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Featured Research and Publications

Featured Research and Publications

Resources for Advocates

Introduction and Quick Reference Guide

Most of the online resources noted below are available online via or Specific website addresses are provided though most sites can be found by Googling ‘worksafebc’ or ‘wcat’ and the name of the document(s). 

Legislation, policy & practice directives

The Board is required to apply the Act and associated Board policy. Its Practice Directives are non-binding. Most provisions of the Act are general and broad. The policies provide detail regarding application of the Act, the practice directives further detail regarding application of the law and policy: 

  • Workers’ Compensation Act  (* also available at
  • WCB compensation policy – Rehabilitation Services and Claims Manual (RSCM):
    • Volume II (current policies: injuries after June 30, 2002)
    • Volume I (injuries prior to June 30, 2002)
  • WCB Practice Directives – (* This page also links to “Related Practices”: other guidelines such as the “Psychological Impairment Guidelines” used for pension adjudication)

Researching past cases

Past cases are not useful as precedents in WCB reviews/appeals but adjudicators are encouraged to maintain consistency with past decisions:

Review/appeal practices and procedures

Key forms

  • WCB forms, such as the Application for Compensation, Request for Review, Request for Disclosure, Authorization of Representative, search the forms and resources page at 
  • WCAT Notice of Appeal 

Claim file access

Create an online account and login to view claim records / request/manage reviews, etc. via portal at home page. 

Requests to WCB

  • If you’re asking for a new decision or unadjudicated benefits, you may want to put it in writing then follow up by phone, or email.
  • If the case manager does not call you back within 2 business days, you’re entitled to call the Claims Call Centre to request a call back from the Client Services Manager of that case manager regarding the delay.
  • If the Client Services Manager doesn’t call you back within 2 business days, call the WCB’s internal Issue Resolution Office (IRO) 1.800.335.9330 or send an email, asking them to address the issue of delay or other unfair practice. See the IRO website.
  • If the Client Services Manager doesn’t call you back within 2 business days, you’re entitled to call (or write) the WCB’s Fair Practices Office (FPO) 1.800.335.9330 and dispatch them to address the issue of delay or other unfair practice. See the FPO’s webpage.
  • Complaints which are not resolved by the IRO may be submitted to the Fair Practices Commissioner.

Preparing your appeal

  • WCAT provides information regarding starting appeals, preparing your case and gathering and presenting evidence & arguments.

Reimbursement of appeal expenses

  • Fee schedules – See “Expenses to get new written evidence relevant to the appeal” for list of links to fee schedules on Board’s website and elsewhere


Course materials

Table of concordance

  • Effective April 6, 2020, the 350+ sections of the Workers’ Compensation Act were all moved around as part of a revision to make the Act more readable. The Table of Concordance shows where the sections of the former act can now be found. 

Reminder – Key review & appeal deadlines

  • 90 days to file a request for review of a Board decision 
  • 30 days to file a notice of appeal to WCAT of a Review Division decision

Common WCB terms & acronyms

WCB uses many specialized words and acronyms (initials). The following may be helpful. 

Key Resources – Expanded

Workers’ Compensation Act (Act)  

  • Workers’ Compensation Law. Workers compensation law in British Columbia is set by the Workers Compensation Act (Act) and its related regulations. WorkSafeBC administers the Act for the Ministry of Labour.
  • The WCAT website under Resources/Legal Resources. 
  • BC Laws

The Workers’ Compensation Act is the legislation which creates the Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia (“Board”) and mandates how the Board operates the B.C. compensation system. Today, the Board brands itself as “WorkSafeBC”, although legally, it is still the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB).

