Injured worker failed by WorkSafe BC

Writer takes issue with "falling through the cracks" at WorkSafe BC.

Dear editor,

“You’ve fallen through the cracks,” my WorkSafe BC rep told me. “I wish I could help, but there’s nothing I can do.” Call after call, I received the same reply. My benefits were cut off, my income now zero.

My crime is simple – I can’t work due to a jobsite injury, and my condition is worsening under the “care” of WorkSafe BC. My doctor insists that I see a specialist for assessment and possible treatment. WorkSafe BC, however, refuses to pay my benefits until they receive a report from that specialist, who is out of the office until the middle of April. I may not get any benefits for months – a long time to wait without any income.

How can this happen? I’ve paid WorkSafe BC from each paycheque, thinking that they would help me if I was injured. I’ve jumped through every hoop, done everything that they asked, and cooperated fully in every program they offered. My medical condition keeps deteriorating. Yet they still won’t pay me. I’ve “slipped through the cracks”, and there’s nothing that they can (or will) do to help.

How can this happen in our country? WorkSafe BC is supposed to protect injured workers, not punish and abuse them. Corporate greed and total lack of common sense may end up costing me everything that I own.

To everyone working now, beware! WorkSafe BC has no compassion. Hope and pray that you are never injured on the job. Nothing but greed, mental abuse, and cruelty await you with WorkSafe BC. It happens every day in this province, and it will never end.

With an upcoming election, I call on all of the candidates to speak up! Will you protect the rights of injured workers? Or do we slip through the cracks politically, as well?

Ron Hutton

Port McNeill