Mine worker denied workers comp over seeing dead body

A MORANBAH mine worker who witnessed his co-worker's dead body being wheeled away has lost his bid for workers compensation for a psychological injury.

Warren Sansom, a bus driver at Caval Ridge near Moranbah, arrived at the accommodation site in early 2013 and found out one of his co-workers had died.

The co-worker had died inside an accommodation unit and Mr Sansom witnessed ambulance officers wheeling the body on a stretcher and into the coroner's van.

A decision from the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission said Mr Sansom claimed he sustained a psychological injury from shock and grief on learning about his co-worker's death and that his symptoms were exacerbated during discussions with colleagues about how the man died and when Mr Sansom witnessed his body being removed.

But a doctor gave evidence saying Mr Sansom's main stressors to his condition were two life-threatening anaphylaxis attacks that followed shortly after his co-worker's death.

The commission's judgment said Mr Sansom was at the Dysart camp about two weeks later when he was taken to hospital by an ambulance after going into anaphylactic shock.

He was also hospitalised in the following days for similar reasons.

Mr Sansom, who worked at Dysart at times and was a fly-in fly-out worker from Brisbane, was originally denied workers compensation and appealed this decision at the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.

But Industrial Relations Commissioner Gary Black did not accept the injury was sustained immediately after learning of his co-worker's death. He said the injury did not develop until after the anaphylactic reactions.

Mr Black said Mr Sansom's case was too vague to conclude he suffered his injury while working.

He said Mr Sansom was paid a travel allowance the day he arrived at the accommodation unit - the same day his co-worker died - but he was not under paid employment for that afternoon.

Mr Black concluded "the employment was not a significant factor in the development of the injury".

- APN NEWSDESK



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