When it comes to WCB claims, details matter

Dear Blue Collar,

The other day a worker made himself a cup of instant coffee. He put a cup of water in the lunchroom microwave, nuked it for a couple minutes, took it out, dropped in the coffee powder, and the whole thing exploded like somebody slipped dynamite into the Nescafe jar. The worker was scalded and will be on modified duties for a time. Is this a WCB claim?

Answer: Like the answer to every good question, it depends. Because the injury required medical attention (I’m assuming) and the disability will extend beyond the date of accident, this is probably a claim — that is, if the incident was work related.

When did the incident occur? During a break or lunch hour? Who did the cup belong to — the worker or employer? The details matter. For example, if the worker was on lunch and filled his own cup, then WCB is likely to reject the claim. On the other hand, if the mug was company property, the incident is surely reportable. If you haven’t already done so, interview the worker to clarify the circumstances.

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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