John D*, Truck Driver

I drove trucks for over 40 years before I got injured.
I started doing local deliveries before I got into drive large trucks interstate.
One day I hurt my right arm and shoulder trying to undo a jammed ring feeder on the back of a truck.
Instantly I felt pain and knew something was wrong but I just kept working and put up with the pain.
When my wife finally made to see my local doctor it turned out that I had torn the tendon, muscle as well as the bursa.
I had two major operations to the shoulder but the impact of the injury was exponential.
It had a profound impact on my life and I felt grumpy and frustrated because I was in a lot of pain and I couldn’t do all the things I use to.
My life use to consist of a lot of work around the house like mowing and odd maintenance here and there. I use to love fixing cars and repairing bikes for kids around the neighbourhood. I can no longer enjoy these simple things.
When the injury happened I never thought about what I was entitled for or how I could be compensated, I just thought of it as bad luck.
My union TWU (Transport Workers Union) were there for me and put me in touch with the right people who understood my entitlements.
It’s important that when you’re injured at work you have someone to turn to and who you know will always make time to listen to your issues.
There was a compelling case and I received an out of court settlement and although no amount of compensation will give me back the life I had it’s helped me with my medical bills and accommodate my condition.
It’s been over a decade since I was injured yet I still experience pain every day, so companies need to realise that they have a responsibility to ensure every aspect of the job and the workplace is 100 per cent safe. All workers deserve to go to work with the expectation that they will return home in the same condition in which they left.

*names have been changed in this story to protect the privacy of worker.

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