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The structural role of the Workers' Compensation Board in the industrial economy of British Columbia Moeti, Michael 1988

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THE STRUCTURAL ROLE OF THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION BOARD IN THE INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA by MICHAEL MOETI B.A. Simon Fraser University, 1987 A RESEARCH PROJECT SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT FOR THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Sociology) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standards Supervi sory Commi tteeI Dr « Bob Ratner Dr. Nancy Waxier-Morrison Dr. Yunshik Chang THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October 1988 In present ing this thesis in partial fulf i lment of the requ i rements for an advanced d e g r e e at the University of British C o l u m b i a , I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for re ference and study. I further agree that permiss ion for extensive c o p y i n g of this thesis for scholarly pu rposes may b e granted by the head of m y depa r tmen t or by his o r her representat ives. It is u n d e r s t o o d that c o p y i n g or pub l i ca t ion of this thesis for financial gain shall not b e a l lowed wi thout my written pe rmiss ion . T h e University of British C o l u m b i a Vancouve r , C a n a d a Depa r tmen t DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT This thesis outlines the structural problems that, affect the operation of the Workers* Compensation Board within the industrial economy of B.C. The study confines itself to the years between 1972 and 1937, a period in which workers' compensation in B.C. underwent political and economic transformations under the governmental aegis of the New Democratic Party government and then the Social Credit Party. In order to understand the ostensibly contradictory functions of the WCB, a partially autonomous component of the state, liberal - pluralist and Neo-Marxist models are compared and contrasted. The thesis concludes that the UCB serves two principal functions: capital accumulation and legitimation of the status quo. Historical and contemporary evidence shows that the WCB continues to serve the interests of employers at the expense of workers. Low government expenditure on health and safety safeguards, delaying of workers *claims, weak penalties against employers violating safety legislation, the chronic scarcity of safety inspectors, and the habitual undercompensation of claims, are clear indications that the WCB puts costs ahead of workers' health. The WCB's rejection of radical solutions to the problems, solutions likely to offend employers, is further evidence of the pro-capital bias of the WCB. Thus the study rejects the 1 iberal -plural ist interpretive framework and reaffirms the structuralist, interpretation as an i i appropriate schema for understandirig how the WCB operates within a capitalist economy. Alternatives to the WCB policy such as a universal disability plan, are explored. The chief method of investigation used in this research study was to interview workers and their representatives, lawyers specialising in the WCB, and WCB staff. Available WCB data and various evaluative reports on the WCB were important secondary sources of information. i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract. i i Table of Contents i i i Acknowledgement vii Chapter I - Introduction 1 A. Interpretive Framework 6 a. Liberal-Pluralist Theory B. NeoMarxist Alternatives '.. 10 a. Instrumentalist State Theory b. Structuralist-Marxist Theory c. C1 ass Conf1i c t (Gramsci an) C. The WCB record as a test case of the applicability of the liberal- pluralist. theory IS Footnotes 23 Chapter II - The WCB in British Columbia < "formal blueprint" >........ 27 A. Origins41 23 B. History/Policies 30 C .' Functions 37 i . Claims Adjudication i i . Rehabi1i tation Sec tion i i i . Accident Prevention Inspectors i v . Med i c a 1 Depa r t-men t i v v. Legal Department D. Current Controversies 46 Footnotes 51 Chapter III. - The Mobilization of Bias (1972-1987) 52 A. WCB Decisions and Precedents 59 i . File Disclosure i i . Conf1i c t of Fun c t i ons i i i . Burden of Proof B. Policy Otientation of the WCB toward Worker Safety and Accident/Health Hazard Prevent ion 76 C. Critique of the WCB Decision-making and Pol icy Formulation S3 i . Acc oun tab i i i ty (a) Access to worker files i i . Health and Safety Regulations i i i . Claims Adjudication and Rehabilitation (a) Taking the initiative ( i ) Communication during the dec ision-making process (ii) Structural contradictions and 1 imitations (iii) Enforcement of health and safety 1eg i s1a t i on (iv) Internal staff problems (b) The Power of the Chairman (c) Political interference <d!> Ombudsman's study of the WCB (i !> Delays in deciding appeals <ii> Lack of oral hearings D. WCB Response to Criticism 105 E. Identifiable Patterns of Bias in the WCB ....... 110 Footnotes 117 Chapter IV - Summary and Conelusions ...................... 120 A. Evaluation of the Applicability of the Liberal - Pluralist Theory 122 B. Structural Role of the WCB vis-a-vis state theory 124 C. Possibilities for Reform of the WCB 128 D. Alternatives to the WCB 133 Footnotes 137 Append i x 1 - 138 Appendix 2 14-3 Append i x 3 144 Bibi 1 iography 145 vi ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I wish to acknowledge and thank the following persons, in particular, for the information that they provided: Maureen Cain, a claims adjudicator at the WCB, Bruce Elpihistone of the B.C. Federation of Labour (BCFLJ, Cathy Walker of the B.C. Council, Confederation of Canadian Unions (CCU), and Kam Prasad PH.D. <UBC:>. I would also like to express my gratitute to senior supervisor Dr. Bob Ratner and Dr. Nancy Waxier-Morrison for their time, interest, and valuable support throughout my work on this thesis project. As well, I am indebted to Dr. Yunshik Chang who kindly agreed to serve on the advisory committee at short notice. vi i CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION 1 The occupational health and safety record in B.C. is distressing and of vital concern from both human resources and economic points of view. According to the Annual Report of the Workers Compensation Board of B.C., the number of accepted wage-loss and claims, the result of workers who have been exposed to harmful chemical, biological, and other stress factors at work, has been increasing annually over the past ten years (19S1 . No. 1:19> . The debate over occupational health and safety issues is often centered on the definition and meaning of these concepts as they apply to workplace injury and accidents. For instance, safety hazards refer to those aspects of the environment which can cause burns, electrical shocks, cuts, sprains, bruises, broken bones, or the loss of limbs, eyesight, or hearing. In this regard harm is often violent in nature and is associated with industrial equipment or the physical environment, or usually involves an employment task that requires caution and training • (Ashford, 1977). While safety hazards refer to the 'explosive' nature of chemicals, health hazards refer to toxic and carcinogenic chemicals and dusts, often in combination with noise, heat and other forms of stress <Ibid.:9). The interaction of health hazards and the human organism is described by Ashford as occuring through the senses, by absorption through the skin, and by intake into the digestive system via the mouth. The result of this interaction may be "respiratory disease, systemic poisoning or a shortening life expectancy due to general physiological d e t e r i o r a t i o n ( I b i d . ) . A c l o s e r a n a l y s i s and c o n t r a s t of both concepts has l e d to the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t , u n l i k e s a f e t y hazards, the e f f e c t s of h e a l t h hazards may be slow, cumulative, i r r e v e r s i b l e ' and complicated by non-occupational f a c t o r s . A case in p o i n t i s t h a t i n v o l v i n g workers exposed to cancerous chemicals in the workplace. Some cancers are known to take from ten to twenty years b e f o r e they become malignant. For example, recent-medical evidence suggests t h a t there i s a r e l a t i o n s h i p between carbonyl and cancer. A c c o r d i n g to a study a t Inco, Clydack c o v e r i n g the p e r i o d from 1344 to 1372, 5S cases of nose cancer and 135 cases of lung cancer were r e p o r t e d . These f i g u r e s r e p r e s e n t a s u b s t a n t i a l i n c r e a s e which i s higher than the expected r a t e s of between 2.3 and 2.4 per cent (Clement, 1931). Carbonyl p o i s o n i n g , the r e s u l t of carbonyl i n h a l a t i o n i s the d i r e c t cause of death i n f o u r to eleven days by c u t t i n g o f f oxygen from the lungs as i s the case at Inco, where a number of workers are known to have d i e d a f t e r c o n t a c t with t h i s h i g h l y t o x i c chemical (1931: 242). The absence of o r g a n i z e d p r e v e n t i v e o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y s t r u c t u r e s and p o l i c y designed to prevent the spread of o c c u p a t i o n a l d i s e a s e in B.C. workplaces, and the s i g n i f i c a n t omissions i n the e x i s t i n g i n j u r y r e p o r t i n g system of the Workers Compensation Board of B.C. has c o n t r i b u t e d to the p u b l i c ' s ignorance of the s e v e r i t y of o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h hazards. One important method of p r e v e n t i n g o c c u p a t i o n a l d i s e a s e i n the workplace i s to i n t r o d u c e o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y l e g i s l a t i o n . The u l t i m a t e goal of Occupational Health and S a f e t y (OHS)), a c c o r d i n g to the World Health O r g a n i z a t i o n i s to promote c o n d i t i o n s a t work which maximize the q u a l i t y of l i f e by: - p r o t e c t i n g workers' h e a l t h ; -enhancing p h y s i c a l , h e a l t h and; - p r e v e n t i n g i l l h e a l t h and a c c i d e n t s (WHO, 1982:47) . To o p e r a t i o n a l i s e t h i s d e f i n i t i o n , m e d i c a l , i n d u s t r i a l h y g i e n i c , and s a f e t y s t r u c t u r e s and p o l i c y are r e q u i r e d . In most B.C. workplaces today there are no o r g a n i z e d p r e v e n t i v e o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h p h y s i c i a n s . By o r g a n i z e d p r e v e n t i v e o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y , i t i s meant that- there are d o c t o r s , nurses, i n d u s t r i a l h y g i e n i s t s , and other personnel doing pre-employment and p e r i o d i c a l h e a l t h examinations, work s i t e v i s i t s , e t c . f o r workers and workplaces where exposure to harmful agents e x i s t s . "Comprehensive" or " h o l i s t i c " o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y