her action?…. she went on leave soon after and placed the offending Director in charge of the hospital; and they wonder hy I don’t feel secure and protected at work?

    Yes, this time I lodged a formal complaint, the Union advised me to as this Director had bullied others but no one would complain. The result? Months after lodging the complaint I had to chase up the Union to see what the outcome was, I ended up getting a copy of a letter admitting he made the comments and was sorry, that was it, they didn’t even bother sending me a copy they just sent it to the Union.

    Despite all this I am trying to get back into work but rather than facilitate this my employer is actually hindering the process, they have not complied with return to work plans, they have not complied with numerous policies and I suppose if they can get me to stay at home long enough they can terminate me. This would suit them as I reached saturation point, I don’t care anymore about “playing the game”, they have destroyed my health, I have questioned their actions, demanded transparency and accused them of dishonesty, now they are trying to make me go away by making it hard for me to return to work. There is nowhere for me to go for help. I was so fed up that I contacted my local MP over two weeks ago as I noticed he is on a Workcover Committee, I wanted him to know what sort of antics HIS government get up to regarding getting workcover victims back to work, I’ve called twice to arrange a meeting and he has been too busy to contact me back.

  5. As a victim of bullying and managerial mobbing within a NSW Hospital I have been shocked at how little help there actually is out there. Almost all the bullies are managers therefore there is nowhere to turn within the system as anyone critisising a manager is instantly labelled a trouble maker, HR do not follow any NSW Health Policies and are a law unto themselves which is very scary and can leave any victim of bullying who dares to complain in a vulnerable situation.
    I am understanding the political system more now: bullying was rife in NSW Health under the last goverment, this goverment came in full of promises about addressing the issue, now the opposition leader has revealed that the Health Minister is actually supressing the release of a document into bullying at a large NSW Hospital as it would make them look bad and demonstrate that they have done nothing! Any report into bullying should be released to encourage other victoms to come forward.
    I have also noticed that managerial bullies in NSW Health are the most successful and nearly almost get promoted into positions of even more power – very scary indeed.

  6. A message received via email from another nurse…
    “its hard to know where to start. 2001 patient abuses at mental health facility in south australia ,i was a good nurse, now suffering mental
    health issues,i didnt participate so some staff chose to defame me,and workcover and others failed to recognise me as a whistle blower legal
    persons also, unable to work shortly there after due to victimization bullying and discrimination then in approx 2005 2 deaths on the same
    ward cant seem to get any genuine assistance this is very hard to convey so much bad stuff has happened tantamount to torture of myself
    so many people too interested in making money out of me and avoiding the isssue of the offences under the whistle blowers act .south australia seems to be a small place when lawyers and workcover and the
    state are involved. sorry that this is not that cocise but so much has gone wrong. with workcover abuses as well…”

    Interesting you’d say this, as we have received numerous emails and horror stories from nurses residing in South Australia!

    woorkcovervictim July 1, 2012 at 9:43 am