Tell Us Your Story Archive

Tell Us Your Story

In order to fight for changes to the workers compensation system, Unions NSW wants to highlight the impact of the cuts on workers and their families.

Please tell us your story on this webpage about your workers compensation experience. 

Tell Us Your Story Archive


9th September 2012

I had been working with the same company for 16 years always being flexible with my shifts, working overtime when they wanted, weekend work, going inter-state for long or short periods and doing anything they wanted of me even at the shortest of notice.
In May 2007 I was sent inter-state to work night shift in the company vehicle. When I arrived at the job site I stepped out of the company van and realised that I had pins and needles in my legs and feet I was also sore in the lower back.

I assumed this was from the drive down and proceeded to check into the job when I was informed there was no work for me at that time. I sat in the electrician’s room still having pins and needles trying to shake them off for a few hours and then filled out an injury report and faxed it off to my company.

I went back to the hotel and was hoping to sleep off the pain. The next morning I did try to go to a medical centre to see a doctor but due to the amount of people waiting I was told to go somewhere else. The overwhelming pain and my body adjusting to shift work and sleep patterns also not knowing the area well therefore being in pain looking for another doctor was not an option, so I decided to go back to the hotel to rest. That afternoon I received a call from my boss whom is also a safety officer, asking what was wrong. I explained that my back was still sore and the pins and needles were still in my feet, and that I wanted to go to the hospital to get checked out and I was unable to work that night, his reply was No! That I had to work that night or we would lose the contract. After this comment I was speechless and fearing that I would lose my job and didn’t want to be responsible for the lost contract I went to work that night. The work involved lifting heavy ladders, climbing up and down from the ladders, bending and a heavy work load for one person; this is when I believe that I did more damage to my back by tearing my disc, I know this because I felt the disc pop. I fell/tilted backwards a bit as I was coming down from a ladder also there was a slight relief in pain after this happened. During the first night I contacted my boss and requested another person be sent to help out with the work load this request was denied and once again. I continued to go to work for 2 more nights taking pain relief to get through the shift which was between 8-12 hours each night.

When I returned to Sydney I went to my own doctor where he gave me a cortisone injection and referred me to physiotherapy which I did. I was then on annual leave to be married at a later date in May. In the week leading up to my wedding I was attending physio and was in pain. On the morning of my wedding I had a physio appointment, and during the ceremony and reception I was in pain. We considered not going on our honeymoon due to the pain I was in; as we had already paid 90% of the money we went. During this time I spent most of the time on the couch in pain or in the spa trying anything to relieve the pain. I also had to find a physiotherapist in the local area to try and help relieve some of the pain.

After returning home I spent another 3 weeks off on workers compensation resting and hoping that I would get better. I then returned to work on modified duties when the pain intensified. I then began the workers compensation cycle attending endless specialists, rehabilitation workshops, physio appointments and anything else asked of me all in the hope of returning to my pre-injury condition. In all of these appointments it was like no matter what I said no one understood the amount of pain I was in.
When I was working to get through the day I would have to take pain relief to dim the pain, then at night due to the intense pain and being unable to sleep I would have to take sleeping tablets or pain relief, I was a walking zombie due to the lack of sleep. My day consisted of walking around, sitting or laying down when I needed easy jobs. My bosses would either ignore me or abuse me, pretending that they knew nothing about what my injury was telling me they never received reports, before contradicting themselves by quoting aspects of the reports. At other times I was being under paid, harassed or even bullied and made fun of in front of others I was going through a range of different emotions throughout all of this. This continued for 18 months getting worse at the end before being made redundant due to “lack of work”, but I believe to this day if I was not injured I would have still been employed. I was upset about losing my job but glad to be removed from the stress and pain of the work I was trying to do and the stress my employers put me through. I could mention more details on a number of different people involved in the system like the insurance company, rehab providers legal doctors and more, they do what they have to do, but the laws are set up in such a way that if you have a long term injury there is little they can do to help the injured worker.

Before my injury I was looking into starting my own business, registering for my company name and an ABN, to set my family up for the future, but that dream has been crushed due to my injury along with home renovations, hobbies and enjoying my life.
All the specialists I have been to have now said that I need an operation(2012), to have any hope in getting better, but the operation has no guarantee of working. I have been told that I may end up worse if I go through with it, or need update operations every couple of years. Also just talking to people whom have said there’s been no change since their operation and being less flexible and still need to do stretching exercises therefore I am reluctant to go through with it and in the past specialists have advised me that the operation would be a risk, or that my pain levels did not warrant the operation being too young, due to the amount of mixed advice I have received this adds to my reluctance in undertaking the operation, although I know it needs to be done at some time.

After all I had been through all I got awarded even before these changes was less than $9,700 compensation and medical bills and travel expense paid for a lifelong injury. I receive a small weekly wage ($413.50 net) and due to been classified as 7% whole body injury I can’t sue for negligence as that you need a minimum of 15%. I even can’t get compensation for pain and suffering which is 10% or more however is now been removed from legislation. The maximum payment anyone could receive was $50,000 which is an insignificant amount considering the amount of pain and suffering I have been through since the injury even if I do go through surgery now I still won’t reach the 15% needed to be awarded negligence. Pre injury I was earning up to $70,000 a year all I am entitled to is less than $22,000 a year a loss around $48,000 a year.

I recently (2012) went for a TPD claim from my superannuation fund and although they acknowledge my injury however since I didn’t finalise within 6 months of termination date due to me still trying to get back to my pre-injury condition my claim has been denied at this point. However looking at their policy it is hard to understand and without a law degree I can’t understand or find this clause in the policy.

At this point I have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars due to my injury by being unable to work not only full time, but part time as the more I do the more pain I am in. A simple thing as visiting my family or friends for celebrations leaves me in pain for the next few days. My injury makes it impossible to lead a normal life, simple things like the dishes, vacuuming or just exercising can leave me in pain. Shopping bags cannot be too heavy, some days even walking around the shop leaves me in pain and I have to leave my wife to finish it as I have to sit down. At night I cannot sleep sometimes due to the pain levels. Everyday tasks are now a battle and can leave me in pain for days afterwards as this puts pressure on the damage disc which then pinch’s the nerve’s leading to an increase in pain down my hips legs and soles of feet due to my sciatic nerves which my damaged disc is pressing on or the inflammation and swelling around the nerves.

In conclusion I feel that these laws are unjust and if they are passed it would leave people like me in more financial trouble. I have emailed all members of NSW parliament and received a mixed response, however most members wanted to protect the insurance companies and employers from this cost blowout rather then look at the system and make it fair, for everyday Australians even though I sent them a copy of my story most had no care about my life and the effects it has on me. I have always been hard working in what I do; now I feel that I am being punished for this. If I was able to I would go back to work, I have done everything in my power to recover and get back to the workforce, but my injury prevents me from this. I feel that these laws enforced now are unfair, I have already lost money due to my injury and the little I get now, I can’t see why anyone would be in the work cover system who had a well paying job like I did unless they had to, it is financially not worth it.

By the passing of these laws and stopping my medical expenses my quality of life will dramatically decrease as I rely on attending Chiro, physio, aquatic exercises, CT guided epidural steroid injections and more, to relieve some of the pain I am in and due to the financial state I am now and due to stopping the weekly payments I could not afford to keep these things that I need up without them being paid for. I would also not be entitled to any government or disability payments due to paying off half of an investment property.

These laws have to be stopped as I am unable to work a regular pattern and I need the little compensation that I get to be able to live if there was another choice I would take it, but for me and many others the compensation is our livelihood, we have been through enough in our lives already we don’t need this stress added to us, so this needs to stop now. With the aid of medical advancements and knowledge there needs to be a better fair system in place that does not involve cutting the little compensation we receive.

The only glimmer of hope and support I have had through this is the injured workers support network ( and the NSW for all ( website has also provided me with helpful unbiased information. I will continue to add bits and amend parts of this story as it is not fiction it is my life I am sharing with you and as it progresses so will my story.


Where do I start? I’ve been on workers compensation for over five years. It started with a neck and back injury in April 2007 when I was working as a landscaper. I continued to work until June 2007. I was sacked within 2 weeks of going off on workers compensation. I haven’t worked since.

