September 6, 2017

What Every Injured Worker Should Know

Rebecca Buchanan

If you have been injured while working, either because of a coworker’s actions or your own, you are entitled to receive benefits from WorkSafeBC.  To ensure you receive all healthcare, wage loss, pension and vocational retraining benefits, it is important you do the following:

  1. Immediately report your injury to your employer’s First-Aid person. If there is no First-Aid person, report to your immediate supervisor.  Write down what happened, where, when, how and who saw it (the witnesses) along with witness contact information.


  1. Immediately see your doctor, go to a walk-in clinic or the hospital and report that you were injured at work. Explain how you were injured.  Do not just report the worst injury.  Tell your doctor about every body part that hurts, is bruised, cut or swollen. WorkSafeBC relies upon your doctor’s first report to record how you were injured and your injuries.


  1. Report the accident to WorkSafeBC by calling 1-888-WORKERS (1-888-967-5377).  Be honest, clear and give all the details.  Describe how you were injured and name any witnesses.  List all injuries (everything that hurts or shows a bruise, scrape or swelling).  WorkSafeBC needs this information to decide what injuries to accept for compensation.


  1. Confirm your employer is reporting your injury to WorkSafeBC. Your employer must not try to prevent you from reporting a work-related accident or injury, no matter how small that accident or injury may seem.  Any employer who directly or indirectly (through a coworker or supervisor) tries to persuade you to not report is breaking the law.


  1. If an accident is serious, WorkSafeBC will investigate. You must cooperate.  Trying to prevent an investigation or withholding information from WorkSafeBC is breaking the law.


  1. Do what your doctor tells you. Take treatment, medication and attempt a return to work when your doctor thinks you are ready.  You should see your doctor regularly and report any progress or ongoing problems because your doctor is responsible for monitoring your recovery and reports to WorkSafeBC.


  1. Read all of WorkSafeBC’s letters. WorkSafeBC may call about your claim but it actually tells you about the benefits it is starting and stopping in formal, written letters.


  1. Treat everyone at WorkSafeBC with courtesy and respect. You may be frustrated if someone at WorkSafeBC disagrees with you about your recovery, injuries or return to work, but remember WorkSafeBC employees are just doing their jobs.


  1. If you disagree with a WorkSafeBC decision, request a review. You have only 90 days from the date of that decision letter to request a review.  You can find information about that process here: or by calling the Review Division at 604-214-5411 (Lower Mainland) or Toll-free: 1-888-922-8804 (within BC).


  1. If you disagree with the Review Officer’s decision, most can be appealed to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT). You have only 30 days from the date of the Review Division decision letter to appeal to the WCAT.  You can find information about that process here: or by calling the WCAT at (604) 664-7800 (Lower Mainland) or Toll-free: 1-800-663-2782 (within BC).


  1. Get help! There are resources available for injured workers including the Worker’s Advisers Office and various lawyers.  If you are interested in retaining Rebecca Buchanan or one of the lawyers at Harris & Brun Law Corporation, you may complete the Request a Consult form found here on our website and our office will contact you regarding your matter.  You can also contact the Worker’s Advisers Office here:

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