Bullied At Work – Can I Make A Workplace Injury Claim?

“I am being bullied at work and can’t sleep at night.  I have seen a doctor, but he tells me its only stress and gives me a few days off and I go back to work.  The bullying is now affecting my work productivity, my family relationships and I feel isolated.  Can I make a workplace injury claim?”

The first recommendation would be to obtain a referral to a psychologist or a psychiatrist to properly discuss your health issues. It may be that a general practitioner simply is not the most suitably qualified person to assess what you are suffering from.

Secondly, in Qld all ‘workplace injury claims’ must go through a Workers’ Compensation insurer. The vast majority of workers will be covered by Workcover Queensland. There are certain other self-insurers such as BHP, Wesfarmers, JBS and local government councils etc.

You will have to lodge an application with that insurer. In order to have the claim accepted, the insurer must be satisfied on 2 criteria:-

  1. that the injury arose from employment and that employment was a significant contributing factor.
  2. that the injury was not a result of reasonable management action

Psychiatric injury claims are difficult to prove and you will need objective evidence to support your assertions of bullying, for example, a statement from a co-worker that you have been treated unfairly or evidence that a company policy was not followed.

If your insurer does not accept your application, you can have that decision reviewed by the Workers’ Compensation Regulator. The Regulator will perform a merit review and you will be invited to present further evidence.

If the Regulator still refuses your application, you will have to consider an appeal to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC).

If successful, the insurer will pay loss of wages, treatment and rehabilitation costs.  You may then also be entitled to make a common law claim for damages, however, legal advice is recommended to navigate these issues.

If you are interested in lodging a workplace injury claim, it is always best to seek the advice of a lawyer. Contact our offices for your free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers on (07) 3252 0011 or through our general enquiries page.

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