p o l i c y does not e x i s t g e n e r a l l y i n B.C. i n d u s t r i e s , a t l e a s t not i n the sense of the above d e f i n i t i o n (Hardwick, , 1980). The Workers' Compensation Board of B.C. (WCB) d i d propose h e a l t h and s a f e t y r e g u l a t i o n s t h a t would i n i t i a t e o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y programs in these i n d u s t r i e s where workers are exposed to heavy metals ( l e a d and mercury), dust ( s i l i c a and a s b e s t o s ) , excess heat and high atmospheric p r e s s u r e , but t h i s proposal ( S e c t i o n 78 i n the WCB's h e a l t h and s a f e t y r e g u l a t i o n s ) has never been i n t r o d u c e d i n the l e g i s l a t u r e . T h i s t h e s i s attempts to examine the s t a t e and s t a t e theory i n order to shed light- on the absence or lack of remedial h e a l t h and 4 s a f e t y l e g i s l a t i o n in B.C.. The r a t i o n a l e f o r examining s t a t e theory stems from the f a c t t h a t i t w i l l p r o v i d e us with the t o o l s to understand the m o t i v a t i o n s and causes behind h e a l t h and s a f e t y l e g i s l a t i o n i n B r i t i s h Colombia as well as the r e s t of Canada, and the reasons why i t f a i l s to address workers' concerns. By t a k i n g s t a t e theory i n t o account, we should be able to e x p l o r e d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e s toward a r r i v i n g a t an understanding of why there i s a lack of remedial h e a l t h and s a f e t y l e g i s l a t i o n . S t a t e theory a s s i s t s us to draw a t t e n t i o n to how t h i s p a r t i c u l a r l e g i s l a t i o n has been shaped by c l a s s c o n f l i c t . The c l a s s nature of the s t a t e (the WCB) i s examined i n the context of the ongoing c o n f l i c t between management and o r g a n i z e d labour. S t a t e t h e o r y , along with c l a s s a n a l y s i s , shows how o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y can become a secondary i s s u e used by management and labour as a p o i n t of leverage i n the s t r u g g l e f o r c o n t r o l i n the workplace. S t a t e theory f u r t h e r draws a t t e n t i o n to the importance of understanding the s o c i a l f o r c e s surrounding workers' compensation - the consequences of c a p i t a l ' s c o n t r o l over labour and the labour p r o c e s s , the l i m i t of the s t a t e i n c h a l l e n g i n g t h i s c o n t r o l , and the p a r t played by the s t a t e (WCB) i n r e i n f o r c i n g c l a s s r e l a t i o n s . F i n a l l y , s t a t e theory p r o v i d e s us with an understanding of how the s t r u c t u r e of the s t a t e (WCB) bureaucracy operates i n m a i n t a i n i n g the p o l i t i c a l s t a t u s quo of c a p i t a l i s m . I t shows how the c a p i t a l i s t ambience w i t h i n which the WCB bureaucracy operates tend to produce a p r o - c a p i t a l i s t b i a s . •5 A. I n t e r p r e t i v e Framework 1) L i b e r a l - P l u r a l i s t Theory The l i b e r a l p l u r a l i s t theory d e a l s with the d i s t r i b u t i o n of power or i n f l u e n c e * among a range of v i s i b l e competing interest-groups, none of which have s u f f i c i e n t r esources to c o n s i s t e n t l y impose t h e i r w i l l on o t h e r s ' (Dahl , 1967). The power s t r u c t u r e i s made up of s e v e r a l competing e l i t e s , not j u s t one. D i f f e r e n t e l i t e s with low o v e r l a p are s a i d to operate d i f f e r e n t i s s u e a r e a s . P o l i t i c a l and economic power i s not evenly d i s t r i b u t e d among the p o p u l a t i o n , but i n e q u a l i t y i s "noncumulative", t h a t i s , most people have some power r e s o u r c e s , and no s i n g l e a s s e t (such as money) c o n f e r s e x c e s s i v e power. Under p l u r a l i s m , the p o l i t i c a l system i s seen as reasonably open to m u l t i p l e i n t e r e s t s i f these i n t e r e s t s f e e l s t r o n g l y enough about an i s s u e to m o b i l i z e p r e s s u r e . In p l u r a l i s t -democracy i n the Un i t e d S t a t e s , Dahl i d e n t i f i e s m u l t i p l e c e n t r e s of power and l i m i t e d popular s o v e r e i g n t y as two b a s i c axioms of p l u r a l i s t democracy. Moreover, he claims c e r t a i n advantages f o r such a system: 1. Power i s tamed and c o e r c i o n minimized; 2. the consent of a l l c i t i z e n s i s promoted in the long run) ; 3. the system f o s t e r s the p e a c e f u l s e t t l e m e n t of c o n f l i c t s to the mutual b e n e f i t of most i f not a l l contending p a r t i e s ( I b i d : 24). T h e r e f o r e , the s t a t e i s p e r c e i v e d as an i m p a r t i a l a r b i t e r ; the r e c o n c i l o r of c o n f l i c t and the mi r r o r which s o c i e t y holds up to i t s e l f as the embodiment of s o c i a l agreement ( M i l i b a n d , 1969:3). & The p l u r a l i s t s are s a i d to a l e r t us to the important view t h a t there i s a s e p a r a t i o n to be made between economic processes and the f i e l d of a c t i o n of law and s t a t e . But whether the s e p a r a t i o n i s maintained depends upon the p r o d u c t i v e wealth of the economy, that, i s , whether the economy i s a b l e to s u s t a i n the v i a b i l i t y of the economic r e l a t i o n s of c a p i t a l i s m . The s t a t e and law, i n c l u d i n g i t s c o e r c i v e i n s t i t u t i o n s , (and d e s p i t e the s e p a r a t i o n of powers) are i m p l i c a t e d , d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y , i n s e c u r i n g and b o l s t e r i n g the s o c i a l f o u n d a t i o n s of vested c a p i t a l i s t i n t e r e s t s while c l a i m i n g u n i v e r s a l i t y and i m p a r t i a l i t y . The l i b e r a l p l u r a l i s t - democratic theory maintains t h a t through a process of b a r g a i n i n g , the r e p a t r i a t i o n of interest-cleavages w i l l be a c t u a l i z e d and consensus among the competing -n e g o t i a t i n g i n t e r e s t groups w i l l be a c h i e v e d . While acknowledging the presence of power e l i t e s , the l i b e r a l p l u r a l i s t - d e m o c r a t i c theory contends that- there i s no d e f i n i t i v e b a s i s of power i n the s t a t e . There are a l l i a n c e s among i n t e r e s t groups which are c h a r a c t e r i z e d as u n s t a b l e and d i v i d e d over an a r r a y of changing i s s u e s , so t h a t no s i n g l e a l l i a n c e i s homogeneous. Moreover, the a b i l i t y to m o b i l i z e resources so as to i n f l u e n c e the s t a t e apparatus i s a product of a d i v e r s e p l u r a l i t y of f a c t o r s . Among these f a c t o r s are the degree to which the i n t e r e s t group i s i n t e r n a l l y o r g a n i z e d , the q u a l i t y of l e a d e r s h i p possessed by the i n t e r e s t group, the c a p a c i t y of the i n t e r e s t group to formulate and p r e s e n t i t s i n t e r e s t s , the number of c i t i z e n s who are members of a p a r t i c u l a r group, and the s p e c i f i c needs of the i n t e r e s t group. As w e l l , p l u r a l i s t s contend t h a t these f a c t o r s may be i n t e r r e l a t e d i n a myriad of ways, to the extent that the power of one i n t e r e s t group in s o c i e t y may be n e u t r a l i z e d by the power of another i n t e r e s t group ( G a l b r a i t h , 1970). In t h i s regard, it-i s a l s o i m p l i c i t l y assumed by t h i s school t h a t a l l groups hold an equal p o t e n t i a l to o r g a n i z e and m o b i l i z e resources i n order to promote t h e i r i n t e r e s t s i n the v a r i o u s forums of the s t a t e . The c o n t e n t i o n t h a t there e x i s t s a democratic p o t e n t i a l among a l l i n t e r e s t groups i s profoundly manifest in p l u r a l i s t , p r a x i s . Hugh Thorbum (1978) has noted, there seems to be no t h r e a t to the growing acceptance of p l u r a l i s m which i s g e n e r a l l y regarded as synonymous with democracy i tse1f „. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note in t h i s regard that Cunningham (1976) contends t h a t p l u r a l i s m ' s i n h e r e n t t h e o r e t i c a l p r e s u p p o s i t i o n of "equal access" to the decision-making process stands in direct-o p p o s i t i o n to the n o t i o n t h a t there e x i s t s dominant e l i t e s i n the l e g a l f o r m u l a t i o n process of the s t a t e . In f a c t Cunningham has argued t h a t , p l u r a l i s m i s designed to r e f u t e " s t r a t i f i c a t i o n " t h e o r i e s and t h e o r i e s of dominant " e l i t e s " , e s p e c i a l l y C.W. M i l l s ' theory of the power e l i t e . F u r t h e r , i t i s argued by l i b e r a l p l u r a l i s t , theory t h a t government p a r t i c i p a t e s in the l e g a l r e f o r m u l a t i o n process as an i m p a r t i a l , n o n - p a r t i s a n mediator of i n t e r e s t c o n f l i c t r e s o l u t i o n . In t h i s regard, i t i s h e l d t h a t the s t a t e i s a c t i v e only as an o b j e c t i v e j u d i c i o u s body which chooses from the m u l t i p l i c i t y of i n t e r e s t a l t e r n a t i v e s presented to it- as p o l i c y o p t i o n s . Thus, i n the p l u r a l i s t s c e n a r i o of s t a t e f u n c t i o n l i e s the n o t i o n t h a t the l e g a l f o r m u l a t i o n process i s s t r u c t u r e d i n such a way th a t the d i v e r s e i n t e r e s t s of s o c i e t y w i l l be represented e q u a l l y i n the decision-making p r o c e s s , and th a t d e c i s i o n s w i l l be made on those submissions which correspond best to the general i n t e r e s t . In sum, the s t a t e i s regarded by 1 i b e r a l - p l u r a l i s t s as a brokerage committed to r e c e i v i n g , h e a r i n g and g i v i n g equal c o n s i d e r a t i o n to a l l of the input from the v a r i o u s i n t e r e s t s concerned. Concomitant with the p l u r a l i s t c o n t e n t i o n concerning the d i v e r s e f o u n d a t i o n s of power, i s the con t e n t i o n t h a t the s t a t e mediates the power f o c i which are h o r i z o n t a l l y d i s p e r s e d throughout, s o c i e t y . In t h i s regard i t i s f u r t h e r h e l d t h a t such mediation a l l o w s the non-partisan s e l e c t i o n of p o l i c y a l t e r n a t i v e s i n the general i n t e r e s t . Given the t h e o r e t i c a l c o n t e n t i o n s of 1 i b e r a l - p l u r a l i s t t h i n k e r s , i t i s important to f u r t h e r emphasize the c o l l o r a r y s u p p o s i t i o n s which may be d e r i v e d from the c e n t r a l t h e o r e t i c a l p r o p o s i t i o n s . Some d e r i v a t i o n s which p e r t a i n to the process of law-making i n the s t a t e are as f o l l o w s : ( i ) an i n c r e a s e i n the amount of communication w i t h i n s o c i e t y w i l l i n c r e a s e the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l s i n c o l l e c t i v e a c t i v i t i e s and thus, democratic p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the s t a t e w i l l inc rease; ( i i ) concomitant with an i n c r e a s e i n communication among c i t i z e n s of the s t a t e and the subsequent i n c r e a s e i n i n t e r e s t group membership and orga-n i z a t i o n , groups which are not as powerful as oth e r s i n the s t a t e w i l l become equals i n the law f o r m u l a t i o n decision-making process (Dahl and Lindbolm, 1953; G a l b r a i t h , 1970); ( i i i :> an i n c r e a s e in s o c i a l p l u r a l i s m w i l l i n c r e a s e the p o l i c y a1tern a t i ves open to the s t a te (Conn , 1971) ; ( i v ) i t i s from the n e g o t i a t e d s e t t l e m e n t s r e a l i z e d by the s t a t e t h a t new laws and suggested new d i r e c t i o n s f o r p o l i c y content emerge ( L i p s e t e t a l , 1956) ; (v) l e a d e r s h i p i n the context of s p e c i f i c i s s u e s and p o l i c i e s r a t h e r than as a r e s u l t of s t a t u s or economic power (Lowi, 1969:4); ( v i ) the law f o r m u l a t i o n process i s a mechanism of i n t e r e s t c o n s o l i d a t i o n by which the v a s t p l u r a l i t y of i n t e r e s t s i n the s t a t e compro-mise t h e i r i n t e r e s t s i n t o a s t a t e p o l i c y which r e f l e c t s the general i n t e r e s t . 