Bundaberg Hospital.
Bundaberg Hospital. Mike Knott BUN051016EMERGENCY4

Former health worker suing for $2 million after fall

A FORMER Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service employee is suing their former employer for nearly $2 million after slipping and sustaining an injury.

The sum includes damages currently in the order of more than $1.2 million.

Michael Cull was employed by the WBHHS as an anaesthetist.

About 9am on December 29, 2015, Dr Cull alleges he slipped and fell while exiting a lift in front of the entrance to Bundaberg Hospital's C Block lifts on the ground floor.

Dr Cull claims the floor had been cleaned beforehand, causing him to slip and fall.

As a result of the alleged incident, Dr Cull claims he sustained a left shoulder injury including rotator cuff tendinosis and consequential injury to the sternoclavicular joint and costochondral junction.

He also claims to have sustained a left hip injury including labral tear and a tear of the gluteus minimus and medius tendons with associated bursitis, scarring and surgical complications including numbness to the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh.

Documents obtained by the NewsMail claim the incident was a direct and foreseeable consequence of the WBHHS's breach of duty in failing to take reasonable care by exposing Dr Cull to a risk of injury in the performance of his work at the hospital which could have been eliminated by reasonable care and precautions.

The documents also claim the injury happened because WBHHS allegedly failed to implement and maintain a safe system of cleaning by using a cleaning product known to create a slip hazard, failed to barricade or provide an alternate pedestrian thoroughfare at the workplace and failing to provide warning and notice that the surface was slippery after cleaning.

Because of his injuries, Dr Cull claims he has and will continue to endure pain, suffering and loss of amenities of life.

He says he has been left with permanent disability, lost income and superannuation entitlements, and has an ongoing need for medication, medial and allied health care and other special needs and special damages in the future.

A spokeswoman said the WBHHS was unable to comment on individual employees for privacy reasons, and it would also be inappropriate to comment while legal proceedings were ongoing.

"WBHHS strives to provide a safe workplace and embed a strong safety culture for the more than 3,700 people we employ across our health facilities," the spokeswoman said.

"We work closely with our employees and WorkCover to ensure the best outcomes both for the individual and the organisation," she said.

"In recent years we have placed a particular focus on improving our workplace health and safety through initiatives such as PRAISE (Positive Responsive Actions in Safety Excellence), which has received statewide recognition for its approach.

"In 2017-18, WBHHS recorded a 25 per cent year-on-year decrease in average work days lost to injury, and a 21 per cent year-on-year decrease in WorkCover costs as a result of efforts to continually improve our safety practices."

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