WCB Question of the Week

Dear Blue Collar,

Q: Last year one of our male employees brushed up against a female colleague while passing behind her through a narrow corridor. By all accounts, according to eyewitnesses, the contact was innocent and harmless. However, the lady worker is now on WCB for severe anxiety and PTSD. She’s been off-work for months on the advice of her psychologist who says his patient is permanently disabled. And now it seems we’re on the hook for a permanent WCB pension. How can this be?

A: The specific details of the incident are always crucial in these cases. But taken at face value, your worker’s claim may be valid per WCB policy. For instance, if the worker has a history of suffering physical abuse, the ‘thin skull’ rule may apply—meaning that a pre-existing vulnerability to trauma would not preclude a WCB claim.

That said, it’s advisable to hire an experienced employer’s representative to ensure that a) the diagnosis was based on a comprehensive psych assessment and b) to advocate for cost relief if the workplace incident aggravated an already fragile mental state.

Visit BlueCollarConsulting.ca to learn more about our WCB management services. Send your disability-related questions to ben@bluecollarconsulting.ca

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. 

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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. 

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