2) NeoMarxist A l t e r n a t i v e s a. I n s t r u m e n t a l i s t s t a t e Theory Although there are d i f f e r e n c e s i n the s p e c i f i c p r o p o s i t i o n s advanced by M a r x i s t s whose works are a s s o c i a t e d with the " i n s t r u m e n t a l i s t p e r s p e c t i v e " (Gold, e t a l . , 1975), the b a s i c f e a t u r e s of instrumental M a r x i s t theory are r e a d i l y d i s c e r n i b l e . F i r s t , i n s t r u m e n t a l M a r x i s t theory i s premised on the assumption t h a t the s t a t e i n c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t i e s i s an instrument or t o o l used by the " r u l i n g c l a s s " to f u r t h e r i t s own i n t e r e s t s . The a b i l i t y of the r u l i n g or c a p i t a l i s t - c l a s s to i n f l u e n c e s t a t e p o l i c i e s i s e x p l a i n e d , i n i n s t r u m e n t a l i s t terms, by v i r t u e of the "economic power c o n f e r r e d upon i t " through i t s ownership and c o n t r o l of the means of p r o d u c t i o n ( M i l i b a n d , 1969: 22). The economic power of the c a p i t a l i s t c l a s s i s transformed i n t o p o l i t i c a l i n f l u e n c e i n the l e g i s l a t i v e p r o c e s s , a c c o r d i n g to i n s t r u m e n t a l i s t s , e i t h e r " d i r e c t l y through the manipulation of s t a t e p o l i c i e s or " i n d i r e c t l y through the e x e r c i s e of p r e s s u r e or the s t a t e " (Gold, e t . a l . , 1975:34). 10 Informed by these t h e o r e t i c a l i n s i g h t s , i n s t r u m e n t a l i s t - b a s e d e m p i r i c a l research has focused on examining the mechanisms through which the u n i t y of the c a p i t a l i s t c l a s s i s maintained, and the s p e c i i f i c manner i n which i t shapes s t a t e p o l i c y (Kerbo and D e l i a Fave, 1979). In concrete terms, the a b i l i t y of the c a p i t a l i s t c l a s s to a f f e c t s t a t e p o l i c i e s has been e x p l a i n e d , a t a personal l e v e l , by showing t h a t i t s members a c t i v e l y p a r t i c i p a t e i n the p o l i c y f o r m u l a t i o n process (Domhoff , 1979), and a t an i d e o l o g i c a l l e v e l , by demonstrating t h a t the value and i n t e r e s t s of the r u l i n g c l a s s predominate i n shaping the "world view" of s o c i e t y a t l a r g e (.Miliband, 1969). D e s p i t e the d i f f e r e n t -weightings given to personal and i d e o l o g i c a l f a c t o r s , i n strumental M a r x i s t s nonetheless remain u n i t e d i n the view t h a t the i n t e r e s t s of the c a p i t a l i s t c l a s s are i n v a r i a b l y and s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e f l e c t e d i n the a c t i v i t y of the p o l i t i c a l apip>araitus of the s t a t e . While rec o g n i z e d as having p r o v i d e d a noteworthy c r i t i q u e of p l u r a l i s t , conceptions of the s t a t e (Balbus, 19711 ; Stone, 1971), the w r i t i n g s of instrumental M a r x i s t s have a l s o been s u b j e c t e d to p o i n t e d c r i t i c i s m . Notably, i n s t r u m e n t a l i s t accounts have been c r i t i c i z e d f o r c r e a t i n g a f a l s e image of " r u l i n g c l a s s " u n i t y (Greenberg, 1931), f o r f a i l i n g to e x p l a i n adequately the formation of s t a t e p o l i c y t h a t i s not i n the i n t e r e s t of the c a p i t a l i s t c l a s s ( B e i r n e , 1979), and f o r reproducing the l i b e r a l - p l u r a l i s t . tendency to d i s c u s s p o l i t i c s i n i s o l a t i o n from any c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the complex s t r u c t u r a l l y determined r o l e of the s t a t e i n c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y ( P o u l a n t z a s , 1973). S i g n i f i c a n t l y , t h e r e f o r e , the attack on instrumental Marxism i s not s o l e l y the r e s u l t of l i b e r a l p l u r a l i s t d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n . Rather, i t has a l s o come from some M a r x i s t s , who recognize t h a t " i n s t r u m e n t a l i s t s " do not p r o v i d e an a n a l y s i s t h a t succeeds " i n e s t a b l i s h i n g the r e a l nature of the s t a t e i n c a p i t a l i s t , s o c i e t y and i t s inhe r e n t l i m i t a t i o n s as well as advantage f o r c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y , and i t s inh e r e n t l i m i t a t i o n s as well as advantages f o r c a p i t a l " (-Jessop, 1977:357). F i n a l l y , the i n s t r u m e n t a l i s t p e r s p e c t i v e i s p e r c e i v e d as o f t e n p r e s e n t i n g a ' t h i n l y v e i l e d c o n s p i r a c y t h e s i s . * L i t t l e power or autonomy a c t u a l l y accrues to the s t a t e ; when i t does it-i s reduced to an implement c o n t r o l l e d by the dominant c l a s s . b. S t r u c t u r a l i s t - M a r x i s t Theory In o p p o s i t i o n to the i n s t r u m e n t a l i s t view, t h a t the c a p i t a l i s t -s t a t e i s a p l i a n t t o o l of the r u l i n g c l a s s , s t r u c t u r a l M a r x i s t s contend t h a t the s t a t e e x e r c i s e s ' r e l a t i v e autonomy* i n i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p with c a p i t a l i s t c l a s s members and t h e i r i n t e r e s t s (Gold, e t . a l . , 1975:37). While s p e c i f i c c a p i t a l i s t s and members of c l a s s f r a c t i o n s may t r y to manipulate s t a t e p o l i c i e s , the success of such attempts i s by no means guaranteed. Indeed, the a b i l i t y of the s t a t e to transcend the p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t s of i n d i v i d u a l c a p i t a l i s t s , a c c o r d i n g to s t r u c t u r a l M a r x i s t s , i s c r u c i a l i n order f o r it- to p r o t e c t "the long-run i n t e r e s t s of the c a p i t a l i s t c l a s s as a whole" (Gold, e t . al.,1975:36). S t r u c t u r a l a n a l y s i s begins with the o b s e r v a t i o n that the c l a s s s t r u c t u r e of c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y generates h i s t o r i c a l l y - s p e c i f i c c o n t r a d i c t i o n s rooted i n the c a p i t a l i s t economy. At the most 12 general l e v e l , the s t a t e and law f u n c t i o n to secure c o n d i t i o n s f o r c a p i t a l accumulation. The v a r i o u s ' s o l u t i o n s ' put f o r t h by the s t a t e and r e f l e c t e d i n s t a t e p o l i c i e s , however, do not e l i m i n a t e the s t r u c t u r a l c o n t r a d i c t i o n s , but o n l y c o n t a i n them t e m p o r a r i l y . Thus, i t i s argued, t h a t the s t r u c t u r a l ' s o l u t i o n s ' proposed to overcome impediments to accumulation at a given stage of c a p i t a l i s t development, w i l l "generate new impediments which c o n s t r a i n the accumulation process" in the subsequent h i s t o r i c a l p e r i o d <Wright,1978: 112,116). With regard to methodology, Wright <1978: 10-13!) contends t h a t the/ task of M a r x i s t s c h o l a r s i s to develop e m p i r i c a l research agendas f i r m l y rooted w i t h i n the d i a l e c t i c a l l o g i c of s t r u c t u r a l M a r x i s t t h e o r y . Of c r u c i a l importance, he noted e m p i r i c a l r e s e a r c h must seek to e s t a b l i s h a l i n k between the " l e v e l of appearances," or observable s o c i a l phenomena, and "the r e a l i t y hidden behind those appearances," or the s t r u c t u r a l problems of c a p i t a l i s m . In a s i m i l a r v e i n , Pan i t c h (1977:8-9) has argued t h a t M a r x i s t s can o b v i a t e the tendency toward " s t r u c t u r a l i s t a b s t r a c t i o n i s m " <! Poul antzas, 1973), by adopting a "concrete e m p i r i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n " t h a t d i r e c t s a t t e n t i o n to c o n s i d e r i n g the e m p i r i c a l l y given circumstances" in which the s t a t e f u n c t i o n s to reproduce e x i s t i n g s o c i a l and economic s t r u c t u r e s . According to Pan.itch (1977:6): "Marxism may g i v e us a method of a n a l y s i s , " but, as Marx himself p o i n t e d out " . . . t h i s method has to be a p p l i e d not as an o v e r g e n e r a l i z a t i o n but i n a manner t h a t w i l l i l l u m i n a t e concrete e m p i r i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l c ircumstances." F i n a l l y , the s t r u c t u r a l i s t p e r s p e c t i v e i s s a i d to undervalue the power of other s o c i a l c l a s s e s . Advantages won from the s t a t e by s t r u g g l e s 'from below' ( i . e . , w e l f a r e programmes, s a f e t y and p r o t e c t i o n laws, union r e c o g n i t i o n , e t c . ) are d i f f i c u l t to e x p l a i n w i t h i n the p e r s p e c t i v e and there i s an u n w i l l i n g n e s s to view c o n f l i c t and r e s i s t a n c e as l e a d i n g to r e s u l t s c o n t r a r y to or s u b v e r s i v e of the 'needs' of c a p i t a l i s t -development (Giddens,19S2: 203-229). N e v e r t h e l e s s , the s t r u c t u r a l i s t p e r s p e c t i v e g e n e r a l l y a l l o t s a c o n s i d e r a b l e g r e a t e r r o l e to the s t a t e as an independent source of power while i n s i s t i n g t h a t the autonomy i t possesses can never be more than r e l a t i v e and l i m i t e d . c. C1ass Conf1i c t At the core of M a r x i s t