Proposed policy amendments regarding activity-related soft tissue disorders (ASTDs) of the limbs

In January 2018, WorkSafeBC’s Board of Directors commissioned an external compensation policy review (CPR). The resulting report entitled Restoring the Balance: A Worker-Centred Approach to Workers’ Compensation Policy was published in April 2018 and contains a number of recommendations. Four of the recommendations propose changes to policy relating to the adjudication of ASTD claims.

The Policy, Regulation and Research Division (PRRD) is presenting proposed policy revisions for two of the CPR recommendations to:

  • Provide clear direction when adjudicating situations where the evidence indicates the condition may be either an injury or a disease, regardless of a clear or unclear ASTD diagnosis; and
  • Further emphasize the importance of identifying all of the relevant ASTD risk factors in a particular case, and to base a decision on a careful evaluation of the evidence in accordance with policy while considering the merits and justice of the individual case.

Regarding the remaining two recommendations, WorkSafeBC announced a Request for Proposal on March 22, 2019, soliciting proposals for a systematic review of the available scientific literature regarding the causal relationship of work-related physical risk factors and the development of ASTDs of the limbs. The results from the systematic review would then inform whether policy changes to the work-related risk factors in the ASTD policies should be made.

The Policy, Regulation and Research Division is releasing a discussion paper with options on proposed amendments to policy item #27.00, Activity-Related Soft Tissue Disorders (“ASTDs”) of the Limbs, in the Rehabilitation Services & Claims Manual, Volume II to stakeholders for comment. Proposed deletions of policy wording are identified with a strikethrough and additions are identified in bold.

Discussion paper

There are a number of ways for stakeholders to provide feedback on the options and draft policy amendments:


(a) Comment link:

This consultation is now closed.

(b) Email:
(c) Mail:

Alan Howarth
Senior Policy and Legal Advisor
Policy, Regulation and Research Division
P.O. Box 5350, Stn. Terminal
Vancouver, B.C. V6B 5L5

(d) Fax: 604.279.7599;
or toll-free in B.C. 1.877.279.7599

The consultation period will end on May 27, 2019. The Board of Directors will consider stakeholder feedback before making a decision on policy amendments.

Please note that all comments become part of the Policy, Regulation and Research Division’s database and may be published, including the identity of organizations and those participating on behalf of organizations. The identity of those who have participated on their own behalf will be kept confidential according to the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.