The insurer accepted liability in October 2007.

In 2008 I was assessed as 6% Whole Person Impairment (WPI). This was reduced to 2% WPI on the basis of a non-existent “pre-condition”.

In 2009 I started vomiting every day.

My insurer started paying for medications and investigations. In October 2011 my insurer agreed to my surgeon repairing an epigastric hernia (work-related) and have a look around. He was shocked to find that I had a volvulus of the stomach, which was what my GP had thought that I had in the first place.

My surgeon and GP both say it comes from the pain and suffering sustained from the neck and back injury and from being on workers compensation and dealing with my insurer. WorkCover and the Insurers get away with terrible bullying of injured workers. My insurer doesn’t agree I have a volvulus and doesn’t want to cover the further surgery I require.

When I was injured I weighed 90kg. Now I weigh 62kg.

I’m 44 years old.

I feel this whole system is a joke. The changes just make it worse. Under the new system, I am facing being cut off from weekly payments and medical payments yet I am unable to work because of my workplace injury.


I have been struggling for years to get justifiable compensation for my avoidable workplace injuries. I have a completely stuffed cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine (6 herniated discs). I have constant sciatica, valsalva and pins and needles in my feet. My groin and genitals have not stopped aching. I have soft tissue damage in just about every joint in my body. I have carpal tunnel syndrome, with constant pins and needles in my hands. I have severe arthritis throughout my body. I don’t sleep very well. I have gout. My neck and shoulders burn continually. I have headaches. I don’t have a choice when it comes to the amounts of necessary pills. My kids think I’m an embarrassment. (Not a man) My wife and I co-habitate. I have lesions all over my legs that will not heal. I sweat profusely. These symptoms all started between the 21 November 2001 and 15 January 2002.

My treating specialists and G.P. all say that I have suffered enough. My doctors have also said the workers compensation system prior to Jan 2002 is the system that I should have been assessed under with a permanent impairment of between 80-90%. The commission on 6 June 2012 said 12%. What the ___!

QBE Case managers and The Commission determined that my children will suffer more on-going poverty. This is Australia and this adversarial system has to care more and rectify injustices. My former employer MSR Ferlan Pty. Ltd. in Mortdale, NSW, have destroyed my families life, and got away with it. How is that justice?

My losses are very huge, I have already sold most of our assets (including the family home in Sydney) to keep the banks happy. If I don’t get the correct compensation in the next couple of years, the 3 other members of my young family and I will probably be living on the street. We already are missing meals.

What happened to the FAIR GO!

I did nothing wrong. I am an honest man. I need enough money to cover my costs. That has not happened since this mess started. By the time I’m 68 (if I make it), my family will have lost $11,000,000 in pre-injury income.

I use to have alot of money, but because my old employer did not heed my OHS warnings for 5 years, I am now in No Mans Land.

My mental health is holding for now, but who knows?

NSW Government shame on you all.


I was terminated from my employment 9 years ago, luckily I have a part time job now not earning anywhere what I used to. Work Cover and my insurance company have been very busy with me the last few weeks I know why, I am expecting to lose all that was awarded to me through the courts.
Off course I am not coping well with the stress of it all and suffering through depression but I am sure there are many others out there who will and are going through the same. One thing that really hurts that I should warn people about is that I had received several calls from N.S.W. Health asking me to do a survey regarding my health I thought I would as I had come out of hospital emergency because of my injury and felt obliged to help. I won’t go into it here but I do now know what was there intention. So now I am being hounded by letters,phone calls and appointments after 9 years they are telling me they want to help me with my injury.HaHa.
I foresee many a person suffering mentally from these actions and changes and predict some suffers to suicide as the impact is enormous to people’s lives.

Robin Fletcher

do have an extreme case of misconceived conduct practiced by the insurers, lawyers and employers TNT.
I do have a serios case of racial discrimination and serious vlification which is deemed criminal.
I have suffered an injury back in 2000 and since them the insurer spent around $ dollars of wasted money and my problem only got worsen, I have told the insurer about the harassment and discrimination but the insurer wasnt interested.
I have the right of worker compensation that have been continuously denies any benefits and I have over 22% loss on my foot and I have been waiting now for around one year to be rightly examined by a doctor sice my treating doctor refused to redo his report since the MRI done by Pitwater radilogy was falsely reported and I had to do a proper one overseas which was given the right diagnostic due the seriousness of my injuries.
I do have all papaers to suport my statements and all the facts going back to 2000.
The scheme is a fraud and ,lawyers, doctors ,agencies are all making huge amounts of money but in reality they are not doing any work due to their lack of care and serious negligence.
They are using taxpayers money and not doing the work they say they are doing.
I am a proof that the sytem is broken, but not because of the injured workers but because of the corrupt system and criminal employeers who will use of any means to hide this ugly truth.
I came to Australia as a free man and I have been treated worst than criminal but the real criminals are not only impune but making it look that they are the good guys and cutting beenfit and not tackling the problem the right way is a criminal act itself and have to be talked.
Kind Regards,
Robin Fletcher


In 2011 I started work as a Security Dog Handler working on Railcorp premises. My job was to patrol for up to 12 hours with a 20 minute break after 5 hours and a 10 minute break after 8 hours. I was to “patrol continuously” and was “prohibited from sitting or standing still for more than 2 minutes”. My dog was allowed a rest for 15 minutes every two hours but I was required to stand during this time. The ground I patrolled over was ballast, sharp jagged rocks which stabilize the train tracks. I worked from approximately 6pm to 6am and up to 75 hours a week.

After a few months of patrolling and experiencing severe pain in my legs and feet as well as severe fatigue, I was almost struck by a train and being told by supervisors I would be sacked if I reported it and so I complained to Workcover NSW. Workcover ignored my complaint for 2 months and when they did investigate they intimidated me by bringing my boss and a Railcorp manager to my work, who watched me be interviewed. Workcover refused to accept documentary evidence from me including rosters, photographs and witnesses which could prove our allegations. They told me it was all just a misunderstanding and communication problem and that the company and Railcorp would fix it up and no penalties would be imposed.

I was then intimidated and threatened by my employer, had my hours reduced and nothing had changed in terms of safety or conditions.

Approximately 3 months after the investigation was concluded the pain in my feet became so bad that I had to relieve myself of duty. After tests and scans it was found that I had sustained a fractured bone (stress fracture) in my foot, plantar facistis in both feet, arthritis in my left ankle joint and a as yet undiagnosed (I just an an MRI today) problem which my left ankle.

To date I think my treatment, doctors, podiatrist, scans and compensation payments for wages have probably cost Workcover 20-30 thousand dollars, for an injury that could have been avoided had Workcover done its job and forced Railcorp, and the company I worked for to comply with OHS / WHS legislation.

As it is, there are hundreds more people working under the same conditions I was today who are going to be injured and cost Workcover more money and I have no idea why.

I have complained to Workcover since that time, advising them of my injury and that allowing this to continue is placing more people at risk. Workcover’s response “Worker refutes your claims that workers are being put at risk.”.

If Mr O’Farrel wants to save money, I think his first and foremost priority might be to have Workcover do its job to prevent injuries rather than dole out money post accident or injury.


In may 2005 while on my way to pick up my work vehicle near a nsw inner west railway station, I was set apon from behind by a group of men and knocked to the ground. I was continuiously punched and kicked as well as beaten with a bat and jumped on.

I was left for dead in the gutter and in and out of consciousness, at some stage unknown to me, some train commuters parking their car at the station car park found me and rang for an ambulance.

With many injury’s both physical and psychological, incurring many surgeries including 2 spinal cord operations.
Almost 7 years later I am still experiencing daily pain and regular counselling and still need regular hospital admissions, I am still having ongoing issues with the insurance company regarding my workers compensation claim, they have put me through 7 years of hell, and that is with the current compensation law, god help victims if the govenment gets there way with there changers.


