Injured worker attempt to set himself alight at QBE

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.

ASetOnFire_3250ll 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.

Please do NOT set yourself on fire – if you feel you’re losing control call Lifeline 13 11 14, call your doctor, call Beyond blue 1300 22 46 36,  call a friend, call the Injured Workers Support Network (NSW), or vent on our vent page!


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

4 Responses to “Injured worker attempt to set himself alight at QBE”

  1. The fact is when you are subjected to what you know is corrupt behaviours on so many levels and you are powerless and your moral compass tells you you can’t react with violence against the insurer or their crook IMEs and solicitors then the violence turns inward and you hurt yourself while screaming on the inside “Why won’t someone listen to me!” This is the most corrupt and biased, bully-boy system I have ever endured and it seems the government has no concern at all. A Royal Commission is required so all injured workers have a voice. In NSW the WorkCover Independent Review Officer is having a review and you guessed it 90% of those involved are insurance staff!!! The IWSN has been allowed one rep after pressure and argument and I think it is something like 18 or 19 insurance members looking at the Legislation. I can make a simple recommendation- video the IMEs and then throw them in goal if they make false statements as they also sign the report knowing it is legal evidence. Lies, lies and more lies- how can this continue to go on? It is no wonder people are so worn down they feel self harm is the only way out. Funny thing QBE being in the same building as the solicitors used to find these IMEs. The whole thing is disgusting!!

    Bashed and bullied February 9, 2015 at 12:28 pm
  2. My thoughts and prayers go out to this poor man and his family. This terrible incidents only reinforces that our workcover compensation systems have a genuine capacity to do harm additional to that which has already been suffered by the injured/ill worker.

    • The poor man we have all thought about suicide some of us have nearly done it and to those souls who have may god understand what put them in this place we call DEATH!!. How much can the human mind stand its not just the pain we suffer, it the unrelenting bullying it never ends QBETMT ,told me they own me and they do sad but true. A class action forget it the only thing I would love to see is a ROYAL COMMISSION LETS STAND UP AND BE COUNTED and just maybe this poor man and the POLICE SUICIDE OF ASHLEY BRYANT R.I.P.will make someone LOOK INTO WHAT IS GOING ON. We need a book of victims who have committed suicide and a book of those that nearly did and are still with us, how many don’t we hear about I am sure the numbers would be very high

      • Dear Suzanne,i agree something has to be done about how we are treated.The public has to be made aware of what really happens to injuried workers as they are so misinformed,they only find out when their in it.And if how they treat the police officers is anything to go on what hope have we got.The police who put their lives on the line to save and protect is us.The only way the public found out about what happened to the officer who took his life was on ACA so I think that’s part of the answer maybe someone show some tape on their experience with an IME.But when it all comes down to it as we all know its $$$$$$$$ they are in that business to make money and if its at the expense of injuried workers so be it that’s how they think.These case managers do get threats and so do these IME we and the public just don’t hear about it.Many people with common law cases settle out of court for their reasons and have to sign a paper saying that they are not to talk about this to anyone but their legal team,why do you think they do this to protect themselves and so the public does not,they cannot afford it word of mouth is the greatest form of advertising.See its all about the $$$$$$.