Exposure Injuries & Diagnosis – What’s New?

Workers who are exposed to hazardous substances in the workplace often suffer serious, even fatal, injuries. Then why are exposure injuries such difficult compensation cases and why are so many exposed workers denied compensation? Some exposures cause well known medical conditions (like asbestos & cancer).  However, other toxic exposures cause symptoms (respiratory distress, nausea, etc.) which elude…

Bill 41- Stepping Stones or a Stonewall?

Over the last 5 years, the NDP government has been “inching” towards a fairer WCB system and the changes are not insubstantial.  The incremental changes made by this B.C. NDP government to the Workers’ Compensation Act (Act) since 2017 include: What have these changes meant, in total, for injured workers?  This is an important question given that…

ASTDs & Compensation Cons: When is a Work Injury Not a Work Injury?

Soft tissue injuries of the muscles, tendons and nerves – injuries like tendonitis, epicondylitis and bursitis – have a special place in the compensation world.  These injuries are often referred to as “repetitive strain injuries” or RSIs, because they develop gradually, rather than as a result of trauma. In the 1980’s, medical experts (and compensation…

New Perspectives on BC Chronic Pain Policy

The following blog is contributed by Jim Parker. Jim has long represented injured workers in their compensation claims. In this blog, Jim draws on his recent experiences – both professional and personal – to highlight the changing chronic pain (CP) landscape in B.C. For all of my 30 plus years as a representative for injured workers,…

Injured Workers Deserve Dignity and Respect, Not Stigma

The report, New Directions: Report of the WCB Review 2019, identified 3 essential elements for a compensation system that treats injured workers with dignity and respect, and supports their recovery: The last two elements are well understood: injured workers deserve to be treated as individuals (not widgets) and have their recovery paths guided by trusted health professionals (not…

Day of Mourning

Today, I received the following thoughts from Paul Petrie: Today is a day to remember workers who have tragically died, have been injured or become ill from their work.  We often cite the grim statistics from workers compensation boards to show the unacceptable magnitude of this toll of death and disablement. What these statistics don’t…

Review: Petrie’s new Addendum on Claim Suppression in B.C.

My September blog “Claim Suppression-No More” reported some results of an independent review of the suppression of compensation claims in B.C. The review was conducted by the Institute for Work & Health, and Prism Economics and its report – Estimates of the Nature and Extent of Claim Suppression In British Columbia’s Workers’ Compensation System is available on the website…

Return to Work – What is Needed for “Success” for Workers?

Returning to work after an injury is difficult at the best of times.  Workers report that WorkSafeBC’s “Return to Work” (RTW) practices often fail, and sometimes even endanger them. Some employers complain that the Board’s “hands off” approach doesn’t help them either.  So why does the Board pursue a RTW path that is problematic and…

What the heck is going on with WCB Pensions?

Written by: Sarah O’Leary, WELLS Director In the summer of 2020, the NDP government introduced a number of changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act (The Act). One of those changes was to make it easier for people to have their Workers’ Compensation pensions extended beyond age 65 if they would, in fact, have worked past age…