I have been employed as a truck driver for the past 40 years.
In 2009 I injured my knees getting out of the truck at work.
I have now had knee replacement surgery in 2011 and am booked in July 2012 to have the other one replaced. I am currently receiving weekly payments as I am not able to return to my duties as a truck driver. Please stop O’Farrell from changing the workers compensation laws otherwise myself and many others will be left with no protection in the workplace.


I have been on workers compensation for two years since being assaulted one too many times while working as a NSW Paramedic. If my payments are cut I wont be able to pay my mortgage to house my wife and kids. My wife works but her wage wont cover the bills and mortgage.


Last year I was on my way to work when I was hit crossing the road at a zebra pedestrian crossing. I was halfway across the road at the time, however, the driver of the ute casually claimed her didn’t see me there! Whilst my injuries were minor (suspected scaphoid fracture), I was still off work for over a week attending numerous medical appointments and later suffered a miscarriage which I believe was a result of multiple xrays, MRI’s, and the shock and stress of the accident.

To hear that O’Farrell wants to strip workers of protection on their way to and from work is an absolute disgrace. His changes to the law would have left me financially out of pocket. Why should I be responsible for paying numerous expensive medical bills resulting from an accident that was not my fault and that occured as part of my daily routine whilst travelling to work?


I was a member of the NSW Police Force for ten years when I was diagnosed with incapacitating PTSD, an illness that has changed my life in so many ways.

My PTSD has also developed into major depression and anxiety disorder. I cannot try an explain how debilitating this disease can be. Not only has it had a major affect on me, but it has cause endless heartache for my wife and daughter.

Barry O’Farrell has no idea what it is like to have flashbacks so real you believe your actually there, all the feeling and emotions come streaming back. To have very limited sleep, and when you do get some sleep the nightmares awake you, sweating, scream till someone brings you back to the real world. Have hassles with everyday things like driving a motor vehicle cause your concentration is so poor. Having constant conversations inside your head that just do not stop. Not being able to go to the shopping centre, pub/club with friend or do many things you once enjoyed due to anxiety disorder. Lying in bed all day crying and not knowing why.

These are just a small touch of what everyday in my life is like and it was all as a result of being a Police Officer. As is I only get around $450 per week, not much to live on. What I find sad, is I served my state for 10 years, doing things most don’t want to do or can’t even imagine exists. I don’t want wind blown up my ass, just to be looked after, given my entitlements. Please don’t take them away. My days are bad enough, I don’t need financial worries as well.

Barry O’Farrell how will you live with the thought many people may commit suicide as a result of your plans, as this may be the only option they see.


I was injured working underground as a coal miner in Oct 2000, since then I have had many medical procedures.

After paying taxes since I was 14 years 11 months old I find this proposal of O’Farrells as an insult to all injured workers in NSW, what’s he want to be the…Pol Pot of injured workers, the doyen of the big end of town or just another pimp for the multi nationals.


I sustained injuries through repetative and excessive manual handling tasks working over 10 years in Recovery.
I had been doing my job well with suitable duties in the same workplace for many years when suddenly the facility withdrew the suitable duties.
I was sent home and asked to seek other jobs. Despite continuous job searching for more than 6 months I am still out of work.
Now I am paid less than minimum wage, find it impossible to make ends meet.
I find no supports from the facility. They even bar me from attending in-services, or step foot into the facility.
Is this the “reward” for having worked as R.N.for 37 years in the public system ??


I injured my spine way back in 1984, when I was teaching in a state government school. The injury occurred because the Department of Education had not provided me with a portable classroom at the beginning of that year.

When the classroom finally arrived, I had to move from the hall where I had been teaching a high needs kindergarten class. During the move, when lifting a box of books, I tore a disc in my lower back. I was 28 years old at the time.

Initially, I suffered many acute episodes of lower back pain until the pain eventually became chronic. Over the years I fought hard to keep my claim open and after a recent prolonged battle with insurance companies, I finally had fusion and disc replacement surgery in January 2012. I am still recovering from this surgery.

I have not been able to work for the past two years and currently receive worker’s compensation statutory benefits. If not for worker’s compensation, I would have been forced to pay medical costs in excess of $100,000 and I would have lost tens of thousands of dollars in wages.

This injury has impacted me physically and psychologically and without worker’s compensation I would have no possibility of returning to work or rights to continuing medical assistance.

Previous generations of Australian workers have fought hard to gain the rights that many of today’s workers take for granted. The O’Farrell government must not be allowed to erode the system that protects ordinary workers from neglectful employers. The proposed changes to worker’s compensation must be stopped or our society risks returning to a situation where injured workers can be simply be left without a means of support.


I was injured at work at the end of 2010. A relatively minor accident has turned my life around. Three surgeries later, with the potential for more, a year of pain relief medication, months of physiotherapy, no driving for endless weeks, months off work, followed by more months of a gradual return to work (and a total loss of my confidence in my role because of the work I could no longer do), ‘interrogations’ by medical personnel as to the legitamacy of injuries as they related to the fall, and a huge chunk of my sick leave now gone, I dread to think what would happen if someone broke their back, fractured their skull etc etc.

I was naively ignorant of the implications of the fall on my workers compensation entitlements/rights. Had it not been for my accumulated sick leave after over thirty five years as a teacher/school leader, I would have been up the proverbial creek without a paddle. I have made sure I have advised my staff of the associated dilemmas of workers compensation. It is a minefield. The proposed changes will make it a war zone that employees will never survive.


On December 16th 2011 a car ran up the back of my car while I was stopped in response to a red traffic light. My car was written off. The back of the car had been pushed in to within 4 inches of the back seat. I sustained a whip lash and back injury and have been having physio as a result of this injury.

If physio had not been paid for through workers compensation, I would have had to take time off and cause the school the expense of replacing me on those days. As an assistant principal this would have also caused disruption to the school. The cost of the injury would have been greater for the students, teachers, parents and community.


I was severely injured in a violent incident at school in August 26th 1999. I was a Special Education Teacher (IM), After years of painful ongoing treatment, I finally had spinal fusion/disc replacement surgery, L5 S1 just over 2 years ago. I will be 60 in January 2013, I had suitable duties withdrawn at the end of February 2012 despite all efforts to keep working as much as possible. I was working 5 days a week from 8:30 to 12:42 as a Resource Teacher. My Doctors would not sign off on a Permanently Modified Duties Certificate because I am expecting to have a Neurostimulator Implant trial. Currently, I am required to JOB SEARCH and I am being paid at 80% of my teaching salary. Any changes to workers compensation payments could make the final year of my 37 year career even worse than it is now!


I was injured in June 2007, in 2009, the Dept stopped all benefits forcing me back to work (financially). I was reinjured 4 more times at work resulting in 3 more knee operations and two more shoulder ops.
I am still unfit for work. Fed Law is acting on my behalf. Please contact me if you want further info. We must stop this attack on our workplaces.


I was injured in an accident on my way home from work. After seven operations on my wrist, it was decided that there was nothing more surgically that they could do. I am on pain medication, just to work. I have been assessed at 11% whole body impairment.

If I was only paid for 13 weeks, then reduced to the stat rate of pay I would have lost my house, and everything I own. It is disgusting that a worker can be injuried at work and loose everything. There is no protection for workers now, this new ruling will destroy families, when the worker needs family support the most. If this goes threw, we would all be better on the dole, how would that fix O’Farrells budget.


In 2009 I had a disc prolapse on my lower back due to counting and lifting heavy >5 kg business deposits (filled with coins).
We were short staffed for tellers and as I used to be one, my manager asked for my help.
I’ve had 2 back operations, physio treatments and am seeing a psychotherapist because of the chronic pain.


My husband was injured at work 4 years ago. For the last 2 1/2 years he has been unable to work due to his back injury and depression caused by pain and bullying at work. He just last week underwent surgery for his back.
If these laws were in force now where would that leave us… It’s not his fault he was injured why should we suffer financially because of a work place injury? It’s bad enough having to fight for everything with the workers comp insurers without then being left high and dry for the rest of your life.

He has been told he will need surgery every 7 to 10 years for this… so what, we are supposed to find the $50,000 it cost for the surgery every time for something that his workplace is responsible for? This is so wrong and smacks of insurance companies and big business getting to the government.


