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The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) came into force in October 1993 and covers all provincial ministries, crown corporations, agencies, commissions and boards, including WorkSafeBC.
The FIPPA increases government accountability and protects personal privacy by:
Under the FIPPA, WorkSafeBC cannot collect personal information unless it is authorized to do so. Subject to some exceptions, personal information must be collected from the individual directly. When personal information is used, WorkSafeBC must take reasonable steps to ensure that it is accurate.
Except in limited circumstances, you have a right to access your own information held by WorkSafeBC. If you believe a record about you is inaccurate, you can request that the information be corrected.
WorkSafeBC cannot use or disclose personal information except as permitted in the FIPPA. Generally, personal information can only be used for the purpose for which it was collected, for consistent purpose, or with your consent. Personal information may be used for research purposes, within strict guidelines.
An important principle of the FIPPA is that personal information held by public bodies such as WorkSafeBC should be protected from unauthorized collection, use, and disclosure.
For more specific information on privacy, read the Privacy Statement of WorkSafeBC (PDF 26kb).
The FIPPA recognizes that there are situations when information should not be released. There are two types of exceptions: mandatory and discretionary.
WorkSafeBC must refuse to disclose a record if:
All other exceptions are discretionary. WorkSafeBC decides whether information will be withheld because:
The FIPPA provides that WorkSafeBC must not disclose confidential business information. However, to be considered "confidential business information", the following criteria must be met:
WorkSafeBC may be required to withold information about a small firm or business because, if a firm is small, disclosing certain information about that firm may actually reveal personal information about the firm’s employees or owner.
Orders and Penalties
WorkSafeBC may also disclose details of orders issued against a firm, or the number and amounts of any penalties imposed on a firm.
This information can be disclosed by WorkSafeBC because:
There may be certain circumstances when the public interest overrides the above exceptions. For instance, where there is a serious environmental, health, or safety hazard, the FIPPA requires that WorkSafeBC disclose this, whether or not a formal request for information has been made.
WorkSafeBC provides access to claim file records to workers, and under limited circumstances, to their employers. Read Request for claim file disclosure for more information or see the frequently asked questions.
To contact WorkSafeBC's FIPP office, telephone 604 279-8171 in the Lower Mainland or toll-free 1 866 266-9405 within B.C. and Alberta or fax 604 279-7401.
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