Work is an integral part of the daily lives for many of us, and when we go into work each day we fully expect to then return home without incident. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, as according to WorkSafe Victoria 27,925 new workplace injury claims were received last year*. Sadly, despite improved work health and safety practices, workplace injuries can still happen.
The far-reaching impacts of injury
Many people who’ve gone through a workplace accident, injury or illness have often noted how it turned their lives upside down, often leading to feelings of distress emotionally, physically or financially.
Slater and Gordon National Manager of Social Work Services, Olga Gountras explains “nobody goes to work expecting their health to be impacted by it. In our work we often see the ripple effect a serious injury or illness has as it impacts on every aspect of a person’s life. Not only are they grappling with the physical effects, they often lose the ability to do many of the activities they enjoyed and brought meaning into their lives, which does include work. This can impact on relationships with family and friends, making their world become much narrower leading to increased social isolation and emotional distress.”
In addition, people have also found that the financial pressures of not being able to work and the costs of medical treatments often lead to increased stress after an injury.
Help and support is available
Feelings of distress and isolation after a workplace injury are common, if you’re feeling this way, please know that you’re not alone, and there are a range of support services available – social workers, your local GP, psychologists and free community services can be accessed to provide support.
If you require support, here are a list of helpful resources that may be able to assist you:
- AskIzzy: is a search engine that provides a gateway to a range of community organisations that provide assistance in your local area.
- Lifeline - 13 11 14: Lifeline provides free, 24-hour Telephone Crisis Support service across Australia, 7 days per week.
- BeyondBlue - 1300 224 636: BeyondBlue provides free calls and chats, one-on-one with a trained mental health professional for crisis support and counselling. Calls are available 24-hours, 7 days per week. The online chat service is available 3pm – 12 am, 7 days per week.
- Headspace - 1800 650 890: Headspace provides mental health support for people aged 12 to 25 years and also information and services to family and carers to support a young person going through a difficult time. The telephone and online support services are staffed by experienced youth mental health professionals.
nobody goes to work expecting their health to be impacted by it. In our work we often see the ripple effect a serious injury or illness has as it impacts on every aspect of a person’s life... which does include work.
Financial support from Workers’ Compensation insurance
If you’ve suffered an injury because of your work, you could also make a claim for compensation via your employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance. Workers’ Compensation schemes are designed to be a financial safety net to help injured workers with their expenses while they recover from their injuries. It can help provide payments to cover your lost wages, help pay your medical expenses, rehabilitation and other support services, and in some cases provide compensation for your pain and suffering.
Workers’ Compensation insurance is compulsory for Victorian employers and covers employees who’ve been injured at work, regardless of whether you’re a full time, part time or casual employee.
The insurance scheme is managed by WorkSafe Victoria and is funded by employer contributions, so you don’t need to worry about hurting your employer’s business in order to receive the benefits and support you need.
If you’ve been injured or fallen ill because of work and would like to make a claim, or simply speak with someone to find out where you stand, you can get in touch with our team of dedicated Workers’ Compensation lawyers. Our team have years of experience assisting workers with their claims, so you can have peace of mind and focus on your recovery.
The contents of this blog post are considered accurate as at the date of publication. However the applicable laws may be subject to change, thereby affecting the accuracy of the article. The information contained in this blog post is of a general nature only and is not specific to anyone’s personal circumstances. Please seek legal advice before acting on any of the information contained in this post.