I had my first injury back in 2004 to my shoulder all done at work. I received surgery to repair the damage and was cleared to resume my then current position about 16 months after. Then in 2009 the same shoulder was injured once again at the same workplace but much more serious than the last. 6 months after I had yet another surgery on the shoulder to repair the damage once again to find out that it was much worse than first thought.

Many hours of physio and many many injections of steroids to help with the pain and underlying issues. I tried to not have many days off as I didn’t want to loose my position with my employer as they were making it hard as I was on lighter duties. I suffer from depression as a result of this injury and the harassment from the managers and the company who I was working for. I put in the claim for the depression and was shot down by the insurance company.

Then in late 2010 I was put off as there was no suitable position for me within the company. I was paid out my leave, long service and told good luck. Pfffft.
So on the job seeking hunt I went, many employers don’t want someone who has had an injury/workers comp claim. They don’t say it but you can tell straight away in the interview. after 8 months of rejection I finally got a job, but the had to put unpaid leave in to have a 3rd surgery on the shoulder to try and clear out scar tissue and repair once again the damage in my shoulder.

Now 2012 I am facing the fact my shoulder WONT be the same and is a permanent problem with pain and lack of movement. Just lucky I have a great ortho specialist who is willing to fight for me and my injury with the insurance company.

I receive fortnightly payments to make up my wage from my previous job, but if this is taken away from me and my partner we will loose our house and everything we have built up for our self’s over the years.

3 long years I have had this injury and will have it for the rest of my life!


Having now been on Workers Compensation for almost five years, I understand the stupidity of the goverments ideas about changing the system as it stands. I have been bankrupted by my insurer within 6 months of going on Workers Compensation, due to the fact they were, and to this day still are, underpaying my entitlements. This fact I have bought to their attention from the second week of my claim untill this current day, an issue my solicitor is now investigating.

This has lead to bankruptcy which in turn has lead to depresion and this in turn has lead to a marriage breakdown.

To pay people even less, as is to be the case, is an insult to all hard working Australians, And not to be covered going to and from work is even more insulting.
I have two kids to support as well as a wife, luckily after marriage counceling at my expense, we were able to reconcile. But I pity all those under the new rules if they become legislation, it will tear familys appart from the inside out and no doubt increase the risk of people on Workers Compensation taking their own lives.


On Sept 7 last year (just two days before my 50th), an idiot hit my motorbike at a roundabout. He broke my left shoulder and my right wrist. Although back at work, I still am recovering with regular doctor visits, rehab gym work and physio each week. I worked from home for 5 weeks and returned to the office in Jan of this year. As a grade 11,
I had to suppliment my workers comp with sick leave to the value of $2,400.00.How on earth would I pay for all of this without workers compensation.


I am a severely injured NSW State Government employee. I despair at the thought of Barry O’Farrells proposals to step down of weekly payments and discontinue medical treatment after 2 years.

I have recently been advised I have to undergo an extensive back operation shortly that will result in a long recuperation period and extensive rehabilitation. I had initially chosen conservative treatment as recommended by my treating professionals. Unfortunately my symptoms have deteriorated and I have been advised I will require surgery to prevent my condition from deteriorating to the point of permanent loss of motor function. Recovery from this surgery is established as very long and go way past the 2 year cap Mr O’Farrell is so intent on introducing.

After 15 years on the job I sustained a serious back injury in 2010 and am currently on reduced hours, but at work. I have fought long and hard with my employer to actually get back to work and remain there.
My employer has failed in their duty of care to me, in fact their behavior has been nothing less than obstructive and bullying including:
* Protracted periods of my employer paying incorrect weekly benefits, being forced to use personal leave to top up my wage to meet daily living expenses
* Highly confidential information about his injury being broadcast by email to various staff who had absolutely no part in his return to work program – his employer initially even going so far as to deny this ever occurred despite factual evidence being presented to them.
* Being told by work colleagues and a fellow manager to “piss off out of the department” adding I am “nothing more than a lazy f**k and none of the other managers want to work with you”
* Severe bullying by managers and work colleagues with regard to the workers incapacity for work and broadcasting that the injury is nothing but a “put on” or “farce”
* Request for a chair and more suitable seating area had been ongoing for more than 6 months despite continual requests from the treating doctor, pain management specialist, RTW consultant and myself
* Little contact internally from Managers who need to be involved in the return to work process to ensure it is sustainable

All this despite intervention from my treating professionals, rehab consultant, Work Cover and the insurer!

All I can say is when you have a serious injury it is all consuming trying to deal with the implications it has on you physically and on your life, the last thing I expected from my employer was this psychological warfare. My life is on hold and my employer who caused the injury in the first place doesn’t give a damn. I have felt powerless to challenge this ongoing behaviour from my employer as my total focus has been on trying to beat my physical injury and no energy was ever left in me to fight my employer since the injury occurred.
Our organization has a history of bullying those of us unfortunate enough to get injured. Mr O’Farrell should focus on prevention of injuries at work and a penalize employers who don’t fulfill their duty of care or genuinely commit to assisting workers get back to work once they are injured.


I have been a victim of a recent workplace hazard, and have been suffering from acute pain since. My employer fixed a higher desk for a colleague that sits next to me, just so it is convenient for a tall person like him.

When I leaned over to pick some mail, the sharp high corner of the higher desk hit my scrotum and developed a condition called Epidymiditis. A specialist has advised this condition has a very little chance of resolving completely.

I still go to work just to try to give my full effort and also show my employer that I am trying my best. However say in the future if I genuinely required time off and treatment, this proposed workers compensation changes will affect my welfare. This would be a very sad scenario for the family. This applies to every such victim.


I have a disability and am not able to manage stairs but I was expected to walk down the stairs when the lift was out of order. I became injured due to this and was unable to work for a number of weeks. I would not have been able to survive financially. I had medical bills and physical therapy to assist in my recovery. Now there are measures in place to prevent ths sort of injury occurring to anyone else. It is a sad state of affairs if a company is negligent in providing a safe work place for its employees and is not held accountable. If these proposed changes are implemented that is what will occur. It seems this government is not interested in providing assistance to injured workers at all.


I was injured at work 20 years ago, and still to this day have back pain and unable to perform daily tasks.
My back injury, which is known as a chronic condition, ie wont ever get any better, changed my life and childrens life forever, and not in a good way.
How I was treated and the miserable payout I received has really had a lifetime effect on my personality… The problem is that the real and genuine cases dont get treated fairly… I still have to go to work to pay my mortgage, because no doctor who says not to work fulltime is going to pay the mortgage for me… I will never be able to pickup my grandchildren, there are so many parts of everyday life that I miss out on, and all due to a workplace accident.


My wife Aroona was injured whilst performing her normal work routine that of Filing. It was discovered that there was a Tear in her abdominal wall called Inguinal Hernia. We did not know what to do, so the Doctor suggested we ask Workers Comp. as the injury happend at work. After some delay we had approval from the insurer agency. Thank God for that as we had no private medical insurance, and a large mortgage. How were we going to manage. The operation was successful and my wife returned to full time work gradually over 6 months fully fit. I do not know what would have happened if she was without wage after 13 weeks.
The stress would have brought about more pain in the home and on her personal self, we would have been behind on mortgage payments etc.

Thanks to Workers Comp she has fully recovered and we are still a happy unit as a family and stress free.
Please do not allow the new suggested changes be implemented as this wil cause a lot of hardship in families.


I received a work place injury 1992. I was transported to Hospital by ambulance. Workers comp paid for this injury. It was an injury to my lower back.
When I was in serious pain in 1995 I had key hole surgery on my L4 L5 disc. This did not work for me. In 1997 in excruciating pain I went back to my Orthopedic Surgeon.
I was referred onto a Neurosurgeon. The Neurosurgeon advised me after some questioning, not to pay his bill, send into the insurance company and re-start the claim. This I did, the Insurer denied the claim.
I started legal proceedings. In 2000 I received part workers compensation. I gain work not in my trade profession.

I had to retrain my self without any help from workers comp or Commonwealth Rehab. Neither would assist me. I worked in a call centre for 11 ½ years. In 2005 I had further surgery on my lower back, S1 disc. In 2010 I was given a steroid block. This has assisted to date.

