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Reporting and applying for compensation
Registering exposure to a hazardous substance
What is an occupational disease?
Recognized occupational diseases
Can I sue instead of claiming compensation?
For general questions relating to occupational disease claims, call:
To register an occupational disease claim including asbestos-related disease claims:
For questions regarding fatalities and/or survivor benefits, call:
Workers, employers, and treating physicians are required to report an occupational disease to WorkSafeBC.
View information on reporting and applying for compensation for an occupational disease.
Due to the latency and long period of exposure required for the onset of some occupational diseases, WorkSafeBC has developed an Exposure Registry Program as a way for workers, employers, and others to register a worker’s exposure to a harmful substance at work.
The information obtained through the registry will be kept as a permanent record of a worker’s exposure and will assist WorkSafeBC in the adjudication of any future claim for occupational disease caused by the workplace exposure.
An occupational disease is a disease that is caused by exposure to a workplace hazardous substance. A worker may be entitled to compensation for an occupational disease where:
WorkSafeBC recognizes an occupational disease:
Further detail on the manner in which WorkSafeBC recognizes occupational diseases is set out in the Rehabilitation Services & Claims Manual, Vol. II, policies items #26.00 to #26.04.
Asbestos-related diseases are caused by the inhalation of asbestos. Some examples of asbestos-related diseases are: mesothelioma; lung cancer; diffuse pleural thickening or fibrosis; asbestosis; benign pleural effusion; larynx or pharynx cancer; and gastro-intestinal cancer.
More information about occupational diseases can be found here: Occupational Diseases in British Columbia, 1988–2012.
It depends. You can’t sue an employer or worker who is a part of B.C.’s workers’ compensation system, whose activities relating to the disease arose out of and in the course of employment; however, there may be another party outside our compensation system who can be sued.
In that case, you have a choice:
You can claim workers’ compensation benefits, and have WorkSafeBC pursue the lawsuit, if it chooses to do so.
You can choose not to claim compensation, and pursue a lawsuit yourself. (If you do this, you will not receive workers’ compensation benefits.)
For more information, see Workers’ compensation and injury lawsuits FAQs.