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.

The discussion paper, draft policies, and information on how to provide feedback can be accessed through the following link:

Proposed policy amendments to activity-related soft tissue disorders (ASTDs)

The consultation period for this item will end at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 27, 2019. The Board of Directors will consider stakeholder feedback before making a decision on the proposed policy.

Please note that COCA will be submitting comments on behalf of members. If you are making a submission on behalf of your own organization or company or would like to provide input to COCA’s response, please email to