My position was made redundant in July 2011. I have not been able to gain employment since being made redundant, despite applying for many jobs.
I currently receive medical help from workers comp. I am now worried this help, is going to be eroded by the State Liberal Government. Where does this leave me? No job, no medical assistance, No wage/payment being received from anywhere.

What future do I have?


I was an Assistant Principal at a special school. I was assaulted by a student which not only caused physical injuries but also ongoing physological problems. The workcover physichiatrist assesed me as having a 19% ongoing impairment. I was medically retired and recieve the basic benefit from workcover. I attend a physiachrist regularly and nave been diagnosed with Post Traumatic disorder and depression and cannot work again.


I injured myself at work due to someone leaving water on the stairs.
I hurt my back and elbow, I thought this would heal and I would be ok. I later reported the incident as my back was very painful and didn’t seem to be getting any better. My hours were reduced to way below what my income was and I couldn’t afford to continue on workers comp as I had to decide to put my health first or my family. And of course my family came first, I got a final certificate from my doctor and returned to work.

I later re injured my back and knew I couldn’t go on workers comps so I reported the incident but didn’t take time off. I then re injured it again at work but like before continued to work, my back got that bad I could barely walk, I had no quality of life at home or in the work place, I started to go home early saying I was sick, I used up all my sick days and annual leave days just trying to get through with minimal pain.

I started taking time off work with no pay and paying for treatment outside of work. Eventually enough was enough, I went to my work and asked to reinstate my compo from the original injury and the further aggrivations I had had, I went to my doctor and was referred to specialists and for an MRI.

I found out that I have disc damage in my lower back, my work was paying compensation for my injury and I was doing everything to get my self better. I am a mother of three children, I couldn’t and can’t get dressed in the morning, I can’t put shoes on and then all of a sudden I was sent to a work doctor and had my compo cancelled.
There is a privacy breach in relation to the doctor they sent me too, but I couldn’t believe it at all one minute I was struggling physically and emotionally but at least I was financially supplemented, I hadn’t worked for three months and I was on my own.

I have contacted legal advice and am in the process of trying to get my compo reinstated. I haven’t worked since September and am in exceptional pain everyday, I can’t drive more than 20 mins at a time as I have numbness in my right leg at different times, I can’t play with my kids I can’t do my house work I can do anything I could normally do. My quality of life is ruined and my family is devastated.

I am only 28 years old.

I never thought this could happen to me but it did and it has. I have no support from my employer, and if this new legislation comes in you will destroy the lives of many including myself, people that injure themselves will be left with nothing, it is an unacceptable thing to put a time limit and a price on someone’s injury.


I am currently on Workers comp for an injury I sustained at work, I have had to full knee replacement and because of complications I now have to go back into hospital for further treatment. If I wasn’t receiving full workers comp I would have to return to work without my knee being completely healed as I could not afford to be off work without workers comp entitlements. This injury occurred through no fault of my own, so instead of taking away compensation payments the Government should take a long look into why these injuries occur in the first place.


I have been working for a number of years in the education system. I have had various injuries at work and it has given me a great deal of piece of mind to know that my income was not affected because I had to take time off work. If you are injured at work and have to take time off work you should be compensated not denegrated.

At the end of 2006 I became gravely ill and was off work and in hospital for nearly 3 months if I was paid the way Mr O’Farrell wants to I could not have paid for essential therapy and would have had to leave teaching and I would have lost my house, and car. Being sick is stressful enough without taking away your right to security of pay and the security of your work position.


I was on work cover for 13 months after being assaulted in Accident & Emergency twisted and tore my medial ligament and my cartilage in my right knee, had two arthroscopic ops the income during was bad but my Nurse manager was very helpful and understanding of my case she did everything to help me during my recovery. The only thing was the different people I had to see during and after my injury then before I went back to work they were an independent accessing group they made you feel like it was your fault etc I just guess that they didn’t really care as they were paid by the insurance company very well to do their assessment of me to get me back as quick as they could.


I was injured after a severe fall at a dept of education facility, I was given a number to ring after attending hospital and duly rang and reported. The initial communication was okay but from there on, for only four days and 4 hours I was made to all but beg for any assistance. Ended up having to get a solicitor to contact the insurance company, then I was told because I was a casual (doing the same job everyday for seven years) I wasn’t entitled to the amount I claimed MY WAGES FOR 4 DAYS and 4HRS. What a joke I hope no O’Farrell family members get hurt.


I have a friend who injured himself at work by simply tripping over a ladder. He’s now been off work for a year and a half and has been told he will never return to manual labour again. he has lost pretty much all use of his wrist, has no strength whatsoever. His compensation payments each week are miserable he is barely scraping by. If he had his own house he would of lost it he simply would not have been able to keep up with the payments. He is not a bludger, All he wants to do is return to work.

If workers payments were cut even more, god knows what he and many others would do. He is lucky he has moved back in with his family, has no kids. How does someone with a family cope???

O’Farrell needs to Back Off!!


I was a permanent part time worker for Australian Government and fell outside my office in my lunch hour just after the Howard Government had brought in these same rules for Federal employees. I ended with a fractured ankle and torn ligaments in my hand and was off work for two and a half months. I used all my sick leave and had to pay for all treatment, my only glimmer of justice was that at about the same time one of Peter Costello’s advisers was hit by a car on his way home from work and ended in hospital in a serious condition, I am sure that he also would have had to use all his sick leave, maybe annual leave and whatever other leave he had and his out of pocket expenses would have been a great deal more than mine. Karma


I had a car accident on my way to work (just outside my home) that resulted in another teacher’s death (also on his way to work). I had a bit of time off from work (few weeks and odd days) and returned on “return to work” plan. I was a SASS member at the time and was able to return to other duties at my school. However, I did need the support of Staff Welfare and the Dept. as well as Employee Assistance programme to recover from the Post Straumatic Stress Disorder that resulted from the accident. I feel strongly that Workers Compensation needs to have the journey to and from work covered.


I had suffered a workers comp injury roughly 20 years ago. the treatment I got then from the insurer was nothing but trouble. i received $3701(with medical expenses paid within reason from GIO and a life time of suffering. What this cost me was a lot more, I lost my work I lost everything I had worked so hard for. I still suffer with pain, but I figure that there are people out there worse off then me so, I grin and bear it.
My story was in the local paper and belive me it got alot of attention.


While working as a Police Officer, I attended a ‘brawl’ in a rural town with one other officer in July 2009. During this incident I was assaulted by 4 offenders during an arrest, being hit, kicked and struck with chairs on my back whilst I was arresting a male on the roadway.
I received lacerations with blood contamination and lower back injury that progressively worsened putting me behind a desk in August 2010, then totally unfit for work in December 2010. This was due to a diagnosis of 3 lower disc prolapses.
Insurance companies changed hands around the same time so I was left with no contact or treatment for several months, until finally when I had taken as much as I could, I found someone who helped me get new reviews and treatment, subsequently I was re assessed and found a new diagnosis for Sacro Illiac Dysfunction (a commonly undiagnosed condition with sufferes of back pain/injury).
I was then required to attend Sydney weekly for months, until rehab saw me return to pre injury duties in October 2011, then full operational work from January 2012 where I continue.
I still receive treatment from specialists in Sydney every few weeks that keeps me at work, with a view to reduce it, see how it goes…
There is no way, if entitlements are removed from the current scheme, that I would be able to pay for this treatment (flights, travel, accommodation and treatment from far north NSW to Sydney), where I would certainly then fall back to the injury and be put off work, with no entitlements.
If these changes come into effect, I am scared for my future.


I was employed as a Security Officer Mobile which required me to drive in a company vehicle from place to place checking premises ensuring they were locked up and no break ins
One night while driving to check on a premises some idiot ran me of the road and the vehicle i was driving ended up in a ditch and on its side.
A few months later it was found that I had fractured and Dislocated C6/7 of the cervical spine I have a metal plate inserted I have returned to work but not as a security officer moile patrol I am now employed as a cleaner
As a cleaner I have lost some benefits that I received while employed as a security guard mobile.
As a cleaner I do not work Saturdays, Sundays or Pulic holidays and I have lost money since I do not work these shifts any more.
The Insurance company has not given me make up pay to compensate me for losing these penalty rates Saturdays Sundays and Public Holidays.