In B.C., the Board with powers and responsibilities in 3 areas:  

  • Compensation = Claims by injured workers [Part 4 of the Act] 
  • Prevention = Health & Safety  [Part 2 of the Act] 
  • Assessment = Insurance [Part 5 of the Act] 

Since 2018, the NDP government has made several amendments (improvements) to the compensation part of the Act. These include: 

  • Adding provisions for the presumption of work causation for certain occupations. 
  • Effective July 23, 2018,  Bill 9 added a presumption of work causation for mental disorders (especially PTSD) for workers employed in a variety of first responder occupations including corrections officers, paramedics, firefighters, police officers and others [see list in section 135]
  • Effective May 16, 2019, Bill 18  extended a presumption of work causation for certain kinds of cancer, heart injury & mental disorder to wildland firefighters, fire investigators & First Nations firefighters.  Previously, the presumption applied only to regular firefighters. 
  • Effective, January 1, 2021, Bill 23
    •  restored the “loss of earnings” method of measuring permanent disability and changed the calculation of “age of retirement”.  
    • restored WCAT jurisdiction over the Human Rights Code and the Charter.
    • raised the maximum rate to $100,000 (from $87,000).
  • Bill 43 introduced a number of changes and effective dates.
    • Effective November 24, 2022 – CPI indexing restored 
    • Effective April 3, 2023 – some interest payments restored
    • Effective May 1, 2023 – establish a Fair Practices Commissioner
    • Effective January 1, 2024 – a new Duty to Cooperate and a Duty to Maintain Employment established.  
    • For a full explanation, see the Petrie report above “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”..

Compensation policy (RSCM) 

Compensation policy in the Rehabilitation Service and Claims Manual(RSCM) is divided by the date that the radical change to the Act took effect on June 30, 2002.  

Both RSCM I and II are available on the Board website.  A detailed discussion of the relationship between RSCM I and RSCM II set out in Practice Directive C1-1 “Effective Dates and Transition Rules”. This Practice Directive is especially helpful for long-term compensation cases. For example, when an “Old World” injury (one that occurred before June 30, 2002) is reopened after June 30, 2002, any period of temporary disability is adjudicated under the current provisions & RSCM II but any change in the worker’s permanent conditions or benefits is addressed under the Former Act and RSCM I.   

Some things to know about compensation policy after 2002: 

  • Policy is now Binding on all decision-makers:  The 2002 changes made Board policy binding on all decision-makers and the courts have found compensation policy has the legal status of regulation.(Prior to this, policy was discretionary and its application depended on circumstances). The 2002 legislation also changed the appeal system and terminated the Appeal Division (1992-2003) with its wide, remedial and supervisory jurisdiction.  The new appeal body – the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT) has jurisdiction which is limited to matters addressed in Board decisions and is also bound by Board policy. 
  • The Table of Contents for RSCM – provides a quick reference guide to the subject matter addressed by particular Board policies, organized by Chapters (e.g. Chapter 3 is for Personal Injuries, Chapter 4 is for Occupational Diseases, Chapter 6 is for Permanent Disability Benefits, etc.).  There is virtually a policy for every compensation issue. 
  • Policies are important.  Although decision letters may not identify or correctly use the applicable policies, all compensation policies are applicable to all decisions and appeals, even if they are not mentioned in the appealed decision. 
  • WCB Policy Development and Effective Dates: Board policy is developed by Policy Division through a formal policy consultation process.  Each revised or new policy is published in the RSCM with the date on which that version of the policy becomes effective.  The “effective date” is listed at the end of each policy in the RSCM.

Policies can & do change frequently. You can access past versions of a policy through the Claims Policy Archives – a tab under the “Compensation Policy” section of the WCB web-site. 

There is also public access to past and current Policy consultations. Each active Policy consultation begins with a Board “Discussion Paper”, which summarizes the state of the particular area of compensation policy and practice. These Policy Discussion Papers can provide a helpful background to a policy area and are available in the “Law and Policy/Public Hearings & Consultations” section of the WCB website.  Aside from the few current policy discussions, past Policy Discussion Papers are available at

Additional summaries of some compensation policies and appeal topics can be found in: 

WCB Practice Directives (PD)

  • In addition to policy, the Board publishes approximately 50 Practice Directives (PDs), to provide additional guidance to particular RSCM policies.   For example, there are PDs for Chronic Pain (C3-1) and ASTDs (C4-2), among others. PDs are not binding and are developed by the Board to provide decision-makers with additional guidance for making decisions.  The PDs are listed and available on the Board web-site, under  Law & Policy/Compensation & Rehabilitation tab –
  • PDs are separate from policy and on occasion, are inconsistent with policy.  When this is commented on by a WCAT panel, this can result in a change to the PD. 
  • Although PDs are non-binding, they are operationally powerful.  A number of WCAT decisions discuss the degree of deference to be given PDs, including NW WCAT 2007-01737.   However, WCAT panels can and do decline to follow PD in the special circumstances of the case. It is helpful to know when a PD is applicable to your case or appeal.
  • Some PDs have hardly changed over 19 years. Others change very frequently. 

