James Crust, 42, from Frankston North, was driving a tow truck on 27 Jan 2020, when he blacked out and crashed. He suffered a collapsed lung, fractured rib, multiple fractures to right leg and right arm. Since then, he has had to battle WorkCover insurance in order to access the treatment and mobility aids he needs.
James' experience is far from unique. 1500 Australians experience a workplace injury every day. A workplace injury, whether physical or psychological, can have a devastating impact on your life, and often also the lives of family members who become primary carers. The process of seeking workers compensation is often re-traumatising, and workers can also face social isolation and financial hardship a as a result of their exclusion from the workforce.
Tomorrow, 1 June is Injured Workers Day - a day for activism to support injured workers and their families, and to fix the broken systems that have let them down. First recognised in Canada, Australian injured workers and their unions are using Injured Workers Day to call for legislative change and increased awareness.
Quotes attributable, Dominic Melling, Occupational Health and Safety Lead at Victorian Trades Hall Council
“Injured Workers Day is an opportunity to shed light onto the plight of some extremely vulnerable Australians who are too often overlooked.
“When you suffer an injury at work, you can easily become isolated from your usual social networks and support. You may not be able to participate in the hobbies or social activities you are used to. It’s like being in lockdown, but ongoing, while the rest of the world is moving on.”
“It should be no surprise that people who experience a workplace injury experience an increased risk of psychological ill-health.
“The discussion around workplace injury and illness in Australia is often framed in terms of penalising unsafe workplaces and practices and mitigating risk. And while that’s important, that sort of focus on the duty of care holder largely obscures the impact on injured workers themselves. As a culture, we need to do better at supporting folks who suffer injury at work.”
Media Contact: Edwina Byrne 0409017140