In 2003, I was forced onto workers compensation as a result of a workplace injury. My claim was initially declined and I was forced to fight for basic entitlements through the Workers Compensation Commission. I was successful in winning my case, however, that was only the beginning of his nightmare. Despite suffering from major depression as a result of my ordeal, I received little help from the insurance company. It took the insurance company, even after years of lobbying NSW politicians for help, 6 years to provide me with the support I desperately needed. I was left with very little support from the system for 6 years. This meant I was left to languish for far too long and I almost lost everything as a result, I even contemplated suicide on my darkest days. The system, in my opinion, is not designed to meet the real needs of injured workers and their families, in fact it only adds insult to injury. I am currently completing a degree in applied social science, majoring in management, and intend to pursue a career in helping to change the current system to better aid injured workers and their families get the care and justice they need and deserve.


On 21st december 2009 I was asked to drive a hire crane at the worksite of SEFE at Eden, the crane was set up by the owner on site and he gave me brief instructions on the crane before leaving. After driving the crane all day, on the last lift of the day I went to put the load down where I felt was safe but a foreman asked for it to be put further around. As the crane moved to this site it started to tip over. I jumped out of the cabin as the boom would hit the ground first and I might be trapped in the cabin, breaking my left leg badly. After 2 years of operations, external fixations, muscle grafts I finally had my 9th operation which was to have my left leg amputated above the knee because of bone infections from the pins and fixations through my leg. Since the amputation on November 21st 2011 I have started to learn to walk this year on a genium leg that is reputidedly worth $90,000 and these legs only last 5-6 years so I will require a few more as I am only in my late fiftys. I have decided to follow the workers comp route rather than suing the company as I intend to hang around for a fair while yet and certainly cannot afford the cost of prosthetic leg to keep me walking in the future .


Hi to all union members, I had an accident early in the years of 2000, I have been in construction for 22yrs & have always been a union member & due to my accident Taylor & Scott have helped me out. I still work casual as I love my job (first aider on construction sites) but it is very hard to get a full time job, in the mean time I get a fortnightly payment for my compensation which isn’t much, but is better than going through all the trouble of going on the “dole” which im very worried about this action that this goverment want to change. This has to be taken seriously for all members because we dont know when we get injured or when accidents can happen. So PLEASE all union members lets stick together & STICK UP FOR OUR RIGHTS… Not Barry O’Farrel’s


Just over 12mths ago I went in for what was supposed to be a straight forward hernia operation, (hurt on duty), and I am still in a significant amount of pain and a lot of discomfort. As of last week I was informed that as of the 1st of September this year, if I am not back to 75% of my usual hours, my pay drops to 80% which is about a 15k pay drop and one which I can not afford to have happen. All this because of something which was out of my control.

The changes to the death and disability fund is atrocious and these further cuts to the workers compensation act is even worse and will effect hard working, honest workers deeply.


Alana has had two work related injuries. The first injury occurred in Feb 2009 when an 8 foot long bench top fell on her foot and crushed it. The second injury occurred in April 2009 when Alana was in a car accident on her way home from work. In the accident Alana fractured her foot (the same foot that had been earlier crushed). Workers Compensation claims were made for both accidents. Alana needed to take 12 months off work to recover from the car accident but is now back at work full time. Long term medical treatment is required in the form of a podiatrist who prescribes orthopaedic walking shoes. Alana still experiences pain from her accident that her doctor indicates will most likely last indefinitely, it is likely Alana will continue to require painkillers. Alana is a single income earner and would have experienced significant economic strain if Workers Compensation did not cover her current or initial medical costs.


In 2010 Kristen had an accident on her way home from work, her car was written off and she spent 5 days in hospital after fracturing her sternum. Kristen needed to take 10 weeks off work which was followed by a phase in period to return to full time work. Kristen is a widow and single income earner. She was not at fault in the car accident and was considered lucky to have survived.  The cost of specialists is not something that Kristen would have been able to afford if it was not covered by Workers Compensation. Kristen’s late husband also had a workplace accident and was on weekly Workers Compensation payments. Kristen recalls that the payments he received were not enough for them to comfortably survive on.


Due to repetitive strain cause by his physically demanding job, Mike has developed arthritis in his knees. Make underwent surgery on his knees in May 2011 when his arthritis escalated and the pain became unbearable. After the operation Mike was off work for 3 weeks and then returned to work on light duties for 3 months. Mike is required to have another operation in 12 months time, two years from Mike’s initial claim. Mike has been working in his job for 30 years and the injuries to his knees are a direct result of physically hard work. Mike’s injury will require further surgeries and physiotherapy in the future as well as long term use of anti-inflammatory medication. Mike describes himself as a skilled and experienced employee who does not want to be medically retired. Mike wants to continue to contribute to the workforce but it scared changes to the Workers Compensation system may have a significant financial impact on him and prevent him working in his current job. Mike lives in regional NSW and surgery and visits to specialists have the extra cost of travelling to Sydney. This is a cost that Mike does not think he would be able to afford without Workers Compensation.


As a result of moving heavy stock, Norman developed an inguinal hernia in May 2011. Since this injury Norman has been on and off work and returned to full hours in March. Norman had surgery in April 2012 and returned to work the next day. Since surgery Norman’s doctor has referred him to a gastrologist due to a fully inflamed bowel. It is foreseeable that Norman’s condition will require further doctor and specialist consultations over the year. Norman wants to minimise the time he takes off work, but also needs to ensure he is healthy, as not to inflame his condition.


George works in manufacturing and sustained injuries to his arms including tendon and muscle damage in 2009 whilst operating a machine. Since the accident George has undergone two surgeries and has spent 2 years and 2 months on light duties. A more recent doctor assessment has prevented George from attending work. George is currently on leave and is using this time to retrain and find new employment. In the last year George has applied for 166 jobs and has only been offered an interview for two jobs. Finding work has proven difficult for George because of the restrictions his injury places on him. George has also used the last year as an opportunity to retrain as a trainer. In his time off, George has felt bored and frustrated and would like to return to work. George’s frustration is fuelled by the large size of the organisation he works for (26 businesses under the umbrella company) and his employer’s inability to assist him find appropriate work within the company.


In May 2011 Tony sustained a shoulder injury at work when carrying a box of handcuffs from the office to a vehicle and consequently required a shoulder reconstruction. Tony lives in regional NSW and the shoulder reconstruction involved several trips to Sydney as well as ongoing physio in both Sydney and his local region. Tony needed to take five months off work due to his injury. Whilst he was off work Tony received his base salary. As a shift worker Tony normally works a seven day roster, in which he is paid penalty rates. The base salary that Tony was receiving whilst on Workers Compensation payments did not take these penalty rates into account. As a result, Tony’s weekly earnings dropped by about $150 in addition to overtime that he was not able to work. Tony was financially disadvantaged because of a workplace accident that occurred whilst performing his expected duties. Tony feels that to have weekly Workers Compensation payments reduced any further would have significant financial effects on his family.


After working for many years as a bricklayer, Craig has developed injuries in his lower back including a bulging disk and arthritis. These injuries became apparent in August 2011 and since then Craig has been unable to return to work. Craig has a partner and young son that he financially supports. Specialists have indicated that he will not be able to return to bricklaying. Whilst recovering from his injury, Craig has been on the statutory rate. If the weekly Workers’ Compensation payments were reduced Craig would struggle to continue to support his young family whilst recovering


Clara is a nurse who sustained a back injury whilst attempting to resuscitate a patient in April 2007. Clara is in her twenties and since the injury has had four operations on her back. In the five year since the initial injury Clara has had a number of periods off work and is currently on restricted duties. Clara works two days a week with a lifting limit of 10kg and receives weekly Workers Compensation payments for three days. Clara with the assistance of her union has recently identified a position which she would be capable of filling and which would complement her work restrictions. Management however refuses to transfer Clara to the identified position.  Prior to her injury Clara had made an application for a home loan. As a result of the injury and the financial burden it has placed on her, Clara was forced to withdraw her application and continue to live with her parents. Clara relies heavily on her parents for financial support as the current payments do not match her original salary. Clara considers herself lucky to have this support available and does not know how she would survive financially without it, especially if her weekly payments were reduced.