WCAT Website

The WCAT website has helpful plain English material about how to appeal a decision and check on an appeal and links to the relevant forms ( notice of appeal, participation, authorizations, application forms, etc.) It also has powerful research potential.  Here is a brief outline of what is available. 

  • The “Search decisions” TAB
    • Several times a year, WCAT identifies Noteworthy (NW) WCAT Decisions and updates the NW Decision list, located at the end of the second paragraph in WCAT’s “Search decisions” tab.  The List first sets out the subject matter categories (e.g. chronic pain) and then provides a headnote for each NW decision, together with a hyperlink to the full NW decision and its summary.  Noteworthy decisions are often carefully considered by WCAT panels, although they are not binding.  
    • The WCAT search engine has options to define a search by key words, dates, occupations, etc..  The searches can also be restricted to certain types of appeals or decisions, including NW decisions. 
  • The “Resources” TAB. This tab includes the following sections and links: 
  • Past Decisions about Appeals
  • Judicial Review by courts, of WCAT decisions (with helpful summaries as well as links to the court decision) – organized by year
  • Lawfulness of policy decisions by WCAT Chair – links and summaries
  • Decisions of Interest  (court decisions about admin law or WCB issues)
  • Legal Resources 
    • Links to relevant legislation (Act, ATA, Charter, etc.) and regulations
    • Link to Legislative Assembly (Bills with Hansard Debates, webcasts, etc.)
    • Links to Libraries
    • Links to Information about Judicial Procedures (Courts)
    • WCAT Manual of Rules of Practice and Procedure (MRPP) 
  • Medical Resources. This tab has many very helpful links to different medical websites, medical and research bodies and medical publications and journals. 
  • Certificate to Court (with forms & guidelines to supplement Chapter 18, MRPP)

The WCAT Resources tab also has helpful links to particular on-line resources available through WorkSafeBC website, such as diagnostic codes for medical conditions (ICD-9) and selected Info Sheets, including how an Indigenous person can work with a Navigator during a WCAT appeal.

WCAT Manual of Rules of Practices and Procedures (MRPP) 

WCAT is authorized to control its processes but it must publish its rules and practice directives. WCAT’s Manual of Rules of Practices and Procedures (MRPP) sets out these rules and PDs and the legal distinction between the two. 

  • Rules of practice and procedure are binding – that is, WCAT must follow them and waive or modify them only in exceptional circumstances.   In the MRPP, the rules are in bold and are set out in Appendix 2 of the MRPP.
  • Practice Directives are not binding but WCAT will usually follow them. There are also Guidelines. The Practice Directives are in italics are set out in Appendix 3 of the MRPP. 

Structure of WCAT

In an appeal, it is helpful to know the role of the WCAT Registry in an appeal (Chapter 2, MRPP).   The Registrar’s Office is under the direction of the Registrar, Deputy Registrars and appeal officers. Prior to an appeal being assigned to a Vice-Chair (VC), most procedural, preliminary and summary decisions are made by Registry officers, although once an appeal is assigned, the VC will hear and determine any further preliminary matters and may also change preliminary decisions made by an officer.  The officers include: 

  • Senior Registry Officer – who is authorized to:
    • Consolidate appeals
    • Decide to suspend or continue appeal an appeal pending a related Board decision 
    • Extend the statutory time frame for the submission of new evidence up to 45 days
  • Assessment Officers – who are authorized to:
    • determine if the appeal application requirements are met and make provisional decisions on these matters (see Chapter 7, MRPP – Preliminary Processes)
    • determine who may bring an appeal (standing of the parties – Chapter 4, MRPP)
    • determine the appropriate appeal method (oral hearing (OH), written submission, specialty stream)
    • consolidate related matters and suspend or extend time (as above).
  • Appeal Coordinators – who
    • The primary liaisons between WCAT and the parties
    • Manage caseloads and ensure timelines are met 
    • Suspend or extend timelines (as above)

