Gordon Davies, Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Wollongong raised some extremely important points which were either overlooked or blatantly ignored at the NSW Workers Compensation Inquiry in June this year.
Further to John McPhilbin’s article about the Cycle of Despair, the model that we all believe offers a fairly accurate representation of what many injured workers are forced to endure in the dysfunctional workers compensation system, I’d like to briefly resummarise an article we posted on our forum about what a medium to severe injured worker typically undergoes and how they are affected within the first year(s) after a workplace injury.
We are very grateful to ‘Kim” who kindly found the courage to share her story with us. Whilst Kim initially suffered a relatively “minor” back injury at her first workplace, she had not been treated properly by her then employer (and insurer) and was consequently forced to seek alternate employment, where she suffered horrendous abuse to be only pushed into another position where she was further exploited by another greedy and cruel employer. The domino effect of one injury is crushing, and we can see now how the original physical injury actually created a psychological injury also, which made her very vulnerable to further injury….
What is a stigma?
The stigmatised individual is seen to be a person who possesses an “undesirable difference”. Society develops ideas on what constitutes”difference” or “deviance”. (Goffman, 1963).
A stigma is linked to social inequality. It causes some groups to be devalued as it were, and others to feel that they are superior in some way.