theory i s the concept of c l a s s c o n f l i c t . U n l i k e the l i b e r a l - p l u r a l i s t theory which i n t e r p r e t s c o n f l i c t - as something t h a t can be c o n t r o l l e d , managed by the e x e r c i s e of reason and good w i l l , and a r e a d i n e s s to compromise and agree, the M a r x i s t approach to c o n f l i c t i s to r e s o l v e s t a t e d e p r i v a t i o n and s u b j u g a t i o n by the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of c o n d i t i o n s which gave r i s e to i t . The c l a s s c o n f l i c t p e r s p e c t i v e has r e c e i v e d a g r e a t deal of a t t e n t i o n i n the work of Antoni Gramsci. For Gramsci, as f o r Marx, the p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l development of s o c i e t y proceeds d i a l e c t i c a l l y , through p r a x i s : the c l a s s s t r u g g l e i s a process of s e l f - c r e a t i o n and emancipation of the p r o l e t a r i a t (Pawley, 1930:594). Gramsci made no major c o n t r i b u t i o n to M a r x i s t economic theory, except h i s attempt to break with i t s economism. He accepted the fundamental p r i n c i p l e s and i n t e g r a t e d them i n t o h i s p o l i t i c a l s t u d i e s . Thus he i n s i s t e d 14 t h a t c a p i t a l i s m was a c o n t r a d i c t o r y and h i s t o r i c a l l y l i m i t e d system of pr o d u c t i o n based on c a p i t a l i s t e x p l o i t a t i o n of wage-labour, t h a t c a p i t a l i s m prepared the m a t e r i a l c o n d i t i o n s f o r a t r a n s i t i o n to s o c i a l i s m , and that o n l y the working c l a s s can le a d a r e v o l u t i o n to e l i m i n a t e o ppression and e x p l o i t a t i o n (Gramsci, 1977:86,89,156). In h i s a n a l y s i s of the s t a t e , he r e j e c t s a simple instrumental approach. Instead, he d e p i c t s the s t a t e as a c l a s s f o r c e which has a v i t a l r o l e i n the o r g a n i z a t i o n of c l a s s domination, i n s e c u r i n g the long-run i n t e r e s t s of the b o u r g e o i s i e as w e l l as i t s u n i f i c a t i o n , i n f a c i l i t a t i n g concessions to the su b o r d i n a t e c l a s s e s , i n s e c u r i n g the a c t i v e consent of the governed ( i n pa r l i a m e n t a r y democracies), and by e f f e c t i n g t h e i r m o b i l i z a t i o n ( i n d e s p o t i c forms of s t a t e ) ( I b i d : 39-42,73-74). In h i s attempt to d e f i n e the s t a t e , and i n h i s concern with c o e r c i o n , Gramsci pays a t t e n t i o n to the m o d a l i t i e s of c l a s s domination w i t h i n the s o c i a l formation as a whole. Thus he d e f i n e d the s t a t e as the e n t i r e complex of p r a c t i c a l and t h e o r e t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s with which the r u l i n g c l a s s not only j u s t i f i e s and maintains i t s domination but manages to win the a c t i v e consent of those over whom i t r u l e s (Gramsci,1971:244). Gramsci d i d not l i m i t himself to the a n a l y s i s of the i n s t i t u t i o n a l apparatuses of the s t a t e ; r a t h e r he l o c a t e d the s t a t e h i s t o r i c a l l y w i t h i n the dynamic of c l a s s s t r u g g l e . To analyse the m o d a l i t i e s of s t a t e power, Gramsci i d e n t i f i e d two modes of c l a s s domination - f o r c e and hegemony. Force i n v o l v e s the use of the c o e r c i v e apparatus to b r i n g the mass of people i n t o conformity and compliance with a s p e c i f i c mode of p r o d u c t i o n (197l:56n). But Gramsci r e j e c t e d any s i m p l i s t i c i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of f o r c e i n h i s approach to c l a s s domination. The reasons are s a i d to be r o o t e d , among other t h i n g s , i n the complex r e l a t i o n s between the p o l i t i c a l and m i l i t a r y and t h e i r s o c i a l bases i n c i v i l s o c i e t y and of the importance of i d e o l o g i c a l f a c t o r s i n determining the r e l a t i o n s of p o l i t i c a l - m i 1 i t a r y f o r c e (Gramsci,1977: 181,190,341-342). Gramsci's theory, on the other hand, argues that hegemony i n v o l v e s the s u c c e s s f u l m o b i l i s a t i o n and p r o d u c t i o n of the ' a c t i v e consent' of dominated groups by the r u l i n g c l a s s through t h e i r e x e r c i s e of i n t e l l e c t u a l , moral, and p o l i t i c a l l e a d e r s h i p . For hegemony to be maintained, he contends, t h a t i n v o l v e s t a k i n g systematic account of popular i n t e r e s t s and demands, s h i f t i n g p o s i t i o n s and making compromises on secondary i s s u e s to maintain support, and a l l i a n c e s i n an i n h e r e n t l y u n s t a b l e and f r a g i l e system of p o l i t i c a l r e l a t i o n s (without, however, s a c r i f i c i n g e s s e n t i a l i n t e r e s t s ) , and o r g a n i z i n g t h i s support f o r the attainment of n a t i o n a l g o a l s which serve the fundamental long-run i n t e r e s t s of the dominant group (Gramsci, 1971:12,52-53,61). Thus, the winning of consent e n l a r g e s the r o l e of the s t a t e i n reshaping c i v i l s o c i e t y , and a c c o r d i n g to Gramsci, law and j u s t i c e are p i v o t a l as " p o s i t i v e c i v i l i z i n g a c t i v i t i e s , " s a n c t i o n i n g , but more im p o r t a n t l y e d u c a t i n g , m o r a l i z i n g , and rewarding conduct which b o l s t e r s the e t h i c a l p r i n c i p l e s and d i r e c t i o n s of the e n t i r e s o c i a l f o r m a t i o n . The s t a t e , then, i s a l l i e d to c i v i l s o c i e t y i n attempting to shape a consensus by l a r g e l y p e a c e f u l means, i n which the s u b j e c t e d become a c c e p t i n g p a r t n e r s i n t h e i r own s u b o r d i n a t i o n . I t i s the s i t e and agency where popular consent i s shaped and fought out. C e n t r a l t o t h i s p r ocess i s i n c r e a s i n g s t a t e c o n t r o l and manipulation of media, p r e s s , and s c h o o l s . I n t e l l e c t u a l and moral l e a d e r s h i p which i s c o n s t i t u t e d through e t h i c a l , p o l i t i c a l and i d e o l o g i c a l p r a c t i c e s t h a t operate on and through the p r e v a i l i n g system of b e l i e f s , v a l u e s , common-sense assumptions and s o c i a l a t t i t u d e s to o r g a n i z e p>opular c u l t u r e i n i t s broadest sense and.adapt i t to the needs of the dominant mode of p r o d u c t i o n , are seen as e s s e n t i a l i n the c o n s t i t u t i o n and re p r o d u c t i o n of a c o l l e c t i v e w i l l , a ' n a t i o n a l popular' o u t l o o k , a common world view which i s adequate to the needs of s o c i a l and economic r e p r o d u c t i o n ( I b i d :2 ,60-61) . Couched i n Marxian s o c i o l o g y , Gramsci f u r t h e r contends that the domination of the p r o p e r t y l e s s c l a s s by the p r o p e r t i e d c l a s s has transformed the s t a t e i n t o a b a t t l e f i e l d . He argued t h a t : From the o u t s e t t h i s excludes the p o s s i b i l i t i e s both of common i n t e r e s t among a l l c l a s s e s and of the r u l i n g c l a s s o b t a i n i n g the spontaneous and s i n c e r e consent of the su b o r d i n a t e c l a s s e s ; t h e r e f o r e the profound and i n d e f i n a b l e nature of c l a s s r e l a t i o n s i s not co o p e r a t i o n but c o n f l i c t , s t r u g g l e , and c o n f r o n t a t i o n , i n other words, c l a s s war ( P e l l i c a n i , 1 9 7 6 : 2 6 ) . Gramsci*s theory i s noted as having f a l l e n s h o r t of e x p l a i n i n g long p e r i o d s of s o c i a l peace, the e x i s t e n c e of spontaneous, or i n c e r t a i n cases the e n t h u s i a s t i c consent of the dominated c l a s s e s . At the c e n t r e of Gramsci's arguments i s the b e l i e f that " a l l men 17 are a f f l i c t e d with a s o r t of ' s o c i a l trachoma* (contagious d i s e a s e ) because even members of the dominating c l a s s e s are v i c t i m s of an i d e o l o g i c a l d i s t o r t i o n t h a t i s a l i t e r a l s e l f d e c e p t i o n " ( I b i d : 2 7 ) . Thus, Gramsci concluded t h a t the world i s "upside down" f o r both the oppressed and the o p p r e s s o r s , because p r i v a t e p r o p e r t y has c o r r u p t e d e v e r y t h i n g ( I b i d . ) . C. The WCB r e c o r d as a t e s t case of the a p p l i c a b i l i t y of the l i b e r a l - p l u r a l i s t s t a t e theory From the l i b e r a l - p l u r a l i s t p e r s p e c t i v e , the WCB i s a b u r e a u c r a t i c component of the s t a t e o f f i c i a l l y s a n c t i o n e d to prevent workers' i n j u r y and death i n the workplace. I t i s based on two p l u r a l i s t democratic p r i n c i p l e s : c o l l e c t i v e l i a b i l i t y on the p a r t of the employer and compulsory insurance i n a s t a t e fund. The second r e q u i r e s t h a t the law i s administered by a v i r t u a l l y autonomous board - WCB - with f u l l and f i n a l matters a r i s i n g i n the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of the Workers Compensation A c t . The 1 i b e r a l - p l u r a l i s t conception of the Workers' Compensation Board i s t h a t of a n e u t r a l mediator between competing interest-groups. Under the Workers' Compensation A c t , a worker who s u f f e r s i n j u r y on the job i n B.C. i s e n t i t l e d to compensation. Employers and workers d i s s a t i s f i e d with the d e c i s i o n s of the Board have the r i g h t to a p p e a l . T h i s means t h a t there i s an e q u a l i z a t i o n of o p p o r t u n i t y under the law. The appeal mechanism p l a y s an important r o l e i n t h a t i t s purpose i s to r i g h t a p e r c e i v e d wrong, e s p e c i a l l y i f the i s s u e being appealed i n the area of " d i s a b i l i t y " takes a long time to r e s o l v e . To ensure i t s i m p a r t i a l i t y , the WCB i s r e q u i r e d by law to appoint commissioners with b u r e a u c r a t i c e x p e r t i s e . In the a c t i v i t i e s of the Board there i s a p e r c e i v e d p l u r a l i s t n o t i o n of the "... formal s e p a r a t i o n of s t a t e and e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l i n t e r e s t s . . . " (Hessing, 1984:51). In d i s p e n s i n g j u s t i c e to i n t e r e s t groups, i . e . , labour and employers, the WCB must a c t f a i r l y and e x p e d i t i o u s l y to a v o i d any delay which might have s e r i o u s i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r the l i f e , h e a l t h , s a f e t y , and l i v e l i h o o d of workers and t h e i r f a m i l i e s . The WCB a d m i n i s t e r s a l e v y , c l a i m s a d j u d i c a t i o n , and pe n a l t y assessment system which i s premised on an a d v e r s a r i a l process of j u s t i c