WCAT basics in the MRPP

The MRPP lists what decisions may not be appealed to WCAT and has helpful details about other issues of jurisdiction, evidence and appeal expenses. For example: 

  • WCAT may address any matter which is considered in the Board decision OR in the RD decision;The panel will normally not address issues not expressly raised by the parties, but has the discretion to do so.   The panel will give the parties notice if it intends to address an issue not raised in the notice of appeal (NOA) or in the written submissions, with the exception of permanent disability awards – for these, the panel may address any aspect of the award without notice to the parties.
  • Termination of WL benefits – the panel may address any aspect of this decision, including whether the worker can RTW.
  • Personal Injury (PI) or Occupational Disease (OD).  The MRPP now states that where a claim is adjudicated as one of these and the panel concludes it should have been addressed as the other, the panel may address the issue if no further evidence is required and there are no procedural fairness concerns.
  • Panels may decide an issue in a way that adversely affects an appellant. 
  • Section 3.2 of the MRPP sets out matters which are NOT appealable to WCAT.  This includes: 
    • A class of RD decisions about the conduct of a Review, including
      • Granting or denying an EOT to appeal to the RD; 
      • A decision by the Chief Review Officer to extend the time or suspend a review; and 
      • A decision to refer a decision back to the Board under section 272(9)(b)    For compensation, this primarily affects a decision whether or not to re-open a claim.   
    • Certain substantive matters which are not appealable to WCAT.
      • Decisions about vocational rehabilitation [s. 155, s. 288(2) of the Act];
      • PFI decisions involving the application of the rating schedule and the specified percentage has no range or a range less than 5%; and
      • Decisions about commutations. 
  • Appeal Expenses – A Workers Compensation Act Appeal Regulation authorizes WCAT to reimburse appeal costs in very limited circumstances, and to reimburse parties for their appeal expenses.   WCAT’s rules and practices for reimbursing costs and appeal expenses are set out in Chapter 16, MRPP and the Regulation itself is set out in Appendix 4, MRPP.  (This is an area often covered in the training session, as it is important to workers and unions in appeal work.) 
  • Workers may now raise challenge Board policy or challenge Board policies or practices under the Charter or the Human Rights Code.  The process for raising these issues at WCAT are found in the MRPP in chapter 3. 

Compensation Acronyms

WCB claim file records are full of unexplained acronyms that are particular to the WCB system or medicine. Here are some of the frequently used acronyms and their most common meaning1:  

