When investigating workplace accidents in British Columbia, WorkSafeBC normally requests the findings of the employer's internal investigation if one was conducted. However, after a fatal explosion at a B.C. sawmill in 2012, the agency decided not to follow that procedure.
Though workplace accidents can be avoided by taking proactive steps to meet safety requirements, some types of employment are inherently more hazardous than others. First responders, for example, enter dangerous work environments on a daily basis, confronting a high risk of physical and mental injury.
Accidents in the workplace that result in injuries require careful investigation to determine the cause of the accident and the source of the injury. Whether the accident is due to a simple oversight on the part of a worker, or the employer failed to comply with safety regulations, employees and employers should have experienced legal counsel to represent them and protect their interests after a workplace accident.
Statistics from WorkSafeBC show that, between 2005 and 2012, more than 3,720 health care workers suffered injuries because of violence at work. That figure is particularly alarming when you consider that, during the same period of time, 241 workers in law enforcement were injured.
Under the Workers Compensation Act, employers in British Columbia are subject to strict requirements with regard to workplace injuries and some accidents that do not result in injury. Following is a clarification of required post-accident procedures and what employers must report to WorkSafeBC in the event of a workplace accident.