e . I t i s designed to ensure a balance between competing i n t e r e s t s of employers and employees. While the Workers Compensation Act p r o v i d e s the WCB of B.C. with a mandate to ensure balance, compromise, and due process in i t s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of a wide a r r a y of i n t e r e s t s , the Board's r e c o r d suggests the o p p o s i t e . According to a recent study of the WCB by the B.C. Ombudsman: "Our experience has been t h a t 66% of the workers' compensation complaints r e c e i v e d by the Ombudsman's o f f i c e have not yet been co n s i d e r e d i n t e r n a l l y and are t h e r e f o r e r e f e r r e d back to the system f o r ap p e a l . T h i s very s i g n i f i c a n t involvement of the Ombudsman o f f i c e as an advic e and r e f e r e n c e agency suggests inadequate n o t i c e of appeal r i g h t s and procedures w i t h i n the system, and a widespread d i s q u i e t with the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of the pro c e s s " C1987:3). The long d e l a y s w i t h i n the p r o c e s s suggests t h a t workers are not r e c e i v i n g f a i r and adequate r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . F u r t h e r evidence i n d i c a t e s that the WCB has f a i l e d to imp lenient i t s mandate and has been embroiled in c o n t r o v e r s y over c o n f l i c t of f u n c t i o n s , lack of a c c o u n t a b i l i t y , p o l i t i c a l i n t e r f e r e n c e by the S o c i a l Credit, government, non-implementation of Board r e g u l a t i o n s , s i d i n g with management at the expense of labour, e t c . Recent evidence i n d i c a t i n g that the WCB f a v o u r s management i s the $99.3 m i l l i o n assessment s u r p l u s t h a t the Board r e c e n t l y announced i t w i l l r e t u r n back to employers r a t h e r than r e i n v e s t in workers' h e a l t h and s a f e t y (The Sun. .June 13. 1987). In numerous submissions to the M i n i s t e r of Labour, the B.C. F e d e r a t i o n of Labour has complained t h a t there i s no c o n s i s t e n t , d i r e c t a ccess to the Board by the labour movement, and no method whereby p o l i c y recommendations can be f u l l y d i s c u s s e d r e g a r d i n g such i s s u e s as the e x c e s s i v e power of the chairman and the p o l i t i c a l i n t e r f e r e n c e of the S o c i a l C r e d i t government CBCFL, 1987:1-2). The WCB r e c o r d has d e t e r i o r a t e d to the p o i n t where even employers who fund the WCB are c a l l i n g f o r a p u b l i c i n q u i r y i n t o i t s c o s t l y o p e r a t i o n s . O v e r a l l , the WCB r e c o r d p o i n t s to s e r i o u s s t r u c t u r a l and a d m i n i s t r a t i v e f l a w s which w i l l be c l o s e l y e x am i n ed 1 a te r i n t h i s s tudy. So the 1 i b e r a l - p l u r a l i s t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the WCB has been su b j e c t e d to a barrage of c r i t i c i s m from some observers who argue t h a t i t f a i l s to e x p l a i n why the aforementioned problems o c c u r . They argue t h a t the o p e r a t i o n s of the WCB p o i n t to who a c t u a l l y governs, i . e . , who w i e l d s power. In g e n e r a l , c r i t i c s of the 1 i b e r a l - p l u r a l i s t o r i e n t a t i o n argue t h a t t h i s v e r s i o n of p a r t i c i p a t o r y democracy i s s t a t i c and r e s t r i c t i v e i n nature (Duncan and Lukes, 1967: 180-184; D a v i s , 1967). P l u r a l i s m i s s a i d to ignore h i s t o r i c economic i n e q u a l i t i e s : A l l c u r r e n t p a r t i c i p a n t s i n competion over s c a r c e r esources ( p o l i t i c a l , economic, m i l i t a r y ) appear to be s t r i p p e d of any b u i l t - i n advantages a f f o r d e d by t h e i r s t r a t e g i c l o c a t i o n i n an ongoing s o c i e t y with a p a r t i c u l a r economic and c u l t u r a l h i s t o r y (Mankoff,1970:419). NeoMarxists, who e x p l o r e the r e l a t i o n s h i p between c l a s s i n t e r e s t s and s t a t e power, e m p h a t i c a l l y r e j e c t the l i b e r a l -p l u r a l i s t conception of the s t a t e . Pan i t c h , f o r example, notes t h a t "...the idea t h a t the modern s t a t e a c t s a t the behest, of the dominant c l a s s i n our s o c i e t y has o f t e n seemed much more p l a u s i b l e than the p l u r a l i s t and s o c i a l democratic view of the s t a t e as n e u t r a l a r b i t e r between competing group of c l a s s e s " (Panitch,1977:3) . An a l l i a n c e between the s t a t e and e n t e r p r e n e u r i a l f o r c e s c h a l l e n g e s the p l u r a l i s t n o t i o n of c ompetition among separate and c o u n t e r v a i l i n g i n t e r e s t s . The 1 i b e r a l - p l u r a l i s t n o t i o n of balance " i g n o r e s the systematic b i a s e s e v i d e n t i n c l a s s s o c i e t i e s and the r e f l e c t i o n these have on r e l a t i o n s between s t a t e and c o r p o r a t e worlds" ( I b i d . : 3 9 5 ) . P a n i t c h maintains t h a t t h i s model " f a i l s to acknowledge... the unequal a l l o c a t i o n s of resources to m o b i l i z e and r e a l i s e concerns" ( I b i d , : 3 5 9 ) . A l t e r n a t i v e l y , the s t a t e i s regarded by some as an instrument of c l a s s r u l e . As Ratner e t . a l . noted with r e s p e c t to i n s t r u m e n t a l i s t i n t e r p r e t i o n s of the c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system: In c o n t r a s t to the p l u r a l i s t s , a correspondence of c l a s s power and s t a t e power i s s a i d to e x i s t because of the o v e r t s i m i l a r i t i e s i n c l a s s back-ground, i n t e r e s t s , and world-view between those who shape and run the economy and the personnel of the s t a t e and c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system. Common c l a s s p o s i t i o n , c l o s e e d u c a t i o n a l t i e s , f a m i l y and personal networks, shared i d e o l o g i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e s , and c l o s e working r e l a t i o n s h i p s between the dominat c l a s s and i n t e r m e d i a t o r y i n s t i t u t i o n s . . .predispose s t a t e c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e i n s t i t u t i o n s to favour dominant s o c i a l and economic i n t e r e s t s (Ratner e t . a l . , 1983:10). In view of the c o n t r o v e r s i e s r e v o l v i n g around the p o l i c i e s of the WCB, i t would seem t h a t the WCB r e c o r d i s more c o n s i s t e n t with some aspects of the neoMarxist i n t e r p r e t a t i o n r a t h e r than with the p r o f e s s e d 1 i b e r a l - p l u r a l i s t model. Footnotes Annual Report of the Workers' Compensation Board of B.C. 1981, No. 1 . Ashford, N. C r i s i s i n the Workplace^ Occupational Disease and Inj.ury__. Massachussetts: MIT., 1976. Balbus, I. 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Report of the B.C. F e d e r a t i o n of Labour's P u b l i c Inquiry i n t o the B.C. Workers' Compensation Board of B.C. B.C.: February, 1976. Specht, P. "Workers'Compensation Board of B.C. H i s t o r y P r o j e c t . " Vancouver, B.C., 1984. Steeves, J . "Your S a f e t y and Your R i g h t s . " Vancouver: Legal S e r v i c e s of B.C., 1982 Stone, A. "How C a p i t a l i s m Rules". Monthly Review, 1971, 23: 31-36. Tataryn , L. Dying f o r a LiyingJ. The P o l i t i c s of i n d u s t r i a l . Death.. Canada: Deneau and Greenberg, 1979. Thorburn, G. H. "Canadian P l u r a l i s t Democracy i n C r i s i s . " Canadian Journal of P o l i t i c a l S c i e n c e , XI ( 4 ) . Vancouver Committee on Occupational S a f e t y and H e a l t h . Submission on The Workers' Compensation Board on I n d u s t r i a l Health and S a f e t y R e g u l a t i o n s . B.C.: Vancouver, February, 1983. World Health O r g a n i z a t i o n . E v a l u a t i o n of Occupational Health and I n d u s t r i a l Hygiene S e r v i c e s . Copenhagen: Report on WHO Working Group, Regional O f f i c e f o r Europe, 1982. Wright, K. 0. C l a s s j Cri_.si.s and the State.. London: Verso, 1978. The WCB i n B r i t i s h Columbia ("formal b l u e p r i n t " A. O r i g i n s The i n d u s t r i a l r e v o l u t i o n of the 19th Century both i n Western Europe and North America was an era i n which c a p i t a l i s m became i n c r e a s i n g l y dependent on cheap labour i n order to i n c r e a s e p r o d u c t i o n and e f f i c i e n c y i n the workplace. Coupled with t h i s i n d u s t r i a l r e v o l u t i o n was d e t e r i o r a t i n g working c o n d i t i o n s and low wages, which i n c r e a s e d worker m i l i t a n c y a g a i n s t the r u l i n g c a p i t a l i s t c l a s s . P r i o r to the b i r t h of the union of Canada, the labour movement was unorganized and dominated by employers. As such, labour was unable to r e d r e s s p r e s s i n g economic problems such as unemployment, long work days, meagre wages, and unsafe and u n s a n i t a r y f a c t o r i e s and work shops. For example, i n Montreal, C o r n w a l l , Ottawa, and Toronto, c h i l d r e n as young as e i g h t years o l d were known to have t o i l e d as long as twelve hours a day f o r as l i t t l e as twenty f i v e cents (Manga, 1981:118."). Given t h a t c h i l d r e n were r e q u i r e d to operate dangerous and unguarded equipment, many were d i s a b l e d and h e l d p e r s o n a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e i r own i n j u r i e s . Thus, d i s a b l e d workers were, f r e q u e n t l y unemployable and d i s m i s s e d without compensation or j u d i c i a l r e d r e s s . In the absence of l e g i s l a t i o n e s t a b l i s h i n g the employer's r e s p o n s i b i 1 i t y i n the event of i l l n e s s or i n j u r y , workers formed v o l u n t a r y o r g a n i z a t i o n s which were o r i g i n a l l y intended to a s s i s t d i s a b l e d . workers. As economic i n j u s t i c e and c o n d i t i o n s of employment continued to d e t e r i o r a t e , workers began to v o i c e t h e i r A . O growing d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n and o r g a n i z e d themselves i n t o trade unions throughout Canada. Faced with the p r o s p e c t of a working c l a s s u p r i s i n g , the s t a t e i n t e r v e n e d and i n t r o d u c e d w e l f a r e l e g i s l a t i o n , the purpose of which was to ensure the s t a b i l i t y and p r o s p e r i t y of c a p i t a l i s m . In 1884 the f i r s t F a c t o r y Act i n Canada was passed by the P r o v i n c e of O n t a r i o , and one year l a t e r the p r o v i n c e of Quebec enacted the Establishment A c t . The b a s i c purpose of these a c t s was to improve the c o n d i t i o n s of employment by f o r b i d d i n g the employment of c h i l d r e n , p r o v i d i n g f o r the i n s p e c t i o n of f a c t o r i