AAAge Adaptability
ACMAppeals Case Manager
ADLsActivities of Daily Living
AEAccident Employer
APAttending Physician
ASTDActivity-related Soft Tissue Disorder
B&HBullying & Harassment
BMABoard Medical Advisor
BPABoard Psychology Advisor
CCACustomer Care Agent
CCNCustomer Care Number
CJDsCritical Job Demands
CMCase Manager
CNChart note
c/o, COcomplaints of OR Claim Owner
COLACost of Living Adjustment
CP Chronic pain
CPI Consumer Price Index
CPP-DCanada Pension Plan – Disability
CR Consult Report
CSMClient Services Manager
DA Disability Awards (now LTDS)
DAODisability Awards Officer (now LTDO)
DDDDegenerative Disc Disease
DOBDate of Birth
DOHDate of Hire
DOI Date of Injury
DSM-5Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5
Dx Diagnosis
EA Employability Assessment
EO Entitlement Officer
EOTExtension Of Time
ER Employer Representative or emergency
F/U Follow Up
F6 Form 6 Application for Compensation
F7 Form 7 Employer Report of Injury
F8 Form 8 Physician’s First Report
F11 Form 11 Physician’s Progress Report
FA First Aid
FCEFunctional Capacity Evaluation
FPOFair Practices Office
FSMFirst Shift Missed
FT Full time
F/U Follow-up
Ha Headaches
Hx History
GP General Practitioner
GRTWGradual Return To Work
JDA Job Demands Analysis
JSV Job Site Visit
L&RsLimitations & restrictions
LBP Low back pain
LMI Labour Market Information
LMTCLeft Message To Call
LOFLoss Of Function
LOELoss Of Earnings
LTCLong Term Care
LTDLong Term Disability
LTDOLong Term Disability Officer
LTDSLong Term Disability Services
LTWRLong Term Wage Rate
LVMMLeave Voice Mail Message
MA Medical Advisor
MARPMedical And Return to work Program
MCRMaximum Clinical Recovery
MDDMajor Depressive Disorder
MEIAMedical Examination for Impairment Assessment
MH Mental health
MLBPMechanical low back pain
MLOMedical-Legal Opinion
MMI Maximum medical improvement
MMRMaximum Medical Recovery
MOAMedical Office Assistant
MOI Mechanism of Injury
MT Massage Therapy
mTBImild Traumatic Brain Injury
MVAMotor Vehicle Accident
NoANotice of Appeal (to WCAT)
NOCNational Occupational Classification
NPARNeuropsychology Assessment Report
NYDNot yet determined
OA Osteoarthritis
OD/OccDOccupational Disease
OE On Examination
OHSOccupational Health & Safety
ORPOccupational Rehabilitation Program – OR1, OR2
OT Occupational Therapist
PANPersonal Access Number
PARPsychology Assessment Report
PD Practice Directive
PDCPsychology Disability Committee
PDESPermanent Disability Evaluation Schedule
PE Proportionate Entitlement
PEC Pre-existing Condition
PFI Permanent Functional Impairment
PFIEPermanent Functional Impairment Evaluation
PMP/PMMPPain management program
POPPersonal Optional Protection
PPDPermanent Partial Disability
PT Patient OR Physiotherapy OR Part-time
R & LRestrictions & limitations
RD Review Division
RFR/R4RRequest For Review
RO Review Officer
ROCRelief of Costs
ROMRange Of Motion
ROERecord of Employment
RP Rehabilitation Plan
RSCMRehabilitation Services and Claims Manual
RSI Repetitive Strain Injury
RSSResiliency Support Service
RTWReturn to work
RTWSSReturn to Work Support Services
SC Service Coordinator
SCSSpecial Care Services
SOAPSubjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan
st/sp strain sprain
STDShort Term Disability
STI Soft Tissue Injury
Sx Symptoms
TOJTraining On the Job
TM Team meeting
TPDTemporary Partial Disability
TTDTemporary Total Disability
Tx Treatment
VC Vice Chair (WCAT)
VR Vocational Rehabilitation
VRCVocational Rehabilitation Consultant
VRSVocational Rehabilitation Services
VSCVisiting Specialist Clinic
WAOWorkers Advisers Office
WCAWorkers’ Compensation Act
WCATWorkers Compensation Appeal Tribunal
WI Weekly Indemnity benefits
WIAFWage Inflation Adjustment Factor
WICWalk-In Clinic
WL Wage Loss
WNLWithin Normal Limits
WR Worker Representative OR Wage Rate
WROWage Rate Officer
  1. with thanks to Rolf Harrison, who composed this list. ↩︎

Additional B.C. Resources

UBC Law Student Assistance Program Manual

The U.B.C. Law Student Assistance Program updates its Manual annually, and the chapter on Workers’ Compensation is edited by an outside expert. The WCB Chapter is a helpful overview of compensation law and current case law. 

Harrison & O’Leary

The law firm of Harrison O’Leary, with partners Rolf Harrison and Sarah O’Leary, posts helpful teaching materials and commentary on current compensation issues.  

GKS Law Firm

The law firm GKS Law, with principal Gail Sharma, posts key cases and a blog on compensation issues.

Historical compensation reports

Historical compensation reports (including those from past Royal Commissions) are accessible on the Board’s site by searching “Historical Reports

Brief History of the B.C. Compensation System

The history of the Act and the compensation Board in British Columbia has a long and contentious history. Some important highlights are:

  • Meredith Report – The basic principles for workers’ compensation in Canada were laid down by Sir Justice Meredith in his report to the Ontario government on October 31, 1913.   The principles are often summarized as the “Meredith Principles” or referred to as the “Historic Compromise”. 
  • The Meredith principles are well summarized in a presentation by Jim Sayre, a former WCB advocate at CLAS (Community Legal Assistance Society). See Jim Sayre’s 2013 Notes “Chief Justice Meredith’s Legacy”.  
  • Pineo Report – In 1917, Mr. Justice Pineo adapted the Meredith principles to the B.C. context and added the recommendation that in B.C. Workers’ Compensation Board be given the responsibility for regulating safety in the workplace.   On January 1, 1917, the first B.C. Worker’s Compensation Act came into effect, creating the Workers’ Compensation Board of B.C. 
  • The Meredith and Pineo Reports established the foundations of the WCB system, often referred to as the Historic Compromise. The Historic Compromise required that all employers adequately and collectively fund the compensation system, including an independent WCB and appeal system, in exchange for being shielded from legal actions by injured workers.  It also required that workers give up their legal rights to sue negligent employers in exchange for a no-fault compensation system, administered independent of government and the court system.  Given the nature of this Compromise, the WCB arena has been strewn with conflict over the years, between defining and meeting the needs of injured workers and balancing these costs with the interests of employers who pay for the system.
  • In 2017, for its 100-year centennial, WCB posted highlights of the years 1917-2017 on its website, broken down into quarter centuries.  For example, it notes the events of 1932 when 17 logging companies came close to shutting down the entire WCB system with a Supreme Court injunction to temporarily stop WCB from levying their assessments. See The Board has also produced four short videos highlighting key WCB events in each of quarter century. 
  • Before 2002, there were the a number of Royal Commissions into the operations of WCB, given ongoing conflict between employers and workers, and their advocates.  All of the Royal Commission reports are available on the Board’s website and include:
    • 1941 – the first Sloan commission by Chief Justice of the BCCA, Justice Sloan.
    • 1952 – the second Sloan commission 
    • 1962 – the third Royal Commission by Chief Justice DesBrisay of the BCCA
    • 1996 – the fourth Royal Commission by Judge Singh Gill 

In 2001, the newly elected B.C. Liberal government appointed an employer-side lawyer, Alan Winter, to review the compensation system.  His  Core Services Review of the Workers’ Compensation Board (also known as the “the Winter Report”) formed the basis for Bill 49 and 63, for the devastating legislative changes to the Act which transformed the Board and the appeal system, and reduced compensation benefits for injured workers. 

Among other changes, this legislation transformed the Board’s governance structure so that workers, as stakeholders, no longer had significant representation. (The fractious history of Board governance through the 1990’s and culminating in the 2002 changes is summarized in Appendix 22 in the New Directions report – see below).

In 2009, the B.C. Federation of Labour commissioned a report by 3 worker-side lawyers – Stan Guenther, Janet Patterson and Sarah O’Leary which called out these changes for their effect on injured workers.  Their report, Insult to Injury:  Changes to the BC Workers’ Compensation System (2002-2008):  The Impact on Injured Workers is available on the BC Fed’s website.

In 2018, under a newly elected NDP government, the Board’s Board of Directors engaged Paul Petrie to review its policies.  The resulting report, Restoring the Balance:  A Worker-Centred Approach to Compensation Policy (the “Petrie Report”) identified the impact of the 2002 changes on seriously injured workers and recommended how Board policy could be made more worker-centric. The Petrie Report is available on the Board’s website, and is posted on the WELLS website, under Featured Research & Publications

In March, 2019, the NDP government also appointed Janet Patterson to review aspects of the compensation system and hold public hearings throughout the province. The resulting report – New Directions:  WCB Review 2019 – made more than 100 recommendations to make the B.C. compensation system more worker-centred.  It also included an Addendum the stories of 28 worker who presented at the public hearings, in their own words. 

Employers had a strong reaction to both the WCB Review 2019 process and the New Directions report. They removed themselves from the Review and strongly opposed the Report.  The B.C. Federation of Labour, on the other hand, has strongly endorsed the report and commissioned Kevin Love of CLAS to summarize the recommendations in a Workers Deserve Better: How we can Build the Workers’ Compensation System that Injured Workers NeedThis summary is available on the B.C. Federation of Labour website.

In 2020, the NDP government made several amendments (improvements) to the compensation part of the Act, including: 

  • Adding provisions to the Act for the presumption of work causation for certain  occupations, including mental stress injuries and occupational cancers;  and 
  • Passing Bill 23 with the following changes:
    • Restoring the “loss of earnings” method of measuring permanent disability pensions and adding a new calculation of “age of retirement”;  
    • Restoring WCAT’s jurisdiction over the Human Rights Code and the Charter; and 
    • Raising the maximum rate of insured wages to $100,000 (from $87,000).