Whilst travelling to work in October 24, Frank was hit by a car that had run a stop sign. Frank, who was 17 at the time of the accident, had his leg broken and sustained nerve damage and cracks in his pelvis. The treating doctors noted that Frank was lucky to have avoided amputation. Because of the accident Frank now has 15% whole body impairment and will require more operations on his leg in the future. Frank will not be able to return to his previous job in the construction industry and has been unable to work for a year and a half.


In April 2010 Jason had a fall at work and sustained a number of injuries including significant injuries to his leg. Since his injury Jason’s physical state has deteriorated, currently he is unable to lift a chair or take a shower without assistance. Jason is currently awaiting a fusion operation, the outcome of this surgery is not known but it is unlikely Jason will return to his pre-injury state or be able to return to work.


Dennis is a police officer who had a head on collision with another car in the early hours of the morning whilst returning from a call out. The accident occurred in April 2004 and was a result of Dennis falling asleep behind the wheel. Dennis was required to drive whilst fatigued because his station was understaffed and overworked. In 2007 Dennis was diagnosed with a spinal disease in his neck as a result of the crash. This is in addition to numerous spinal disc and nerve related problems. Since 2007 Dennis has undergone several nerve block operations in an attempt alleviate severe pain in his shoulders and neck, constant headaches, loss of feeling in his hands and nerve pain. These operations did not alleviate the symptoms and Dennis underwent a spinal fusion in May 2009. Dennis continues to undergo rehabilitation and has relied on pain medication for years. Since the initial accident Dennis has had to take a number of stints off work but has now been able to return to full duties.  Due to his injury on the job, Dennis’ quality of life and family has suffered extensively. Dennis will require further operations and most probably require medical support for the rest of his working life. Dennis has worked in the police force for 18 years and in this time he has sustained several workplace injuries in the line of duty including: chipped teeth, severely bruised testicles, numerous muscle injuries and giardia.


Veronica has 3 bulging disks in her lower back as a result of slipping on the floor outside the bathroom in her workplace 6 months ago. Veronica did not realise the floor was wet because the cleaners had failed to put a ‘wet floor’ sign out. Veronica needed to take four months off work and returned to work two months ago on reduced hours despite ongoing pain and discomfort. Veronica has struggled financially as a result of her accident and could not afford any reductions in her weekly Workers Compensation payments.


After 15 years of serving the community and working with highly traumatic and disturbing cases, Joanne incurred stress related injuries and needed to take time off work. Joanne took 5 months off work followed by 6 months of gradual increases in duties. Joanne is currently on permanently restricted duties and continues to see a counsellor. From an office of six employees, four took stress related leave at a similar time to Joanne. Currently speaking, Joanne is the only employee who has been able to return to work. It is likely that Joanne will require long term counselling and associated medical assistance as a number of circumstances or situations may trigger her anxiety.


Henry was travelling home from work when a truck collided with his car. This resulted in Henry’s right arm being amputated from the elbow. Henry needed to take 5 months off work. He was 24 at the time of the accident and this is clearly an injury that will affect him for the rest of his life.


Erica was teaching a year 9 class in a make shift classroom created by partitioned walls. In the classroom next door a student pushed another student onto the wall. The wall collapsed and fell on Erica, the weight of the male student, portable whiteboard and the wall knocked her to the floor. During her fall Erica knocked her head and neck on a desk and was knocked unconscious. The accident occurred just before the two week school break for Easter. Erica was not working for these two weeks (and would have been unable to work if it was during the school term) and was not able to put in a Workers Compensation claim before the school term ended. At the time Erica was a temporary teacher and was therefore not paid a wage for these two weeks. For 5 years Erica has battled through pain and is still unable to lift her arm or move her neck. Despite her continued pain and limited movement the insurance company has told Erica they will no longer pay for her rehabilitation (about $50 a week).


Whilst at work Peter slipped on a steel tray truck and broke his fibia bone. Peter needed to take 14 weeks off work to recover and in this time Peter’s wage dropped by $350 a week. Having already experienced a drop in wages any further reduction in Workers Compensation payments would have a significant financial effect on Peter.


In 2002 Thomas was working in the day surgery when an oxygen bottle fell from a patients bed, hit the operating room floor and spun back onto his foot. Thomas fractured his right big toe and was unable to work for three months. If the Workers Compensation payments that Thomas received over these three months were reduced, he would have had trouble covering the costs of his rent and utilities bills.


Raj injured his back whilst lifting stock in October 2011. Since sustaining this injury, Raj has been either unfit for work or doing suitable duties on restricted hours. Raj has developed a secondary psychological injury due to the way his injury and Worker’s Compensation claim has been treated by his company and the insurer.


When driving to work, Shaun had a car accident when another car turned in front of him without indicating. Shaun needed to take 4 months of work off work to recover from the injuries he received. A year later Shaun had a stroke at work and almost died. If these injuries were not covered by Workers’ Compensation, Shaun would have struggled to cover his financial and medical costs, and claims that he could be dead.


As a school teacher Barbara was participating in a lifesaving demonstration activity with students in a pool. During the activity Barbara injured her back, resulting in a bulging disk and associated sciatic nerve pain. The injury in the pool was caused by the negligence of the lifesaving instructors overseeing the activity.  After the injury Thelma took several months off work. Thelma was on the verge of receiving an operation to relieve her pain; however extensive physio proved successful in relieving the pain. The injury occurred in 2006 and Thelma continues to experience pain and limited mobility. Simple tasks like tying up shoelaces are near to impossible for Thelma. Six years after her accident Thelma still needs to regularly see a chiropractor to assist with pain relief and ensure that the bulging disk and associated problems and symptoms are managed.


Eduardo has had two accidents whilst cycling to and from work. In both circumstances Eduardo was hit by cars merging to the left who did not check their blind spots and collided with him. After both accidents Eduardo was off work for 3 weeks. If Eduardo’s medical costs and wages were not covered by Worker’s Comp he would have found himself unable to pay bills and rent, quickly finding himself in significant debt.


After finishing work, Janice slipped on the steps in the office car park and broke two ribs. The stairwell was not well let and Janice was carrying a number of documents and folders when she fell.  Janice needed to take 2 weeks off work to recover from her injury. Worker’s Compensation payments during her recovery were essential to Janice’s livelihood; any reductions in these payments would have meant that she would have struggled to continue payments on her mortgage. Janice was an Occupational Health and Safety Representative in her workplace at the time and ensured that the building management installed lights in the car park after her accident.


When walking to work Curtis slipped on a metal stud which resulted in a sprained ankle and deep lacerations on his hand and arm. Curtis needed to take four weeks off work to recover. Workers Compensation payments ensured that all medical costs were covered. Curtis believes that if he needed to cover his medical costs, his return to work would have been delayed as he would have needed time to find money for his treatment.


As a nurse, Ashleigh injured her back when moving a deceased patient in 1998. The back injury was diagnosed as a ruptured disc, L3 L4. Ashleigh took 3 months off work. In 2004 Ashleigh’s ruptured disk re-exacerbated and she needed to take another period of leave. Since 1998 Ashleigh has struggled to remain working with chronic pain and has been on restricted duties and lift restrictions. Without the financial and workplace support she receives from Workers Compensation Ashleigh would not have achieved the recovery level that she has. Despite this support, Ashleigh has recently needed to move out of the public health system to work in aged care because of her work restrictions. Without Workers Compensation support Ashleigh would be forced into retirement and be wholly dependent on the state for financial support.  Ashleigh is trying to remain active and work with chronic pain. Ashleigh’s workplace injury means that she requires long term pain medication and there is a chance that her ruptured disk could again re-exacerbate.