e s , e s t a b l i s h i n g s a n i t a t i o n standards, and reducing the hours of work as well as l i m i t i n g the types of employment f o r women £ Ibid.) The f a i l u r e of the Canadian s t a t e to fend o f f an upsurge i n working c l a s s u n i o n i z a t i o n and s t r i k e a c t i o n , and the f e a r of economic i n s t a b i l i t y by employers, f o r c e d i t to develop a new s t r a t e g y designed to improve r e l a t i o n s between the s t a t e , i n d u s t r y and the workers. These concessions were t r a n s l a t e d i n t o w e l f a r e l e g i s l a t i o n such as the Act of 1909 i n which the p r o v i n c e s , Quebec excluded, e s t a b l i s h e d the workers' r i g h t to compensation r e g a r d l e s s of f a u l t . P r e v i o u s l y , the laws continued to r e q u i r e the workers to prove employer n e g l i g e n c e before r e c e i v i n g compensation <Manga,1981: 119). The enactment of w e l f a r e l e g i s l a t i o n i n Canada, d i d not s i g n i f y t o t a l c a p i t u l a t i o n to working c l a s s demands f o r improved working c o n d i t i o n s , r a t h e r i t . . . was d e v i s e d by a govern merit t h a t wished to p r e serve the power of the r u l i n g c l a s s but saw t h a t power threatened by working c l a s s m i l i t a n c y was d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t an economic system t h a t seemed unable to • p r o v i d e jobs or s e c u r i t y (Panitch,1979:344). B. H i s t o r y / P o l i c i e s H i s t o r i c a l l y , the Workers' Compensation Act of 1917 i s a p i e c e of l e g i s l a t i o n which wais in t r o d u c e d as a s u b s t i t u t e to worker dependence on the benevolence of t h e i r employers or to the need f o r workers to i n s t i t u t e c o u r t a c t i o n s in order to r e c e i v e compensation. While i t s implementation was not an anomaly, the s p e c i f i c nature of the B.C. compensation l e g i s l a t i o n d i d depart from the norm in that i t i n s t i t u t e d s t a t e - r u n c o l l e c t i v e l i a b i l i t y and f u l l medical a i d . At t h i s time medical a i d was not in e f f e c t anywhere in Canada, e x i s t e d only i n Oregon and a few other American s t a t e s . L i k e w i s e , compulsory s t a t e - r u n l e g i s l a t i o n e x i s t e d o n l y i n s i x s t a t e s CAsher, 1973!). U n l i k e other areas, except. f o r New York s t a t e , o r g a n i z e d labour p l a y e d a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e i n implementing compensation p r o v i s i o n s i n B r i t i s h Co1umb i a. P r i o r to the i n c e p t i o n of Workers' Compensation l e g i s l a t i o n , workers were d i s e n f r a n c h i s e d i n an e f f o r t to prove f a u l t , on the employers p a r t , f o r i n j u r i e s s u f f e r e d a t work. Even i f the worker had the money to sue the employer, he/she would o f t e n l o s e the case. If the employer c o u l d show c o n t r i b u t o r y n e g l i g e n c e or that the matter was beyond h i s c o n t r o l ( i . e . , d e f e c t i v e machine), he/she would not be l i a b l e , thereby l e a v i n g the worker with no other course of a c t i o n . Thus the i n t r o d u c t i o n of workers' compensation c o n s t i t u t e d a b a s i c human r i g h t r a t h e r than " s o l e l y a g r a t i t i o u s b e n e f i t f o r which they (workers) should be uncompromisingly g r a t e f u l " (Reasons e t . a l . , 1981:161). Support f o r compensation among B.C. workers was widespread, v o c a l , and l o n g s t a n d i n g . T h i s support was expressed more v o c i f e r o u s l y i n 1912 - 1914 due to the u n p r e d i c t a b i l i t y and expense of e x i s t i n g l e g i s l a t i o n , and i t continued through the enactment of the 1917 Compensation A c t . Many B.C. labour o r g a n i z a t i o n s advocated compensation. The B.C. F e d e r a t i o n of Labour (BCFL), v a r i o u s Trades and Labour C o u n c i l s , and The S o c i a l i s t P a r t y of Canada, a l l played a s i g n i f i c a n t part-in l a b o u r ' s a g i t a t i o n f o r comprehensive l e g i s l a t i o n . D e s p i t e the setback of the r e c e s s i o n of 1913 - 1915, labour continued lobbying f o r compensation. In 1912, 15% of Vancouver workers were o r g a n i s e d (Ormsby, 1958). T h i s s o l i t a r y c l a s s sent d e l e g a t i o n s to Commissions through 1912 - 1914, and to Bowser's Commission of I n v e s t i g a t i o n from 1915 to 1916. These a c t i o n s showed t h a t workers were cap<able of a d i s t i n c t and o r g a n i z e d c l a s s response to compensation l e g i s l a t i o n . ( C l a s s i s here d e f i n e d i n Marxian terms as the product of the fundamental d i v i s i o n between the owners of the means of p r o d u c t i o n , or i n d i v i d u a l s who i d e n t i f y with them, and those who s e l l t h e i r labour f o r wages ( i b i d . ) . Known as the ' h i s t o r i c compromise*, the 1917 Act s p e c i f i e d t h a t workers would g i v e up t h e i r r i g h t to sue t h e i r employers and f e l l o w workers f o r work-related i n j u r i e s in r e t u r n f o r a no-f a u l t , compensation scheme (Ombudsman, 1985:5). Workers and employers had to g i v e up common law r i g h t s i n a compromise f o r the common good. "The primary r i g h t r e l i n q u i s h e d by labour was a r i s k , one of attempting to recover damages at common law from an employer p r o t e c t e d by hard-fought l e g a l b a t t l e s " (Chief J u s t i c e Sloan, 1966: 17). T h e r e f o r e , workers supported compensation because i n d i v i d u a l l y they could not p r o t e c t themselves a g a i n s t c o r p o r a t e c a p i t a l i s m and the ravages of l a r g e - s c a l e i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n . Thus, workers b e l i e v e d t h a t o n l y the s t a t e could adequately p r o v i d e f o r the "wounded s o l d i e r s of i n d u s t r y " ( B a r t r i p and Burman, 1983). The r o l e of o r g a n i z e d labour i n the f o r m u l a t i o n of the 1917 Compensation Act was f a r - r e a c h i n g . Workers demanded c o l l e c t i v e l i a b i l i t y , medical a i d and a three-member compensation board with s u f f i c i e n t a u t h o r i t y to e n f o r c e the A c t . A l l were i n c l u d e d d e s p i t e employers' o p p o s i t i o n . That the 1917 Act contained these p r o v i s i o n s d e s p i t e being d r a f t e d i n a p e r i o d of s e r i o u s economic r e c e s s i o n (a time when workers t r a d i t i o n a l l y l o s t much of t h e i r leverage) f u r t h e r a t t e s t s to labour's i n f l u e n c e i n B.C.'s c ompen sa t i on movemen t . In r e l a t i o n to the Canadian s t a t e , the F e d e r a l government played a c e n t r a l r o l e i n the m o nitoring and p r e v e n t i o n of i n d u s t r i a l a c c i d e n t s . As s t i p u l a t e d i n the B r i t i s h North American Act of 1867, l e g i s l a t i v e j u r i s d i c t i o n in Canada i s d i v i d e d between the Dominion of parliament and the p r o v i n c e s . Under s e c t i o n 91 of the BNA Act the F e d e r a l government i s empowered to enact l e g i s l a t i o n , while under S e c t i o n 92 the p r o v i n c e s are empowered to administer and e n f o r c e i t s p r o v i s i o n s . Apart from the f e d e r a l and p r o v i n c i a l powers i s the 'enumerated powers' of parliament which are enshrined i n S e c t i o n 31 of the BNA and are s a i d to "make laws f o r the peace, order and good government of Canada" (Manga, 1981:113-114.) „ Of p a r t i c u l a r importance among these powers i s the c r i m i n a l law power of parliament as i t a p p l i e s to p r e v e n t i n g harmful or devious behaviour i n the p r o d u c t i o n and d i s t r i b u t i o n of hazardous substances. But as Manga contends, the c r i m i n a l powers of p a r l i a m e n t are not a b s o l u t e , they are l i m i t e d by the i n a b i l i t y of the p r o v i n c e s to e f f e c t i v e l y e n f o r c e them, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the area of workplace h e a l t h and s a f e t y . For i n s t a n c e , while a l l j u r i s d i c t i o n s i n Canada allow f o r the p o t e n t i a l imprisonment of an o f f e n d e r , no one has ever been i n c a r c e r a t e d f o r v i o l a t i n g h e a l t h and s a f e t y laws. In f a c t , r e s e a r c h in t h i s area has produced very few cases i n the h i s t o r y of Canadian o c c u p a t i o n a l s a f e t y and h e a l t h laws where c o n v i c t i o n r e s u l t e d i n imprisonment (WCB F a c t Sheet, 1387). T h i s cannot be s a i d f o r murder, manslaughter or common a s s a u l t . One p a r t i c u l a r example i n v o l v e d Quasar Petroleum L t d . of C a l g a r y . A c c o r d i n g to Reasons (1981), the petroleum company was found g u i l t y of v i o l a t i n g j o b - s i t e s a f e t y r e g u l a t i o n s , r e s u l t i n g i n a f i n e of $5000 or a p r i s o n sentence of up to o n l y s i x months. Quasar e a s i l y p a i d o f f the small f i n e f o r the o f f e n c e . T h i s i n c i d e n t has been i n t e r p r e t e d by c r i t i c s as a c l e a r case of murder because by f a i l i n g to p r o v i d e the proper r e s p i r a t o r y p r o t e c t i v e equipment and r e l a t e d t r a i n i n g , the company made a " c o n s c i o u s , premeditated and r a t i o n a l c h o i c e " to commit murder ( I b i d . : 6-7). Thus, as i n many other cases, the Quasar judgement r e p r e s e n t s a mockery of j u s t i c e i n t h a t the law i s unequally a p p l i e d and f a v o u r s b i g c o r p o r a t i o n s , a t the expense of workers and the p u b l i c ( i b i d . :205) . The B.C. Workers Compensation Act was f u r t h e r i n f l u e n c e d by the Washington s t a t e scheme which had been in e f f e c t s i n c e 1911. T h i s compensation l e g i s l a t i o n was d e s i r e d by l a r g e c o r p o r a t i o n s f o r two reasons: f i r s t , i n order to fend o f f the more r a d i c a l e m p l o y e r - l i a b i l i t y type of l e g i s l a t i o n which made employers l e g a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r employees' i n j u r y at work; secondl y , so t h a t a state-wide program would ensure t h a t i n d i v i d u a l businessmen were not burdened with the need f o r s h o r t e r working hours and c o s t l y s a f e t y measures ( F i n k e l i n P a n i t c h , 1979:346). The adoption of the s t a t e - r u n insurance scheme was f u r t h e r j u s t i f i e d by Canada's former Prime M i n i s t e r , W.L. Mackenzie King, who argued t h a t : " S o c i a l i n s u r a n c e , which i n r e a l i t y i s h e a l t h insurance i n one form or another, i s a means employed in most i n d u s t r i a l c o u n t r i e s to b r i n g about, a wider measure of s o