Insights

Asbestos: The Number One Cause of Occupational Fatalities in Canada

Posted in: Claims Costs | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on August 27, 2021

According to the most recent incidence statistics, asbestos exposure continues to be the number one cause of occupational deaths in Canada. Since 1996, the asbestos-related disease has accounted for a third of all workplace fatalities across the country.  Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral with many diverse and desirable applications including fire-retardant coatings, concrete, bricks, fireplace cement, heat/, fire and acid-resistant gaskets, pipe insulation, ceiling insulation, fireproof drywall, flooring, roofing, lawn furniture, automobile parts, and drywall joint compound. It is made up of microscopic fibers that can be released into the atmosphere and if those fibers are inhaled it can lead to various serious and incurable lung conditions. As a result, it is now a major health and safety hazard.  The health dangers of asbestos exposure were first documented in 1899 and concerns were continually raised into the early 1900’s. However, despite the known issues and concerns, asbestos was […]

Cost Relief on COVID-19 Claims

Posted in: Claims Costs | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on June 25, 2021

In September 2020, the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) announced a plan to address the potential financial impact COVID-19 claims costs posed on Alberta employers. The WCB identified 5 different applications of cost relief for claims where COVID-19 played a factor and that costs would automatically be removed from an employer’s experience records, namely: Cost relief for COVID-19 claims.Cost relief for claims where modified work was no longer available for no-time-loss claims due to the provincial shutdown.Cost relief for claims where the worker became fit for work during the shutdown and the employer could not offer modified work because of the shutdown (modified work must have been offered within two weeks of the provincial re-opening).Cost relief for delays in hospital admission and surgeries due to the pandemic.Recording claims as no-time-loss when modified work is no longer available. Although there are no actual costs to relieve, the status of the claim […]

COVID-19 Outbreaks in the Workplace – Who’s Gonna Pay?

Posted in: Claims Costs,WCB Law | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on May 25, 2021

As Alberta grapples with the impact of the 3rd wave of COVID-19 infections, there have been a rash of outbreaks in workplaces involving a large number of COVID-19 infections. Transmission, quite clearly, is happening worker to worker and exposure is occurring while they are at work but is this a work-related injury or illness? And if so, how will this affect employers who are already struggling economically to survive the pandemic? If the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) is going to accept claims that arise from COVID-19 outbreaks in the workplace, who will bear the brunt of the costs? The WCB acknowledges that COVID-19 is not in itself caused by employment; however, if the work situation/circumstances put a worker at a greater risk of contracting the disease, then the claim would be acceptable. While this may seem reasonable, when put into practise the results are mind boggling.  Based on an […]

Tendonitis vs Tendinosis and WCB

Posted in: Claims Costs | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on February 23, 2021

You say tendonitis, I say tendinosis, same thing, right? Think again…and you’re not alone! Confusion about the two diagnoses is widespread throughout the medical community and beyond. In many instances, what is thought to be tendonitis is actually tendinosis and although they may seem similar, the actual treatment goals and timelines can be quite different. The differences between the two conditions and how they are medically managed can have significant consequences especially if a workers’ compensation (WCB) claim is involved. What’s the Difference? Tendon pain can happen suddenly and intensely or it can come on gradually and progressively, building up over time. The onset of the discomfort is often an indicator of whether the cause is tendonitis or tendinosis. Tendonitis is an acutely inflamed swollen tendon as a result of a strain or force on the tendon that is too heavy or too sudden. The tendon isn’t actually damaged and […]

How Occupational Injury Service (OIS) Can Reduce Your Claims Costs

Posted in: Accident Prevention,Claims Costs,Safety,WCB Premium Reduction,Workplace | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on February 2, 2021

Do you have an employee that’s been hurt in a work-related incident? Are you looking to get an injured worker back on the job as quickly and safely as possible? Do you want to minimize costs associated with work-related claims? Consider using the WCB Alberta’s Occupational Injury Service (OIS). The OIS was specifically developed for anyone who was hurt at work. It gives injured workers quick access to medical services at specialized clinics throughout the province of Alberta while helping employers to manage claims, facilitate a successful return to work plans, and contain claims costs. Some of the benefits of OIS are: Quick access to physicians trained in dealing with work-related injuries that are familiar with the WCB-Alberta process – usually within 30 minutes Completion and submission of reports to the WCB – often the same day Expedited diagnostic and treatment services like MRI’s, ultrasounds, physiotherapy and specialist referrals Development […]

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