Toby sustained an arm injury after being assaulted in the workplace in July 2011. Toby’s injury was initially misdiagnosed but once properly diagnosed Toby had a plate inserted into his arm. Toby has been on suitable duties since the injury. Toby was assaulted by a non-employee and consequently his employer put pressure on him to make the matter a criminal case and avoid Workers Compensation. After deciding to pursue a Workers Compensation claim, Toby has been accused of costing the company too much money. This has resulted in significant stress and anxiety for Toby which will possibly lead to a separate psychological claim.


In July 2011 Majid was driving home from work when a car travelling at 80km/hour hit his car from behind. Majid sustained injuries to his back and neck. Majid was off work for two weeks, returned to full duties after four months and was regularly seeing a physio for three months after the accident. Majid has a wife and four children and would not have been able to afford time off without continuing to receive his normal wage. If Majid’s physiotherapy treatments weren’t covered by Workers Compensation he would not have been able to afford it and he would have forgone the treatment.


Sandra tore her rotator cuff off the bone whilst stacking a pallet of photocopy paper at work. This injury required two operations and Sandra took eight months off work. Without Workers Compensation support and payments Sandra would have struggled to survive. Any drop in weekly payments would have had substantial financial effects on Sandra.


In 1998 Zhi injured her back after being required to move heavy boxes of promotional material around her office for several months without appropriate training of assistance. Zhi sustained three collapsed disks in her back and experienced associated sciatic nerve pain. This injury occurred 14 years ago, yet Zhi is still only able to work three days a week because of her injury. If Zhi’s Workers Compensation payments were reduced, she would probably lose her home. At the moment Zhi’s sick leave is being deducted to cover the gap between her Workers Compensation payments and her normal wage for the two days that she cannot work. Once her sick leave is exhausted, Zhi has been told by her employer that deductions will be made from her long service leave. Zhi is concerned about what her future will hold. She has worked for many years to accrue long service leave and instead of being able to enjoy this leave, Zhi is going to use it as a way of financially supporting herself because of an accident that occurred at work.


Mark had a serious car accident whilst driving home from work and needed to take two months off work and spend three months on light duties. Whilst Mark admits that he may have been able to cover some of his medical costs with the assistance of Medicare, he knows that he would not have been able to do so without receiving his normal wage. A contributing factor to Mark’s accident was heavy rain and wet roads. Mark states that if he was not required to drive to work he would not have driven in the bad weather as he felt it was not safe. If journey claims were removed from Workers Compensation, Mark would like workers to be able to make a decision to stay at home if they feel the weather makes if dangerous to go to work.


Claudia was leaving her workplace on the way to a work-related event when she missed seeing a newly built step, tripped and sprained her ankle. Claudia needed to take one week off work her accident also necessitated visits to her GP, an Orthopaedic surgeon and over six months of physiotherapy. If the costs of Claudia’s physiotherapy treatment were not covered by Workers Compensation she would have forgone most of the treatment. Claudia has achieved the return of over 95% of her functionality since her accident which consequently has minimal impact on her work. If Claudia did not have extensive physiotherapy such a recovery would have been unlikely.


In August 2002 Lidia injured her neck and shoulder when moving stock in her workplace. In December 2008 as a result of her initial workplace injury Lidia underwent surgery. Since surgery Lidia has worked reduced hours and until recently was also working reduced duties.


Fathiyah’s husband injured his back and upper neck when assisting his boss lift a heavy piece of machinery. As a result of his injury, Fathiyah’s husband needed to take three years off work. Fathiyah comments that work injuries can last much longer than a few months or weeks and cause extreme pain and inconvenience. She notes that people can lose their marriages, homes and dreams for the future. Whilst unable to work, Fathiyah’s husband was on Workers’ Compensation payments which were lower than his usual wage. This reduction in payments placed significant financial strain on the family and Fathiyah and her husband needed to draw on their mortgage equity in order to meet basic living costs.


When at work in 2003 a metal switch broke away from its housing at the top of a high voltage switch and fell on Harrison’s head. This caused a nasty head injury and resulted in many nerve block operations to help relieve pain. Harrison was unable to return to work full time for three months. Harrison required MRI scans and a number of hospital visits and stays which he would not have been able to cover the costs of. Any reduction in the wages that Harrison received whilst on Workers Compensation would have had a significant effect on his financial situation.


In the last 5 years Levi has had approximately two years off work as a result of five different workplace related injuries and illnesses. Levi works as a case worker and has experienced death threats and physical violence from clients directed at both him and his family members. This has resulted in both psychological and physical injuries. Levi also sustained psychological injuries as a result of workplace bullying. Levi believes that the time he needed to take off world have been significantly reduced if management had appropriately responded to his suitable duties restrictions.


When driving to work Milla was hit by a vehicle from behind and sustained back and shoulder injuries. Initially Milla took 3 days of work but later needed to reduce her hours of work to two days per week as her shoulder injury became inflamed. Milla wanted to return to work as quickly as possible, however living in a regional area made this difficult as she had poor access to adequate medical services.  If Milla had been required to pay all the medical expenses associated with her injury, she would have struggled to pay her mortgage, health insurance, car costs and daily living expenses.


Aiden was working in a rugged area in regional NSW when he fell off a cliff and broke his pelvis. Aiden was unable to work for three months. If the payments that Aiden received when off work were reduced he would have struggled to pay his mortgage and other bills. Aiden feels that it’s hard enough being injured and having to worry about how you’re going to pay your mortgage and support your kids just adds further stress to the situation.


Eva tripped and fell in the car park after work when her shoe got caught on a protruding bolt. Eva sustained injuries that required her to take eight weeks off work. Whilst off work, Workers Compensation covered the base rate of her pay. Weekend and night shifts with associated penalty rates were an integral part of Eva’s pre-injury salary. During her recuperation Eva lost 7 weekend shifts. Being a single wage earner with a mortgage Eva was not able to keep up with her mortgage repayments and other bills. In order to stay financially afloat Eva opened a personal loan of $5000


Joseph has worked for the same construction industry for 26 years and through his work developed a lumbar disk injury in 2007. This is a long term injury and involved unsuccessful back surgery. Joseph was recently made redundant because his work believes that he could no longer complete his work, but Joseph believes that we would be capable of continuing as a site manager. Workers compensation and ongoing health issues have caused problems at home for Joseph. Joseph is now divorced and live on his own, he has had to take $50 000 out of his superannuation saving in order to keep up with his house repayments.


When walking through the car park on work grounds after work, Jordon tripped on a concrete block that had been left on the footpath from a nearby construction site. Jordan dislocated her ankle and ruptured the lateral ligaments in her ankle, as well as breaking one of the bones on the top of her foot. Jordon initially took six weeks off work for the broken bone to heal this was followed by four months on reduced hours whilst her ankle remained unstable. Jordon then underwent surgery to repair her ligaments which put her in plaster for another six weeks. This was followed by one week of intensive physio. Jordon is currently on reduced hours – six months after the accident and is now working hard with her physiotherapist in order to be able to return to full time hours. The work restrictions that Jordon is currently working prevent her from working the overtime shifts that she regularly worked before her accident. Consequently, Jordon has seen a significant reduction in her weekly wages. Any further cuts to Workers Compensation payments and medical costs would have a significant effect on Jordon and her husband’s ability to meet basic living costs and support their four children.


In June 2010 Daniel suffered a back injury when moving heavy material around his workplace. Daniel’s doctor recently advised him that he will require surgery on his back, which he is now currently awaiting. Although the workplace injury occurred almost two years ago, Daniel still experiences significant pain. Daniel is concerned that time limits and cost caps on Workers Compensation may affect his ability to claim his upcoming surgery on Workers Compensation even though the surgery is addressing his injury that occurred at work.


In February 2009 Joshua sustained a back injury that has caused chronic back pain. Since the injury Joshua has had 5 surgeries on his back and is currently awaiting another surgery. Joshua is concerned that time limits and cost caps on Workers’ Compensation may affect his upcoming surgery, any future surgery he may require as well as his medical needs into the future particularly pain medication.


Hui sustained an injury to his shoulder at work in July 2009. Hui is currently unable to work and would be significantly affected if his Workers Compensation payments were reduced. Since his injury Hui has experienced difficulty getting his treatments and rehabilitation approved which has prolonged the time he has needed to take off work.

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