A couple of days ago, Newcastle (NSW) newspapers reported that a man, who later was identified as an injured worker with a claim with QBE, had set himself alight in the offices of workcover insurer QBE. The man has been airlifted to a Sydney burns unit in a serious condition.
It is not the first time we have heard that utterly-frustrated and enraged injured workers have targeted their extreme frustration, rage and desperation at their workcover insurers, case managers, independent medical examination doctors (IME’s), judges, lawyers as well as towards their (pre-injury) employer(s). For example in 2008, an injured worker plotted to blow up Coles (his employer). Recently The Western Australian published an article about an enraged injured worker (litigant) who was abusive and threatened to harm a (defense) barrister, as well as a Judge during his workcover-related tribunal hearing. Not long ago we heard from a doctor that an injured worker, who had suffered both a severe physical and psychiatric injury, had told him that he ‘would f*cking kill‘ the particular (notorious) IME psychiatrist (if he ever saw him again) for being so obnoxious, rude and especially for ‘writing a pack of lies’ in his IME report.
All we can say is that we UNDERSTAND why some injured workers act violently, even though we DON’T endorse it.
The sad reality is that many genuinely injured workers— whose emotions inevitably run hot and whose future it at stake—are treated extremely poorly by their workcover insurers and their various stakeholders, such as IME’s, case managers, rehabbers, their employers etc, AND the work-over system, often resulting in extremely unfair and utterly insulting ‘decisions’, delays in treatment, denials of medical care or weekly pay, biased IME reports, etc. all resulting in loss (i.e. loss of weekly pay, loss of medical and like etc), damage (i.e. common law claim, and psych injury), hurt, humiliation… and… yep, utter RAGE.
Man sets himself on fire at Honeysuckle in insurance protest
A MAN with an apparent gripe over an insurance claim has set himself alight in front of police and office workers at Honeysuckle.
A police statement released on Monday officers were called to the Wharf Road building after staff became concerned about a man in the foyer about 11am.
‘‘As police arrived, the man has set himself alight. The officers, along with employees, were able to cover him in a fire blanket,’’ the statement said.
‘‘Due to smoke, workers in the building were advised to leave the premises as precaution.
‘‘The man was taken to John Hunter Hospital where he continues to receive treatment.
‘‘The two police officers and one of the office workers who rendered first aid to the man have received treatment for smoke inhalation.
‘‘Initial inquiries suggest no apparent suspicious circumstances surrounding the man’s injury.’’
‘‘Detectives from Newcastle City Local Area Command are following a number of lines of inquiry, including whether the man may have been involved in a disputed commercial transaction.’’
Newcastle Man Sets himself alight inside Honeysuckle Office Building
Hundreds of workers were evacuated from three Honeysuckle office blocks today, after a harrowing incident inside the Sparke Helmore building.
At 11am, police were called to QBE Insurance on the fourth floor, where they found a 44-year-old man had doused himself with an accelerant, which he then ignited.
A police officer, who wrapped the man in a fire blanket, along with two others suffered smoke inhalation.
The man has been airlifted to a Sydney burns unit in a serious condition.
And if you, or someone you know, needs help or support, you can contact Lifeline.
Please call for help if you feel you’re losing control