Petition: Scrap the recent WorkCover changes in #NSWpol and start again

We just created a petition: The NSW State Government: Scrap the recent WorkCover changes in NSW and start again , because we care deeply about this very important issue.

We are trying to collect signatures, and we could really use your help.

To read more about what we are trying to do and to sign our petition, click here:

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Once you’re done, please ask your friends to sign the petition as well. Grassroots movements succeed because people like you are willing to spread the word!

Petitioned The NSW State Government

The NSW State Government: Scrap the recent WorkCover changes in NSW and start again

What is outrageous about the O’Farrell Government’s attack on injured workers entitlements is that they’ve failed to look at the facts. It is injured workers and the community who already bear an overwhelming majority of the costs associated with their injuries or illnesses. Injured workers much more so. Employers (and no doubt insurers), on the other hand continue to get an increasingly free-ride.

Poor injury management ends up being paid for by taxpayers as more and more injured workers fail to make successful transitions back into the workforce. Employers routinely view many people who have been unfortunate enough to be on workers compensation as liabilities best avoided, which limits the potential injured workers (especially with long term injuries and psychological injuries) from ever returning to pre-injury employment status and earning capacity. Many long-term injured workers end up being forced onto unemployment benefits at taxpayer’s expense. Employers have limited liability and therefore little incentive to take the health, safety and wellbeing on injured workers seriously.

Cost of work-related injury and disease: 2008-2009

According to the 2012 Safe Work Australia report the estimated distributed costs of workplace related injury and illness in Australia are:

 employers bear 5 per cent of the total cost – this includes loss of productivity from absent workers, recruitment and retraining costs and fines and penalties from breaches of work health and safety regulations,
 injured workers bear 74 per cent of the costs – costs include loss of current and future income and non-compensated medical expenses, and
 the community bears 21 per cent of the total cost – this includes social welfare payments, medical and health scheme costs and loss of potential output and

An extensive survey carried out before the recent changes to WorkCover in NSW highlighted the following:

• For people on workers’ compensation, coping with injury or illness is often the least of their worries. Dealing with uncaring and hostile employers and/or insurers is a far greater cause of stress to people on workers’ compensation than their injuries and/or illnesses.
•Of those surveyed, 42% nominated dealing with their employer/insurer as the biggest cause of stress. A further 20% said dealing with the workers’ compensation system was the major stress factor. Only 16% named their injury or illness as the most stressful factor.
•An alarming 59% of survey respondents reported having contemplated suicide following their injury.

The system has now become even more hostile toward injured workers. Ideally the O’Farrell Government are hoping that these new laws will be very effective in coercing anyone with an injury onto social security and Medicare whilst employers will enjoy contained premiums, insurers will experience great profits and the state government will be overseeing a system that no longer concerns itself with workplace related injuries. And one day the entire system can be closed off.

About Darin Sullivan (1980 Articles)
Former President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union (2009-2018) and a professional firefighter with more than 30 years experience. I live and work on the NSW South Coast, Australia. I am a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around me. I am a former Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and work with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist I have long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. I am a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and have 30 years experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. I am passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. I am also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.

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