WHAT IS WORKSAFE BC PHYSIOTHERAPY?
WorkSafeBC is the provincial government’s sanctioned insurance provider for all injured workers. You are not required to sign up in advance or pay membership dues. It is a responsibility of your employer to be registered with WorkSafeBC to make sure all employees have insurance, should they be injured while at work.
In case you get injured at work, the first thing to do depends on the severity of your injury. Obviously, if it’s life threatening, you’d call an ambulance or go to the nearest emergency department. If it isn’t life threatening, you would visit your family physician first. At some point, you will need to contact WorkSafeBC and open a file. They will help you understand the particulars of your situation and walk you through the steps to take regarding being off work, financial aid, etc.
Once you’ve received a WorkSafeBC claim number, please call us or book a WorkSafeBC initial assessment online to begin your rehabilitation with a registered physiotherapist.
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WHAT DOES A SESSION LOOK LIKE?
To help you return to work, your sessions may include a number of activities. It may also involve functional strengthening, learning proper lifting and carrying techniques, understanding the importance of microbreaks, manual treatment, education about your injury and how to avoid it in the future, and much more.
There will likely be some form of work conditioning or work simulation. This really depends on what you are required to do for work. If you mostly sit at a desk, this would involve educating about the best chair, desk and workstation set up as well as taking frequent stretch breaks. If you work a physical job, we may simulate what you usually do. For example if you are an electrician, it may involve carrying heavy loads, climbing ladders or working in awkward positions. The goal is to build tolerance and strength so you can return to work as soon and safely as possible.
If you have further questions, we’re here to help. Contact us for no-obligation 15 min. video call to speak with a physiotherapist about your unique situation and how we can help.
WHAT KIND OF TREATMENT IS OFFERED FOR WORKSAFEBC?
WorkSafeBC claim is treated the same as any other physiotherapy visit. You can expect thorough assessment including collection of detailed history of the incident, your past medical history and specific questions about your work.
The goal will be to get you back to work as quickly as you are able to. We will provide treatment for your injury, which may include manual therapy and exercise. Perhaps most importantly, we will listen to you and provide a treatment plan to get you back on your feet. If your workplace can accommodate a gradual return to work plan, including modified duties, we will help coordinate this with your WorkSafeBC claim manager and your employer.
DO I NEED A DOCTOR’S REFERRAL FOR WORKSAFEBC?
Yes, in order to open a WorkSafeBC claim, you need to be under the care of a physician. If you do not have a family doctor, the majority of walk-in clinic doctors will be able to help you. When booking the initial appointment with a walk-in clinic, make sure to let the receptionist know you’re coming in because you got injured at work.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO SEE THE PHYSIOTHERAPIST IN THE WORKSAFE BC PROGRAM?
Your coverage with WorkSafeBC allows you to come in twice a week for two 30-minute physiotherapy appointments until you are back to full-time work.
You might start a strategy for a gradual return to work at some point while you're receiving therapy. For some of the sessions, you may also work with one of our kinesiologists, who are specialists in work reconditioning.
HOW LONG WILL THE WORKSAFE BC PROGRAM TAKE?
A typical WorkSafeBC claim takes from 6 weeks to 3 or 4 months. However, there are always exceptions and more challenging injuries which may take longer time to heal.
Depending on your job, employer, workplace and their ability to accommodate your gradual return to work, you might be able to get back to work quicker. However, there can be delays in getting you back for various reasons, adding to the length of your program.