June 1 is National Injured Workers’ Day across Canada, a day to stand in solidarity with injured workers for the restoration of dignity, respect and justice. Workplace accidents have tragic consequences and a lasting impact on the workers who experience them.
“Last year more than 100,000 workplace injuries and occupational illnesses were reported in BC. It’s a terrible toll on workers and their families,” says BC Federation of Labour President Laird Cronk.
BCFED believes that every workplace injury is preventable. June 1 is also a day to renew our demand that employers, the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) and the provincial government do more to keep workers safe on the job.
“The well-being of workers is being compromised because safety rules are weak and not always rigorously enforced. Injured workers aren’t compensated fairly. Employers whose negligence results in a worker being injured on the job or contracting an occupational disease currently face few consequences,” says Cronk.
BCFED is pleased to see some changes to bring back a worker-centred approach to the WCB with the implementation of the 41 recommendations of the Petrie report “Restoring the Balance: A Worker-Centred Approach to Worker’ Compensation Policy.”
Government announced in April that Janet Patterson will conduct a review into the compensation system in BC.
BCFED will be looking to the government and the WCB to implement the review recommendations, and will actively participate in the compensation review.
BCFED also welcomed the expansion of the mental disorders presumption for wildland firefighters, nurses, care aides and emergency dispatchers. We will continue to push the government to expand this presumption to all workers regardless of industry.