Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

WorkSafeBC has accepted 430 compensation claims related to COVID-19 exposure so far this year, and disallowed 698 others, data from the provincial workplace insurance agency show.

Claim statistics show by far the largest number of coronavirus-related injury claims in B.C. have come from health care and social services workers, with 320 claims allowed and 321 disallowed as of Oct. 21. Another 154 claims from that group were pending and 86 have been suspended.

Accommodation, food and leisure services, including grocery store employees also deemed essential in the pandemic, have produced only 11 allowed claims and 17 disallowed. A single claim from an education worker has been allowed, and another 22 disallowed, with 12 more pending.

“Claims are allowed when there is sufficient evidence to establish that the worker has COVID-19 and the risk in the workplace was significantly higher than the ordinary exposure risk,” WorkSafeBC explains. “Claims are typically disallowed when there is insufficient evidence to establish that the worker has COVID-19 (based on tests or symptom cluster), and/or the worker went off work strictly as a preventive measure.”

Other categories reflect the workplace outbreaks that have been reported by B.C. public health officials since COVID-19 reporting began early in 2020. Agriculture workers have had 28 claims allowed and seven disallowed, while 18 claims have been allowed for workers in food and beverage manufacturing, including poultry processing plants that were briefly shut down due to employee exposure to the virus.

RELATED: Canadian small business confidence drops in October

RELATED: B.C. records another 234 COVID-19 cases Oct. 29

Notable for the lack of COVID-19 related claims are resource industries. WorkSafeBC reports a single claim for oil and gas or mineral resources, disallowed, and two claims for metal and non-metallic mineral manufacturing, both disallowed with three more pending. Wood and paper products manufacturing industries have had two claims disallowed.

Construction, which has carried on with infection precautions but not the shutdown seen in other provinces, has had one claim allowed and 13 disallowed.

“Not all claims registered receive an allow or disallow decision,” WorkSafeBC says. “Some claims are suspended and therefore do not proceed through the decision-making process. This happens after the claims are registered and is often a choice workers make not to proceed wit the requirements of the claims process.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross has been named critic for Environment and Climate Change Strategy for the BC Liberals. (Black Press file photo)
Skeena MLA Ellis Ross named critic for Environment and Climate Change Strategy

Previously, Ross was the critic for LNG, Resource Opportunities, and Responsible Development

Coast Mountains School District 82 is dealing with a shortage of bus drivers. (Natalia Balcerzak/Terrace Standard)
CMSD82 coping with bus driver shortage in Terrace area

LNG Project, COVID-19 contributing to driver shortage

The District of Stewart has adopted a strategic plan for 2020/21 with six focus areas. (District of Stewart/Facebook)
Stewart adopts 2020 strategic plan

Economy, community areas of focus

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Still from a video surveillance camera of a man alleged to have stolen from several people at knife-point in Chilliwack (Rosedale) early on Nov. 28, 2020. (Facebook)
B.C. man defends his family against intruder, saves neighbour while wielding hockey stick

RCMP looking for footage that captures violent crime spree in Chilliwack

Most Read