In the unfortunate circumstance, you or a loved one is facing a workplace injury or disease, we’re sharing information today from WorkSafeBC and the Workers’ Advisers Office about preventing injuries, making a WorkSafeBC claim and appealing a decision.
While Consumer Protection BC doesn’t oversee these kinds of laws, we always try to share information that’s relevant and helpful to British Columbians. Today’s information comes from WorkSafeBC and the Workers’ Advisers Office.
Prevent injuries or illness before they happen
There’s a lot of great information online about preventing injuries and illnesses in the workplace. WorkSafeBC, an organization that educates employers and workers and enforces the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, has a helpful list of resources on their website. Once there, you can access work safety information, news, updates, calculators and other tips that relate to specific industries and topics.
Steps to take if you’ve been injured at work
Here’s information from WorkSafeBC about how to report a work-related injury or illness and initiate a claim. According to their website, there are specific steps you need to take (including reporting it to your employer immediately, seeking medical attention and starting a claim with WorkSafeBC as soon as possible). Remember: it’s against the law for your employer to tell you to not report an injury or disease to WorkSafeBC.
How to appeal a WorkSafeBC decision
We got in touch with WorkSafeBC, and they gave us some great information and context about the appeal process. Basically, there are two levels of review or appeal available to workers and employers for most decisions made by WorkSafeBC under the Workers Compensation Act. The first level of appeal is internal, involving an impartial review by a Review Officer in WorkSafeBC’s Review Division. Here’s information from WorkSafeBC’s website about this process, including the objectives of the Review Division.
If the employer or worker is not satisfied with the decision made by the Review Division, the second level of appeal is to the independent Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT). Under the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, the WCAT provides advice and assistance to workers and their dependents on disagreements with WorkSafeBC decisions. Using the services of the Workers’ Adviser’s Office is completely free and the organization operates independently from WorkSafeBC. Click here to learn more about this organization and how they can assist.
We hope this information was helpful! A special shout out to WorkSafeBC for sharing information with us and to our Facebook friend, Lisa, who passed this topic idea along to us. (Do you have a subject you’d like to see us blog about? We’d love to hear it – leave a comment below!)