c i a l j u s t i c e , without on the one hand, d i s t u r b i n g the i n s t i t u t i o n of p r i v a t e p r o p e r t y and i t s advantages to the community,, o r , on the o t h e r , i m p e r i l i n g the t h r i f t and i n d u s t r y of i n d i v i d u a l s " ( P a n i t c h , 1979, 313). As with other e a r l y s a f e t y l e g i s l a t i o n , workers' compensation a c t s d i d not attempt to e l i m i n a t e unsafe c o n d i t i o n s and prevent a c c i d e n t s and i l l n e s s e s a t t h e i r source; they d e a l t only with the r e s u l t s of unsafe working c o n d i t i o n s ( A s h f o r d , 1976:338). According to Manga (1931: 177), the o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y program in B.C. remains unchanged s i n c e 1967. The r e g u l a t i o n s have been r e v i s e d p e r i o d i c a l l y , but the r e v i s i o n s have been more in form than in substance. One such example of b u r e a u c r a t i c r e s t r a i n t i n v o l v e s the r o l e of the 1983 government-sponsored Ad v i s o r y Regulatory Committee composed of both labour and management r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . The Committee recommended t h a t farmworkers and domestic workers, who are predominantly from m i n o r i t y groups and s u f f e r from racism i n the workplace, r e c e i v e coverage under the Workers Compensation A c t . But the p r o v i n c i a l government r e f u s e d to accept these recommendations (see WCB H i s t o r y of Amendments, 1983.'), a r e a c t i o n d e s c r i b e d by labour r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s as r a c i s t and s e x i s t . With regard to a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , the Act came under the s t a t u t o r y body - the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) - whose d e c i s i o n s were not s u b j e c t to review in the c o u r t s . As to f u n d i n g , t h i s system was completely employer-financed based on a system of i n d u s t r i a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s . As Walters has p o i n t e d out, c o s t s borne by employers have i n c r e a s e d over the y e a r s . They have r i s e n d u r i n g the 1960s and e a r l y 1970s, thus r e q u i r i n g f u r t h e r government i n t e r v e n t i o n and i n i t i a t i o n of o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h l e g i s l a t i o n (1983: 419). As a r e s u l t , the WCB now p r o v i d e s b e n e f i t s f o r c e r t a i n work-related i l l n e s s e s and i n j u r i e s . A ccording to Walters, from the e a r l y 1970 onwards, a v a r i e t y of government p u b l i c a t i o n s drew a t t e n t i o n to the r i s i n g c o s t s of h e a l t h c a r e , and c a l c u l a t e d c o s t p r o j e c t i o n s i n t o the f u t u r e ( p r e d i c t i n g continued i n c r e a s e s i n c o s t s , d e s p i t e l i m i t e d revenues and advanced p r o p o s a l s f o r responding to t h i s f i s c a l c r i s i s in c o s t s ) ( I b i d . ) . Among the reasons c i t e d f o r an i n c r e a s e i s the need to p r o v i d e h e a l t h care f o r w o r k e r - r e i a t e d d i s e a s e . For example, the U.S. N a t i o n a l Cancer I n s t i t u t e i s noted as having estimated t h a t 20 per cent of a l l cancers are l i n k e d to the workplace (Walters, 1933: 422)). Thus, by " i n i t i a t i n g o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y l e g i s l a t i o n , the s t a t e was i n p a r t attempting to c o n t r o l the long-term c o s t s of p r o v i d i n g h e a l t h care by reducing the f u t u r e i n c i d e n t of i n d u s t r i a l i l l n e s s e s and i n j u r y . The l e g i s l a t i o n may be seen as one response to the f i s c a l c r i s e s of the s t a t e " ( i b i d : 4 2 3 ) . Walters has argued, however, t h a t o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y l e g i s l a t i o n was not simply a f u n c t i o n a l response to i n c r e a s i n g c o s t s of work-related i l l n e s s e s on the p a r t of the s t a t e , but t h a t i t s main o b j e c t i v e was to serve the i n t e r e s t s of c a p i t a l . Thus, s t r u c t u r a l a n a l y s i s of the growth of s o c i a l w e l f a r e l e g i s l a t i o n has been complemented by a focus on the r o l e of c l a s s s t r u g g l e i n the genesis of s o c i a l p o l i c i e s (Wa1ter,1983 : 423). Such s t u d i e s are s a i d to i n d i c a t e t h a t the s t a t e responds to working c l a s s p r e s s u r e s f o r reform i n an e f f o r t to d i f f u s e c o n f l i c t and promote s o c i a l harmony by encouraging a b e l i e f i n the l e g i t i m a c y of the system. However, concessions to labour do not change c a p i t a l i s t r e l a t i o n s , though they may have a humanizing e f f e c t , they do not change c a p i t a l i s t r e l a t i o n s of p roduc t i on ( i b i d ) . In sum, the adoption of workers compensation l e g i s l a t i o n i n B.C. i s viewed by some as a n . h i s t o r i c v i c t o r y f o r the working c l a s s who would not have to make d i r e c t payment f o r medical coverage i n the event of a work-related i n j u r y or death. Yet some c r i t i c s have argued t h a t by embracing t h i s p r a c t i c a l and pragmatic s o l u t i o n i n order to improve c o n d i t i o n s w i t h i n the c a p i t a l i s t -system, workers were more r e f o r m i s t than r a d i c a l . Indeed, the q u e s t i o n asked by Swartz (1379: 327) about t h i s " h i s t o r i c v i c t o r y " i s , What kind of s o c i a l v i c t o r y was i t ? What s o c i a l change d i d i t b r i n g about with regard to the p r o d u c t i o n and d i s t r i b u t i o n of h e a l t h s e r v i c e s ? Swartz contends t h a t d e s p i t e the l a r g e r o l e of the s t a t e , ...the h e a l t h system was overwhelmingly a c r e a t i o n of p r i v a t e i n te r e s t an d i n i t i a t i v e . I t s c r e a t i o n d i d not a l t e r the fundamental d i v i s i o n i n the power s t r u c t u r e between the owners of the means of p r o d u c t i o n and those who s e l l t h e i r labor f o r wages ... (The) b i a s of the system would operate so t h a t major b e n e f i c i a r i e s would be the dominant c l a s s e s ( i b i d . ) . C. F u n c t i o n s The f u n c t i o n s of the WCB can be understood i n the context of i t s mandate. Where does t h i s mandate come from? T h i s mandate i s s a i d to come from the B.C. Workers' Compensation A c t . The mandate i s th reef o l d , name1y: 1. To compensate workers f o r i n j u r y i n the workplace; 2. To safeguard the worker i n the workplace through the enforcement of the i n d u s t r i a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y r e g u l a t i o n s ( i . e . , a c c i -den t p r e v e n t i on) and; 3. To r e h a b i l i t a t e the worker to f u l l h e a l t h (BCFL Repor t,19S5) . Under the Act, which i s passed and amended by the p r o v i n c i a l l e g i s l a t u r e , the WCB's p o l i c i e s and d e c i s i o n s are i t s own w r i t t e n r u l e s and must be c o n s i s t e n t with the A c t . The Act a l s o g i v e s the WCB. the power to i n t e r p r e t i t s own w r i t t e n r u l e s c o n s i s t e n t with the A c t . The extent of the Board's mandate p r o v i d e s i t with the s o l e a u t h o r i t y to make d e c i s i o n s on the m e r i t s of a c l a i m , though i t s d e c i s i o n s can be appealed in a cou r t i f the WCB has acted c o n t r a r y to the Act or has not acted f a i r l y i n compliance with the general common law or other laws of the p r o v i n c e ( S l e e v e s , 1982 :7 , Ombudsman Report, 1987: 12-13). The WCB has a f o u r member board of commissioners appointed by the c a b i n e t of the p r o v i n c i a l government. I t has a s t a f f of over t h i r t e e n hundred i n four a c t i n g departments and an a d m i n i s t r a t i v e department. I t s f u n c t i o n s are performed i n f i v e d i s t i n c t d i v i s i o n s . These are Compensation S e r v i c e s , Medical S e r v i c e s , A d m i n i s t r a t i o n and Finance, and Legal S e r v i c e s . These s e r v i c e s are d i v i d e d down i n t o departments and each department i s sub-d i v i d e d again i n t o d i f f e r e n t s e c t i o n s . These departments i n c l u d e Claims A d j u d i c a t i o n , R e h a b i l i t a t i o n , A c c i d e n t P r e v e n t i o n , I n s p e c t i o n , M e d i c a l , and C l e r i c a l s t a f f . The f o l l o w i n g chart-i l l u s t r a t e s the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e and f u n c t i o n s of the WCB: ORGANIZATIONAL CHART *aia**r« f J.A. Malsaa J . H . >«l«>r B.H. K i r M N E.V. V M 4 C I 1 I U 1 I J.A. I W I m Diraatar Aayaaia • . C . A H a v a l l DixaaUr Baa 0. l a l l M l Diraatar • - H J I o r l i a O f t J l l i f f f Sarvieaa B-V. T t y l w A 4 a U K . A a a i a t . t a CkairaM* U . C H U t l / I. •«<*« IMaraal Aaait T Fiaaaatal Oaaaia. .Saiatr I i M l t k M f . Birratar _ 1*1 A H n»ra.a Dixaetor B-A. I t l l r a r Offiear MWtaal C M U t l Dr. FJ1. RtfH Dtraatar 0. C<Mw Batliaal S T C » • r.A.I. Htaktai Diraatar Br. C. Camata I—| Dtraatar Rahak. Clifii* Dr. J.R.AJUIsaritk Dtraatar C w n » « t . S T O i M. Marriatt Dir. •atar C>*« IKS A Voa Raftak. •A. - |Aei««rir]— l . l M i i f ITxaoaaxax | V . I n u r.v. i t m jltat.CaaT«"] 1. Haaaa.  ICaatxa Uar] B. taut*. D i r M t a r Aaaasawta H.8. M o Biraotar Baaaarah 1 StaaAara* A . Biattart N l H l i f n.u Saraieaa • . C a i n t W i i Biractar Oaaaaat. •aaltk Br.V.Vbitakaad A . Qaiaa Diractar Cltaic T. Vkartaa Source: Workers' Compensantion Board (WCB), March 14,198y i . Claims A d j u d i c a t i o n A c c o r d i n g t o the B.C. F e d e r a t i o n of Labour Report (1985), s i n c e one i n e i g h t workers w i l l f i l e a c l a i m i n any given y e a r , t h i s makes i t one of the l a r g e s t departments of the WCB (1987:). The WCB r e c e i v e s and processes c l a i m s submitted f o r i n j u r y , d i s e a s e or death of a worker. They w i l l make f i v e kinds of payment: medical a i d , wage l o s s , permanent d i s a b i l i t y , person f o r dependents, and f u n e r a l and r e l a t e d expenses. In 1976, over 14000 cl a i m s f o r i n j u r i e s , f a t a l i t i e s and d i s e a s e were f i l e d , and over $1011 m i l l i o n was s e t a s i d e f o r these payments (Steves, 1979:10!). In 19SS , 156 ,312 claims were r e c e i v e d , down f rom a 1930 high of 197,115 (Ombudsman , 1987:9) . The extent of claims f i l e d by workers i s f u r t h e r r e f l e c t e d in days l o s t from work. According to a WCB s t a t i s t i c a l r e p o r t , there were 2,073,637 days l o s t from work du r i n g 1937 due to i n j u r i e s : 59% of t h i s f i g u r e r e s u l t e d from 1987 i n j u r i e s , 24.3% from 1986 i n j u r i e s and 16.3% from 1985 and p r i o r years* i n j u r i e s . These f i g u r e s are s a i d to r e p r e s e n t the a c t u a l number of days l o s t by i n j u r e d workers (wages-loss cases.) . Time charges f o r permanent d i s a b i l i t y and f a t a l cases are not-i n c l u d e d . An a n a l y s i s of days l o s t by i n d u s t r i a l groups shows the f o i l o w i n g: Q§.Y.