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182 THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES OF WORKPLACE INJURY IN BC
This research describes the social and economic consequences following workplace injury for workers who filed a claim to the British Columbia (BC) Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) in 1994 and missed 1 or more days of work due to the injury (LT, lost-time). Change in neighbourhood median family income decile, income assistance (welfare) use, and relationship break-up are explored.
The BC Linked Health Database (BCLHD), which links individual Medical Service Plan (MSP) payment data, hospital separations, WCB, and the Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance (MEIA) data for the entire population of BC, was used to examine the LTs, a group of non-injured individuals from the general population (NI, non-injured) and a group of injured workers who did not require time off for their injuries (NLT, non-lost-time). As an internal comparison, the LTs were divided according to duration of time off work (<12 weeks and greater than or equal to 12 weeks (12+weeks)). Personal Health Numbers, the first three digits of the postal code, and income decile of residential neighbourhood were used to assess individual and spousal living arrangements. Information from MEIA was used to assess yearly income assistance use.
Compared to the NIs, the injured worker groups showed an increase in post-injury drop in neighbourhood income decile (LTs only) and relationship break-up. Severity of injury (as measured by time off work) was not associated with these outcomes. Although being an injured worker was protective against collecting post-injury income assistance benefits (perhaps an artefact of the selection of non-injured comparisons), LTs off for 12 or more weeks were at higher risk for receiving post-injury benefits, than those off for shorter periods of time.
This research adds to the literature on the economic and social consequences of workplace injury by using a provincial census of injured workers to assess drop in neighbourhood …