I've had a workplace injury, now what happens?
Sustaining an injury at work is unfortunate, but it happens. One day you’re going about your typical day-to-day job duties when all of sudden you lifted something too heavy, you fall, or maybe even slip and are left with a few aches and pains.
After reporting the injury to your supervisor, you’re likely put in touch with WorkSafe BC (WSBC) which provides injured workers with early access to care.
What happens next?
After a workplace injury, WSBC will provide you with a physiotherapy assessment so you and your therapist can discuss the circumstances around the injury, go through a thorough examination, and determine a diagnosis and a plan of care. You will be provided education, advice, and movement strategies to keep your injury on the path to recovery.
After the assessment, the physiotherapist will send a report to WSBC, and if your case is approved, you will receive a six-week window for further treatment. If you are off work or are having difficulties returning to work, your physiotherapist will also get in touch with your employer to gain further information about your job duties in order to decide how to best get you back to work. In many cases, injured workers are approved for six weeks of physiotherapy after the initial assessment. If you had a surgery, your first treatment block lasts eight weeks.
Once you start regular physiotherapy treatment, patients typically attend twice per week during the six-week period. If after six weeks you still require more care, your physiotherapist can apply for a four-week extension.
If you are off work, your therapist may decide to bring you in more frequently to try and keep your weekly workloads up to reduce the chance of general de-conditioning and learn more about the injury. Additionally, if you are off work, you and your therapist will decide on a plan and coordinate with both WSBC and your employer to gradually get you back to work.
Although each plan is unique for each person, many start to transition back to full-time work after about two-weeks of time off, then gradually resume back to full duties over a four-week period.
Seek out a physiotherapist and ensure you are being provided with a graded exercise program to optimize time to recovery and get you back to your normal day-to-day routine.
Sean Overin, Physiotherapist