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.
A key element in suicidal behaviour or idealisation is the feeling of helplessness, which arises from prolonged periods of [extreme] stress or emotional upset. For many [seriously] or ill injured workers this may include constant abuse from the employer or the workcover insurer [case manager], constant denials for even the most basic of medical and like care/services; …
The following article and story were submitted by an ex-police officer who attempted suicide, in the context of the recently aired documentary “Police officer’s suicide call ‘I’ll be gone before they arrive” by Channel 7’s Sunday Night program.
On our “Meet the system” page, we compiled the list of the “major” role players in the workcover system, and ranked each group by its level of indifference to the welfare and the plight of the injured worker. Workcover insurance companies and their evil defense lawyers are listed as number one enemies, followed by (most) IMEs. If you read the following disturbing legal case, you will have proof of this utter indifference and lack of humanity.
Unfortunately workplace bullying remains a reality in Australia. It is a widespread and complex issue that can have a profound and devastating effect on a worker’s health as well as on their life. Tragically, in a number of cases, workplace bullying has pushed victims to take their own life.
The pressure many injured workers experience as a result of being on compensation creates such a grinding sense of despair and hopelessness that they start thinking about suicide as a solution to their problems. Most don’t follow through, but a few tragically do. What’s perhaps most disturbing is that employers (aka inhumane workcover insurers) will attempt to deny liability on the basis an injured worker’s tragic death by suicide is not causally related to his or her employment, even though the injured worker became hopelessly depressed as a consequence of their workplace injury and… dealing with the inhumane workcover system. The ultimate insult to the deceased injured worker and their family!
According to the partner of a former (Burpengary) state school deputy principal, workplace bullying contributed to his tragic suicide. The deputy principal’s workcover stress claim was denied, alleging (as usual dare we say) there was not enough information provided to raise suspicion of misconduct regarding the principal, but the matter was suitable for managerial actions… WTF!
In his suicide note, the poor deputy principal clearly stated that “he was struggling with a huge problem at work …and then another problem hits me (which was a relationship problem), I just can’t cope anymore”.