Ignoring worker can lead to costly WCB premium


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Worker asks his deep-pocked employer for an inexpensive job accommodation, but the request falls on deaf ears. Employers pay heed: WCB does not take kindly to negligence.

(Q) For 15 years I’ve been climbing in and out of a loader up to 100 times daily. Rather than investing in proper equipment, my employer has had me use a repurposed machine. I’ve always been grateful for my job, but I’ve been asking for years to at least have the loader’s steps made fit for purpose. But the company still refuses to accommodate despite the fact that my knees are now completely worn out from all the climbing, and despite two knee-related WCB claims. My employer’s a Fortune 500 company and the cost of adapting the steps was estimated to be less than $1000. Any help would be appreciated.

(A) Your employer seems to be unfamiliar with human rights legislation that mandates job accommodations for the disabled. And because their short-sightedness led directly to your disability, and given that the employer is endowed with Fortune 500 status, no doubt the Commission would have a field day with this. And/or you can take this up with WCB. You may certainly be entitled to more compensation if your mobility is permanently impaired. This could take the form of a lump sum payment, or even a lifelong wage loss replacement where earning capacity is permanently hampered. WCB’s policy 04-04 Part 1 states:

When a compensable accident results in permanent disability, WCB provides permanent disability benefits to the worker for any measurable permanent clinical impairment and for any impairment of earning capacity attributable to the compensable injury.

Compensation for permanent disability

An economic loss payment (ELP) hits an employer’s experience rating, and thus their premiums, like a proverbial freight train. We’d be very happy to help you look into this. After all, based on their indifference to your pleas for help, the vaunted employer seems unbothered by the prospect of a massive increase in disability premiums.

Call 1-877-572-1324 to speak with our 541 Eagleson Wynd, Edmonton T6M 0Y4 team for free

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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About Me

Ben Barfett, Principal and Consultant, has spent his life in the construction sector, specifically heavy civil, enviro, commercial, and energy. Having held senior roles in business development, technical advisory, and regional management, he earned his stripes in the field and in head office. Conscious of the interplay between commercial, legal, and execution aspects of construction, his business insights are informed by expertise in WCB policy and enhanced with disability-specific training.

Blue Collar Consulting

Blue Collar Consulting is a WCB and disability management firm. The company specializes in rapid and affordable disability solutions that advance current claims, contain the cost of future claims, and get injured workers back on their feet.