Specific Health Concerns

Last updated on September 27, 2021

Workers' compensation generally covers illnesses or diseases that employees develop as a result of on-the-job exposure.

Can I get workers' compensation if I get an occupational disease?

Workers’ compensation does not extend to all diseases, but rather only to those are due to the employment.  WorkSafeBC designates or recognizes certain diseases as occupational diseases based on medical and scientific evidence and on its experience in dealing with these diseases. Our Occupational Diseases: An Introduction Factsheet defines occupational diseases and outlines the information you will need to help WorkSafeBC determine if your disease or disorder was caused by work. 

What if my injury was caused by my work activities including repetitive use, vibrations, compression, or long periods in a fixed position?

Activity related soft tissue disorder (ASTD) is a term used to describe a variety of medical conditions affecting muscles, tendons and/or ligaments, resulting from repetitive movements or exposure to mechanical vibrations. ASTDs are also known as repetitive strain injuries (RSIs), repetitive motion disorders, and accumulative trauma disorders. You can get workers' compensation for your ASTD if it was due to the nature of your employment.

Read our Activity Related Soft Tissue Disorders (or Repetitive Strain Injuries) Factsheet for more information on repetitive strain injuries, compensation, how WorkSafeBC investigates the claim and what to do if you disagree with a decision made by WorkSafeBC.

Chronic pain

WorkSafeBC defines chronic pain as pain that remains six months after an injury and beyond the usual recovery time for the injury. Our Chronic Pain Factsheet provides information on identifying the different types of chronic pain, what to do and how to dispute a WorkSafeBC decision. 

Hearing disorders

WorkSafeBC accepts two kinds of hearing loss:

  • Traumatic injury
  • General exposure

The compensation from WorkSafeBC will vary depending on the severity.

Read our Hearing Disorders Factsheet for more information on how WorkSafeBC determines the type of hearing loss, the compensation available and what to do if you disagree with a WorkSafeBC decision.

Psychological conditions and mental disorders

WorkSafeBC accepts claims for psychological conditions in two situations:

  • When a psychological condition arises from a work related injury
  • When a mental disorder arises from a traumatic event or work related stressor

For more information on determining psychological conditions and mental disorders, what to expect through the process, the application process and what to do if you disagree with a decision made by WorkSafeBC, read our  Psychological Conditions and Mental Disorders Factsheet.

I have a new injury that developed as a direct result of my workplace injury or illness. What do I do?

This is called compensable consequences. Some examples include:

  • A worker with a chronically painful condition may develop a psychological condition such as depression
  • Knee surgery may go wrong and make the knee worse

When considering these kinds of situations, WorkSafeBC should take a broad, common sense approach, and ask if the worker's original injury or condition was a significant cause of the second injury or condition.

Read our Compensable Consequences of Work Related Injuries and Diseases Factsheet for more information about compensable consequences and how they are determined.