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

Part of a new housing development proposal for the former Alberni District Secondary School site. (SCREENSHOT)
Housing gap widens in Port Alberni

Vancouver Island city suffers from ‘missing middle’ to housing density

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires Vancouver Island wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

The Port Alberni Train Station is located outside the entrance to Harbour Quay, on Harbour Road in Port Alberni. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)
Port Alberni gets funding to restore heritage train station

Historic train station needs seismic upgrades

Raw logs are loaded onto a logging ship from a log sort down the Alberni Inlet in March 2019. SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News
Port Alberni light on industrial land

Report finds few suitable locations for new industry

Cowichan Valley writer Jennifer Manuel will headlining YakFest on March 1. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Cowichan Valley writer to headline next YakFest on March 1

YakFest is a B.C.-based monthly women’s event held online via Zoom

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

A crossover utility vehicle smashed through the front of a business on Bowen Road on Friday evening. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Vehicle smashes all the way inside business in Nanaimo

No serious injuries reported after incident at Venue Financial Centres on Friday

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

RCMP say a woman turned herself in to police after hitting a pedestrian and fleeing the scene of the accident in downtown Nanaimo on Friday morning. (File photo)
Driver flees, then turns herself in after hitting pedestrian in downtown Nanaimo

RCMP say woman was struck in marked crosswalk after driver ran red light

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Most Read