In 2022, the government passed Bill 41 which set up a Fair Practices Commissioner,
restored some interest payments and (effective January 1, 2024) imposed a new Duty
to Cooperate (for workers) and a new Duty to Accommodate (for employers).   The
details of Bill 41 and the impact of these changes are set out in Paul Petrie’s report “Bill
41: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back:  Maintaining Imbalance in the Workers’ Compensation System

Workers and Unions throughout B.C. are continuing to monitor how the Board addresses and treats workers who are injured in the course of employment in their particular sectors. 

Resources for Compensation Research

Compensation Research

The following sites are helpful starting points for compensation research. 

The Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)

The Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) has a wealth of resources for identifying medical issues and relevant scientific literature for injured workers, including fact sheets, webinars, podcasts, reports and links to scientific literature.

For example, it posts the July 2022 scientific article on McIntrye Powder.  

OHCOW also supports the Occupational Cancer Research Centre and the Ontario Rubber Workers Project).   

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) also has a wealth of resources for work-related risks, including identifying work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs), WHIMIS and exposures, violence and harassment and the workplace impact of climate change. 

CAREX Canada (CARcinogen EXposure)

CAREX Canada (CARcinogen EXposure) is a multi-institution team of researchers and specialists with expertise in epidemiology, risk assessment, toxicology, geographic information systems, and knowledge mobilization. The purpose of CAREX Canada is to provide a body of knowledge about Canadians’ exposures to known and suspected carcinogens, in order to support organizations in prioritizing exposures and in developing targeted exposure reduction policies and programs.

CAREX Canada is funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and hosted at the University of British Columbia.

Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders

This website is dedicated to “MSD” or musculoskeletal disorders in Ontario (in B.C., these are called ASTDs). The website links to the Centre for Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders and has extensive information how to diagnose, prevent and treat MSDs, with a helpful resource library. 

Injured Workers Online

This Injured Workers Online website provides links to a wide variety of resources, research and developments in Workers Compensation and focuses on the rights of of injured workers.  It includes links to campaigns, academic research, scientific literature and teaching tools and is an excellent starting point for research on most topics of interest to injured workers.  The website include a link to the Bancroft Institute and the Injured Workers’ History Project (IWHP). 

The Bancroft Institute for Studies on Workers’ Compensation and Work Injury

The Bancroft Institute (established originally in 1997 as the Injured Workers’ Institute) was formed by injured workers, advocates and academics to meet a need for education and research that focused on topics important to Ontario’s workers.  This eventually led to the Injured Workers’ History Project and formal partnership between the injured worker community and university researchers (RAACWI).The Bancroft Institute is continuing this collaboration through its  workshops and Policy and Research Discussion series and videos of many of these sessions are also available on the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy

The Injured Workers’ History Project (IWHP)

The Injured Workers’ History Project issued publications based on their collected research of oral histories and archival records.  The IWHP was a collaboration of injured worker leaders and activists, legal aid clinic advocates and academic researchers. The IWHP Bulletins are in PDF format and include articles on the Historic Compromise, the origins of the Experience Rating system and an analysis of the practice of “Deeming”. 

Research Action Alliance on the Consequences of Work Injury (RAACWI)

The Research Action Alliance on the Consequences of Work Injury (RAACWI) was a joint community-university research initiative that came together in 2005 to investigate how the workers’ compensation system helps and/or hinders injured workers. Funding was provided through a $1 million grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in 2006. The six-year project, co-led by Dr. Emile Tompa of the Institute for Work & Health and Steve Mantis of the Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups, officially ended in March 2012.  The website is no longer active but has been kept  live so that people can access information about its purpose, partners and projects—including its support of more than 25 research studies, some of which have since been taken up in the policy arena.

The B.C. Labour Heritage Centre

The B.C. Labour Heritage Centre has rich resources and lesson plans for Labour History focused on  workers’ health & safety issues and many are relevant to compensation issues.

Notable Research Articles