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…

Occupational diseases and asbestos – what do we know?

Occupational Diseases (OD) are the most deadly of work injuries, but they receive little public attention.  Catastrophic workplace tragedies receive, and of course deserve, a great deal of media attention. There was intense coverage of the mill explosions at the Babine and Lakeland, the crane collapse in Kelowna and the tug boat sinking off Prince…

Psychologically fragile workers and vocational rehabilitation

The following blog is contributed by Sarah O’Leary, a lawyer with a long history of advocacy for injured workers. Sarah has always had a particular concern for those with psychological injuries. Her blog today focuses on some current experiences and issues facing psychologically fragile workers when they reach plateau.  When a firefighter can’t go back…

The Death of Sam Fitzpatrick

Today’s blog includes an excerpt from an excellent editorial by Tom Sandborn about the death of Sam Fitzpatrick, a young worker who was killed while scaling rock in Toba Inlet in 2009. Tom Sandborn has been reporting on the Fitzpatrick case and the company involved, Peter Kiewit Sons ULC (“Kiewit”), for years. This excerpt includes his…

Claim suppression – no more

“Claim suppression” involves any practice which discourages or prevents a worker from filing or pursuing a compensation claim for a work injury. In B.C., the Workers Compensation Act offers no protection to workers who may be disciplined or fired for filing a compensation claim. This is a deep concern for workers injured on the job, especially if they…