Doing my bit again for injured workers and hoping that sharing my story will bring positive change to the primitive Workers Compensation system in Australia. Both Theo and I attended today's live broadcast with Kris Vanston, Simon Toppin and their [...]
My rants are plenty in regard to the WorkCover system and my efforts to express the limitations and lack of support I’ve experienced as an injured worker for almost 7 years have been endless. All efforts have led to the [...]
the PELVIC PAIN report “Pelvic pain, while common, is often a hidden burden to the lives of many women. With emerging national and international knowledge about pain and the heavy toll it poses on individuals and society, it is timely [...]
Singer/Songwriter Sami Vanston spent the day in the studio as The Scheme Project brainstormed ideas for their documentary soundtrack. This song was written in dedication for a victim of bullying who took her own life because of the pressures of [...]
Surfing the many ‘pain’ forums you eventually get to ‘cyber’ know the regular contributors. One of my favorites to bump into is the highly accredited and regarded, John Quintner. I give full attention too John, he is a great support [...]
After speaking with Kris Vanston I now know that injured workers do have the Victorian Ombudsman to turn too for unfairness issues within the WorkCover system. I had my doubts about contesting my impairment score of 0% (that was deemed permanent I might add), as I am very well aware and have ranted aplenty about Chronic Pain NOT being acknowledged in the guidelines that are used to assess injured workers. That means there is Australian legislation (I'll rephrase; it is legal) for WorkSafe practitioners to ignore Chronic pain, thus Pudendal Neuralgia. No where within the system will any WorkCover practitioner be able to assess an injured worker's Chronic pain. I'm experiencing the result of this, I've been living this ignorance since March 2007. I wrote a letter that was ignored for a few months by our WorkCover Minister, WorkSafe and SafeWork Australia. The Victorian Ombudsman employee informed me not to use the 'info' email address but rather the 'enquiries' one when I'm writing to WorkSafe. Ridiculous but he was right and I eventually received a response. (Enter sarcasm) I now feel completely healed and completely relieved with the empty response I received. It managed to 'acknowledge', 'agree', 'assure' and confirm all the points relating to this outdated system that I initially made in my letter. I'm also more at ease knowing everyone who assessed me ignored all my symptoms and inabilities and that was legal. I'm also proud of the staff at WorkSafe who are happy to abide by ignorant and narrow-minded measures that would also apply to them in the event they injured themselves at work. Above all, I'm in awe of the WorkSafe staff and all related employees and practitioners who's reports are so loyal and discerning of these out-of-date AMA4 guidelines (with pain chapter removed), and The Accident Compensation Act 1987. This template response clearly indicated to me that anyone with chronic pain and with any of the following symptoms/limitations, as a result of a workplace accident will not get compensation: affected toilet function, spasms where you really don't want them, sensory pain (in my case throughout the pelvis), toothachey nerve pain, weakening legs, burning, zinging, if you have limited sitting ability, if you are limited in walking, standing, working, lifting, bending, exercising, if you have an implant as a result of pain (or even if you need one for that matter), if you rely on daily help, if you can't drive, shop, sit and type this damn email in one hit etc etc...! Well thank you WorkSafe for the 'quality' protection you promise. And Heidi just one question, would this letter have been acceptable for you if you were in my shoes?
You can all imagine why The Scheme Project caught my attention and you can all understand why my pledge was not only made in seconds it was supported (and increased) by my husband Theo who equally saw the benefits in Kris's project. As frustrating as it is being left without any income and medical support after my workplace accident and having my fair share of rants to expose, I actually appreciated Kris's professional approach to his project and his intent to make the documentary up front but not personal. He's not looking for tantrums, witch hunts, singling out of fraudsters and unethical behaviour but rather aiming at exposing the realities in hope of making a change. At the end of our conversation we both agreed that life's great knowledge of 'health first' doesn't seem to be part of WorkCover's culture. The support just isn't there, not in treatment, not in standards, not financially and certainly not in return to work. What does Kris need? Your signatures and your pledge (pledges are not collected unless Kris reaches his target). 'You' may be an injured worker, family member of an injured worker or employer, a treating practitioner, medical examiner, conciliator, lawyer, investigator, WorkSafe agent staff member, Minister, anyone associated with the WorkCover system in fact any worker or employer, we all deserve better quality protection.
For those subscribed to this Fair Assessment For Compensation post, I have had a reply and it is posted here! AN OPEN LETTER TO WORKSAFE AUSTRALIA (CC’d The Hon Gordon Rich-Philips) SUBJECT: FAIR ASSESSMENT FOR COMPENSATION? My name is Soula [...]
Increasing employment opportunities for people with disability. Minister Shorten seeks proposals on ways to boost employment participation for people with disability, discussion paper seeking public views on how best to achieve reform. The discussion paper, Improving Employment Participation of People with Disability, seeks public views on how to best achieve reform, including: • how to promote and improve equality for people with disability in employment and in the workplace • how to support employers to identify and remove barriers to full and equal participation of people with disability • how to promote the removal of all forms of discrimination on the basis of a persons’ disability • how to improve workplace consultation between employers and employees on issues concerning people with disability in the workplace • how to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Australian business through the advancement of people with disability in the workplace. The Government would like to hear from all interested parties, including: • people with disability, their families, carers and community representatives • employers and employer representatives • current Employment Service Providers • state and local governments • unions and other employee representative groups
Did you all hear I'm back at work part time? Much thanks to our flexible home/office setup and Theo's immense help. Regardless, how lucky am I hey? But oops, hang on, I have to correct myself. It's not lucky for me, it's lucky for the WorkSafe Agent. And I must clarify because from their point of view I didn't get myself back to work, it had nothing to do with my research, the practitioners I found, their treatment and great therapies (or my hip pocket!). Nope, nothing to do with nerve blocks and medication, but rather, my high activity levels. Yeeees, I have been a full time artist and I've been caught red-handed!!! Well I'm sick of this crap! And this time, the story isn't going to end with me feeling anxious and swallowing those bits of paper, while the Investigators excuse themselves gutlessly with a letter marked 'Private and Confidential' that they send to the WorkSafe Agent. It's going to end here, on my blog. And I'm even going to have some fun while I'm at it! ...And if you're an investigator wanting to comment, don't bother! Your comments will be deleted. As I said, this time the story ends with me.