Glad someone has raised this one , As I was hesitant to go down this path within our forum as " I was thinking complaining about the Workers Comp side of the problem , was side tracking away from what we are trying to achieve , GETTING BETTER !"
I'll share my Horror story to anyone who wants to read it !
I'm Not after any sympathy !!!!
, Just trying to make others understand What I did wrong and how to ensure no other genuine person ends up in my MESS !!
In 4 days time ( 11th November 2006 ) it will be 3 Years to the day my back finally told me enough was Enough .
I had been working for a medium sized entertainment / amusement company here in Australia that was owned by a HUGE US company at the time ( I WILL NOT name them ! )
I worked for 5 or 6 Days a week , Most of the time on my side of the job I was working alone , Daily I had to Lift And Lower a 11 Stone ( 75 KG ) Machine about 4 times each day , 75% of the time without any help , Keep in mind also I weigh 75 Kgs , So I was lifting / lowering my own weight ! ( OK , The Machine was on wheels , so the actually lift/lower may have become 30 -> 50 Kgs via the Mechanical advantage of the wheels ? )
Ok , So on that fatefull day , I was LOWERING the machine in the workshop and my back just gave up , BANG I was on the floor in pain and literally crying, Fortunately I had another workmate on site at the time who saw the whole event .
We wrote the event up in the Accident book & I managed to last thru the rest of that working day .
I decided to "Work Thru " the pain for about 2 weeks ( Not wanting to be labelled a Compo Job ) , But eventually my pain threshold was exceeded and I went off to a local Hospital to see what damage I had done .
The doctor who I saw said " Yes pretty severe back strain , Best option is to head off to the nearest Physiotherapist for some treatment and a better look at the problem "
He said , "Best make this bill out as a Worker Comp Claim"
MY BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER !! , I Did not register it as a Claim , "I thought a few visits to the PT and I'll be 100%"
OK , Well the PT was a GREAT HELP after 2 visits I was moving very freely and my range of movement was 75% or better , I was getting around pretty well , But I was still in a LOT of PAIN .
The PT said , " You should make this a CLAIM "
Once again stupid me
thought " A few weeks or months of the PT work and I'll be 100% " so no claim lodged
So I had asked my Employer for light duties ( No Heavy lifting Etc ) Since I had not lodged a "Comp Claim" they Ignored me and I was still lifting this 75Kg machine and doing heavy mechanical work .
After almost 3 months of pain , I eventually had enough , My Employer was not interested in my " Well being " and after a really BAD day at work where I literally HAD TO CRAWL OUT OF THE BUILDING TO THE CAR almost unable to walk , I got back home and made my choice , ( I Faxed my INSTANT RESIGNATION to my Employer and NEVER RETURNED )
My Employer never even bothered to call me to see If I was OK or If there was anything they could do to help , Seems they were glad that they were rid of an OVERHEAD ? that was going to cost them $$$$$
Ok , So here Is what all this has cost me , by trying to be a NICE GUY and not get labelled as a " COMPO JOB "
1/ Just Prior to doing the back I had sold my Home and placed a deposit on a Nice Homestead on 6 Acres ( I realised a month or 2 after the injury that I could NOT look after a 6 Acre property by myself & I placed that New Property back onto the Market to Re-Sell , After 18 Months I sold it at a $10,000.00 LOSS
2/ Since I had some money in the Bank I WAS NOT allowed to claim any UNEMPLOYMENT PAYMENTS
3/ I had to cover ALL my Medical Bills ( $3000.00+
4/ I had to live somewhere , So I have had to pay rent for the last 3 Yrs ( 33,000.00+)
So there we have a $46,000.00+ LOSS
just to survive the last 3 Years and what Is worse is I cannot get a Job doing ANYTHING
as once they find out that I've had a Back Injury NO EMPLOYER wants you within 10 Miles !!
NOW HERE IS WHERE THIS IS ALL MY MISTAKE & I DO NOT WANT ANYONE TO MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES EVER !!!
1/ I've been a Union Shop Steward for most of my working life 26 +
2/ I hold a Certificate 3 in Occupational Health and Safety ( The next step is Cert 4 / Diploma which would allow me to be Goverment OHS inspector ( If a job was available ) )
So , Here is my point , I Was FULLY equipped with ALL THE TOOLS & INFO TO ENSURE THAT I DID NOT END UP IN THIS MESS
Point in case - If you injure yourself at work , LODGE A WORK CLAIM regardless of what the injury is .
IF you don't you could well end up in a mess similar to mine
, There is a LOT more , this is only the very Brief version !!!
out there Not Stupid like I was !
I won't even mention the Personal Income Protection Insurance ( $1500+
PA ) that I have been paying for 12+ yrs that ALSO refused to Pay me ANYTHING !
DO NOT BE AS STUPID AS I HAVE BEEN !!!!
An Accident at WORK is due for COMP even if it is minor , Cover your A$$
I'll add just a bit more
My Girlfriend and I had been seriously considering having a Child ( She had been married B4 with 2 Adult Children , I've never been married and was keen for at least one kiddy ! )
But after this mess , It Is GAME OVER , I'm now 43 & the G/F is 47 there is probably NO CHANCE that we will ever have Children
Please consider THAT if you ever injure yourself at work , It's YOUR LIFE , NOT YOUR EMPLOYERS LIFE