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Published: 16 October 2015
Author: Ryan Carlisle Thomas

Alleged Ballarat Hospital bullying – legal help is available

Recent reports of bullying and intimidation within Ballarat Hospital’s mental health unit are disturbing.

From what has been reported in the media so far, it appears that a toxic culture has been allowed to fester where people too afraid to speak out.

The Health Workers Union says it has referred 18 incidents to WorkSafe with staff reporting being yelled at and criticised by their superiors.

Unfortunately, this type of harassment is not an isolated incident.

Bullying widespread

Ryan Carlisle Thomas has been helping people who have been bullied in the workplace lodge a claim with WorkSafe so that they can potentially access compensation. We’re certainly seeing more and more stress claims as a consequence of bullying in the workplace.

Many people, when they come in, say “initially I was really hesitant to report this but it just got so bad that I couldn’t go on and I had to do something about it”.

There seem to be certain industries where bullying is perhaps, unfortunately, part of the culture.

I personally see a lot in the health industry which is disappointing because it’s often already a stressful job.

But it’s far reaching.

People do seem to be more aware about what is acceptable and what is not but there is still that element of fear.

How does WorkCover help?

Bullying and harassment in the workplace can lead to stress and mental health problems which affect your daily life, outside of work. If that is the case, you may have an entitlement to make a claim under the Victorian Workcover Legislation for compensation for medical expenses, lost income and potentially lump sum compensation. In order to do so, you must establish you have suffered an ‘injury’ which will most likely require treatment for your condition.

In addition, it must be shown that the injury is work related, that is, caused by bullying or harassment by other staff members. It is important to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible.

Additional Links

ABC News: Report on Ballarat Hospital mental health unit reveals staff concerns about bullying, intimidation

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