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Psychological injury and proving work-relatedness: cases

Having liability accepted for a psychological work-related injury can be very difficult, even more so because the connection or relationship to work can be (and is often) less obvious than in workcover claims involving only physical injuries. However in the following recent legal cases, the courts accepted that there was a psychological work-related injury present.

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Angry at the workcover system

I recently asked an orthopaedic surgeon why he recently decided to cease accepting workcover patients; the surgeon gave an interesting but perhaps wretched answer, saying that workcover patients are much more difficult o engage and treat than general patients because “these injured workers are so angry at the [workcover] system”.

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Settlement of a workcover claim can liberate the injured worker

While any workcover settlement (or closure of claim) does NOT take an injured worker’s pain and/or disability away; once the injured worker feels that s/he is no longer imprisoned and under constant scrutiny by the work-over system, there is then room for “living”. There is nothing like experiencing freedom from being surveilled, judged, made accountable, having to comply with directives from insurance vultures and…from being treated like vermin.

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Psychological counseling vital for seriously injured workers

Unfortunately moderate to very serious workplace injuries continue to occur. Some of these workplace injuries result in substantial lost work time, permanent and partial impairment and disability, and … chronic pain. [Major] Depression, in particular following a more severe injury impacts not only the injured worker but also the worker’s family. Some workplace accidents also include traumatic events which can precipitate acute stress disorder or post traumatic stress disorder.

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The role of an injured worker is similar to that of someone in prison

The workcover system is an extremely confining system which consists mainly of repression— defined as the state of [the injured worker] being controlled (by force). Your income, health care, medical treatment and even ‘activities’ are controlled by a governing source (WorkCover and it’s agent). In fact there is virtually no freedom, very little flexibility and lots of surveillance.

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Challenges injured workers face – Part 2: relationships

As posted in Part 1 of challenges injured workers face,  there are many similar challenges the (fairly) newly seriously injured or disabled worker must face regardless of the nature of their specific disability. One of the common issues faced by newly seriously injured and/or disabled workers is boredom, another one is relationship issues with others.

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