It has come to our attention that, in 2010, an injured worker jumped to his death from the 6th floor of the WorkCover SA building and left a suicide note explicitly blaming WorkCover SA for his suicide.
Today Tonight in South Australia aired this disturbing report in January 2010 and talked to two widows who blame WorkCover SA as contributing to their husbands’ suicides.
You can view the video on Today Tonight’s website – simply type in “WorkCover Suicide” to locate the video report.
Mr Kevin Purse, a leading safety expert, was also interviewed in that story at the time. Purse had also undertaken an [popup url=’http://www.saunions.org.au/SAUnions%28Rev%29.pdf ‘]investigation into the SA workers compensation system[/popup], which state:
“By any objective standard, South Australia’s lacklustre workers’ compensation performance is attributable to poor management by WorkCover and its former claims agents rather than the level of entitlements available to injured workers.
It also includes the failure to ensure that employers comply with their return to work obligations. Having said that, WorkCover’s new claims agent EML needs to be given a reasonable opportunity to demonstrate that it is capable of improving the scheme’s performance.”
Purse’s report emphasised that the SA workers compensation scheme is faltering because of poor management:
We also dugg up that on 1 April 2008, the Minister for Industrial Relations announced a $15m Return to Work Fund “to fund initiatives helping retraining, rehabilitation and return to work programs and initiatives”, and we do really wonder where all that money went!
The Today Tonight’s story highlights yet a again that being injured in the workplace through no fault of the injured worker should not lead to a life of poverty.