Employer Obligations for Workers’ Compensation

Employment Law | August 24, 2023 | Written by Natasha Nair

Workers’ compensation is an essential aspect of employment law that aims to protect employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. In British Columbia, employers have specific obligations under the Workers Compensation Act to ensure the well-being and safety of their employees. At Linley Welwood, we want you to understand your legal requirements when it comes to workers’ compensation. That is why we have outlined key employer obligations for workers’ compensation in BC, emphasizing the legal requirements and responsibilities they must uphold.

Registering for Workers’ Compensation

Under BC law, most employers are required to register with WorkSafeBC, the province’s workers’ compensation board. By registering, employers ensure coverage for workplace injuries or occupational diseases that their employees may sustain. Registration also enables employers to access resources and information regarding workplace safety and prevention.

Maintaining a Safe Work Environment

Employers have a legal duty to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for their employees. Employers are obligated to:

Conduct Risk Assessments

Employers must identify potential hazards in the workplace and assess the risks associated with them. Regular risk assessments help employers understand and address potential dangers, so that they can implement appropriate measures to mitigate risks and avoid various personal injury cases.

Establish Safety Policies

Employers should develop and implement comprehensive safety policies and procedures that address specific hazards in their workplace. These policies should cover aspects such as emergency protocols, reporting procedures for injuries or near misses, and the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Provide Training

Employers must provide adequate training and instruction to their employees regarding workplace safety procedures, equipment usage, and hazard recognition. Training programs should be tailored to specific job duties and updated regularly to ensure employees are properly informed about potential risks and prevention strategies.

Are employees allowed to refuse unsafe work?

Reporting Workplace Injuries

In the event of a workplace injury, employers have a legal obligation to report the incident. Prompt reporting ensures that the injured employee receives necessary medical attention and benefits in a timely manner. Employers must complete and submit a form within three days of learning about the injury, regardless of whether the employee takes time off work or seeks medical treatment.

Cooperating with Investigations

If there is an investigation following a workplace injury, employers must fully cooperate with the investigation process. This includes providing all relevant information, assisting in gathering evidence, and complying with any requests from WorkSafeBC officers. Failure to cooperate may result in penalties and legal consequences.

Assisting with Return-to-Work Plans

Employers are responsible for facilitating a successful return to work for employees who have been injured on the job. This involves cooperating with healthcare professionals to develop appropriate modified work plans and making reasonable accommodations to support the employee’s recovery process. Employers should maintain ongoing communication with the injured employee and monitor their progress throughout the return-to-work period.

Ensuring compliance with workers’ compensation obligations is crucial for employers in British Columbia. Adhering to these obligations not only helps prevent workplace injuries and illnesses but also contributes to a positive and productive work environment for all.

If you require legal advice or further information on workers’ compensation in BC, it is recommended to consult with experienced lawyers. The team at Linley Welwood specializes in employment law and can provide the necessary guidance. Get in touch with us today by calling 604-850-6640.

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