§: !=2§.t- E'.§£ Q§Tli: Trade and S e r v i c e I n d u s t r i e s 570,934 27.5 Forest- Products 373,280 18.0 General Manufacturing 329,180 15.9 C o n s t r u c t i o n Industry and 291,273 14.0 A l l i e d Trades Operations of the F e d e r a l , 174,007 8.4 P r o v i n c i a l and Mun i c i p a l G o v e r n me n t s T r an spo r t a t- i on 159,349 7.7 Mining arid Smelting 71,160 3.4 Navi g a t i o n and Wharf 54,356 2.6 Operations F i s h i n g and F i s h Packing 42,012 2.0 Industry L i g h t and Power 8,085 0.4 (Source: W.C.B. of B.C., 1987: 14) The c l a i m s department has an a d j u d i c a t o r whose f i r s t r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s to c o n s i d e r the medical and other f a c t u a l i s s u e s i n determining whether the worker i s e l i g i b l e f o r compensation. Each c l a i m u n i t has attached to i t a Medical Advisor who i s a v a i l a b l e to the a d j u d i c a t o r f o r a d v i c e on medical i s s u e s . Once a c l a i m has been accepted, the a d j u d i c a t o r must decide whether the worker i s due payments f o r wage l o s s , medical expenses, or both ( I b i d ) . i i . Rehab i 1 i t a t i on Sec t i on T h i s s e c t i o n now serves approximately 1000 i n j u r e d workers. The goal of the r e h a b i l i t a t i o n s e c t i o n i s to r e t u r n workers to t h e i r p r e v i o u s jobs or r e t r a i n them in another occupation ( S e c t i o n 16 (1>. A separate h e a r i n g claims c e n t r e accommodates 1000 new h e a r i n g c l a i m s f i l e d monthly. A recomendation by a R e h a b i l i t a t i o n C o n s u l t a n t i s s a i d to be a p p e a l a b l e ; though a Commissioner of the Board d e c i s i o n i s not ( P o l i c y Manual 102.26). V o c a t i o n a l r e h a b i l i t a t i o n i s covered under S e c t i o n 16 of the Workers Compensation A c t . I t i s s a i d to be one of the most-f l e x i b l e S e c t i o n s of the Act with v i r t u a l l y no c o n s t r a i n t s . I t i s so designed to r e c o g n i z e the n e c e s s i t y to custom design any given r e h a b i l i t a t i o n approach to the s p e c i f i c requirements of each worker. It- i s a l s o d e s c r i b e d as making p r o v i s i o n f o r the disbursement of e x p e d i t u r e s f o r t r a i n i n g of a s u r v i v i n g dependent spouse. But i n the case of other dependents, it- does limit-r e h a b i l i t a t i o n s e r v i c e s to c o u n s e l i n g and placement s e r v i c e s (Countinuing Legal Education S o c i e t y of B.C., 1982: 7 ) . i i i . Accident- Prevention I n s p e c t o r s E i g h t y f i v e a c c i d e n t p r e v e n t i o n o f f i c e r s inspect- v a r i o u s w o r k s i t e s f o r unsafe working c o n d i t i o n s and unsafe a c t s , and order management to c o r r e c t any hazardous c o n d i t i o n s . These a c c i d e n t p r e v e n t i o n o f f i c e r s are governed by the Board's code of standards f o r the workplace - the I n d u s t r i a l Health and S a f e t y R e g u l a t i o n s . The Board.'s power to enact these R e g u l a t i o n s i s governed by s e c t i o n 71 of the Workers' Compensation A c t . The Board i s empowered to make Reg u l a t i o n s r e g a r d i n g the p r e v e n t i o n of i n j u r i e s and i n d u s t r i a l d i s e a s e s i n i n d u s t r i e s covered by the A c t . The I n d u s t r i a l F i r s t A i d R e g u l a t i o n s are c a l c u l a t e d by the WCB. A l l I n d u s t r i a l F i r s t A i d s t a f f w r i t e an examination s e t by the WCB and are c e r t i f i e d by the Workers'Compensation Board ( i b i d . S 3 ) . A c c i d e n t Prevention i n s p e c t o r s i n s p e c t w o r k s i t e s , monitor i n d u s t r i a l n o i s e , dust, fumes, r a d i a t i o n , v i b r a t i o n , and c o l d . They t e s t workers f o r l e v e l of contaminants i n the bladder u r i n e . They a d v i s e employers on t h e i r f i n d i n g s , and along with a c c i d e n t p r e v e n t i o n o f f i c e r s , have powers that range from p e n a l t y l e v i e s and assessments to c l o s u r e of a complete o p e r a t i o n . F i r s t a i d and s a f e t y t r a i n i n g are a l s o undertaken by t h i s department. i v. Med i c a 1 Depa r tmen t T h i r t y f i v e d o c t o r s of t h i s department are concerned p r i m a r i l y with d i a g n o s i s and treatment, but a l s o are engaged in p r e v e n t i o n and r e s e a r c h programs. The Board p r o v i d e s medical a s s i s t a n c e f o r i n j u r i e s or d i s e a s e a r i s i n g from compensation a c c i d e n t s . I t can i n c l u d e the co s t of the worker's d o c t o r , s p e c i a l i s t s , p o d i a t r i s t s , c h i r o p r a c t o s , d e n t i s t s , n a t u r o p a t h e t i c p h y s i c i a n s and p h y s i o t h e r a p i s t s <Act s. 21; Manual, Chapter V I I I ) . Medical a s s i s t a n c e can continue a f t e r the end of wage l o s s and f o r the l i f e of a pensioned worker as long as the doctor c o n t i n u e s to send i n Form 11. S e c t i o n 57 (1) of the Act r e q u i r e s a worker to be examined by a p l a c e convenient to the worker i f the Board so d e c i d e s . Unless there i s a good reason, f a i l u r e to atte n d such an examination w i l l u s u a l l y r e s u l t i n the suspension of compensation payments. The Board may a l s o suspend payment i f workers t r e a t t h e i r i n j u r y or d i s e a s e i n an u n s a n i t a r y way and/or r e f u s e treatment which, "based on expert medical or s u r g i c a l a d v i c e , i s reasonably e s s e n t i a l to promote h i s / h e r recovery" ( S l e e v e s , 1382). The most c o n f l i c t - r i d d e n aspect of medical a s s i s t a n c e i s the r e l a t i o n s h i p between workers and d o c t o r s . Many d o c t o r s a re s a i d to be open, h e l p f u l , s e n s i t i v e and w i l l share with workers t h e i r o p i n i o n s about the workers' c o n d i t i o n . But the worst p o s s i b l e s i t u a t i o n i s f o r workers to be t r e a t e d by d o c t o r s who are s e c r e t i v e , anxious about the power of the Board over t h e i r r e p u t a t i o n , and s u s p i c i o u s of every i n j u r e d worker, b e l i e v i n g that they are a l l merely t a k i n g the system f o r a r i d e . In t h i s case workers must be c o n s t a n t l y on guard because the d o c t o r ' s o p i n i o n i s s u f f i c i e n t to maintain workers compensation or terminate i t . Medical o p i n i o n s need not be shared with the worker and d o c t o r ' s r e p o r t s may i n c l u d e statements about the worker's "enthusiasm" to r e t u r n to work ( i b i d . : 1 9 ) . Medical Review Panels have been e s t a b l i s h e d by the Board i n the event of a worker f i l i n g a complaint. According to the Ombudsman's r e p o r t , S e c t i o n 58 of the Act e s t a b l i s h e s a Medical Rev i ew Pane1 (M.R.P.) and subsec t i on (3) def i nes the circumstancess under which i t may be invoked by a worker: (3) Whenever a worker, not l a t e r than 90 c l e a r days a f t e r the making of a medical d e c i s i o n by the Board, expresses himself in w r i t i n g to the board as being aggrieved by that medical d e c i s i o n and sends with that w r i t i n g a c e r t i f i c a t e from a p h y s i c i a n c e r t i f y i n g t h a t in the o p i n i o n of the p h y s i -c i a n there i s a bona f i d e medical d i s p u t e to be r e s o l v e d , with s u f f i c i e n t p a r t i c u l a r s t o d e f i n e the quest i o n in i s s u e , the worker s h a l l be examined by a M.R.P. appointed i n the manner p r o v i d e d i n t h i s s e c t i o n (Ombudsman Report, 1987:12). The c o n d i t i o n s f o r convening an M.R.P. are s t i p u l a t e d i n the Ombudsman Report (see page 12 - 13). As the Ombudsman p o i n t s out, " ( t ) h i s does not, however, p r e c l u d e the c o u r t s from reviewing a matter when the WCB has exceeded i t s j u r i s d i c t i o n or where there has been a d e n i a l of n a t u r a l j u s t i c e " ( i b i d . ) . v. Legal Department T h i s department d e a l s with l e g i s l a t i o n t h a t i s enacted. The department i s l e g a l c o u n c i l f o r the board when the WCB sues a t h i r d p a r t y . I t i s a l s o r e s p o n s i b l e f o r land and c a p i t a l investments made by the Board. Ac c o r d i n g to one study, as of 1979, the B r i t i s h Columbia WCB had over $570 m i l l i o n i n v e s t e d s o l e l y i n B.C. Hydro and Power A u t h o r i t y s e c u r i t i e s (Reasons, e t a l . , 1381). In 1375-1376, B.C. Hydro investments represented 44 per cent of the WCB p o r t f o l i o ( i b i d . , 1 3 8 1 : 171). P r a c t i c a l l y a l l investment i n recent years has been i n B.C. Hydro and Power A u t h o r i t y and B r i t i s h Columbia Railway bonds. The former i n s t i t u t i o n i s s a i d to be c o n s t a n t l y under a t t a c k by e n v i r o n m e n t a l i s t s , n a t i v e people, trade unions and other c i t i z e n groups opposed to i t s v a r i o u s massive energy development p o l i c i e s , many on the grounds of environmental w s p o l l u t i o n and resource giveaways. No c o r p o r a t e s e c u r i t i e s ar known to be h e l d by the WCB; other investments are i n B.C. p r o v i n c i a l highways, s c h o o l s , h o s p i t a l s , r a i l w a y s , or municipal s e c u r i t i e s ( i b i d . ) . A l l of the above departments are under the a e g i s of the Board of Commissioners. The Board of Commissioners i s made up of a chairman and up to f o u r Commissioners. These commissioners are appointed by the p r o v i n c i a l government of the day. The commissioners can be d i s m i s s e d with or without reason by the p r o v i n c i a l c a b i n e t . The decision-making f u n c t i o n s of the E<oard are sometimes d e s c r i b e d as q u a s i - j u d i c i a l to i n d i c a t e t h a t i t a r r i v e s a t i t s own d e c i s i o n s in a l e g a l l y c o r r e c t and f a i r manner. The Board i s not accountable to an e l e c t e d M i n i s t e r on a day-to-day b a s i s f o r each c l a i m s d e c i s i o n . In t h i s way the Board i s s a i d to be comparable to the Labour R e l a t i o n s Board or the P o l l u t i o n C o n t r o l Board although i t does not depend on p u b l i c money f o r i t s o p e r a t i o n . Instead, i t r a i s e s i t s own funds by a s s e s s i n g employers the co s t of compensation as a tax on p r o d u c t i o n . D. Current C o n t r o v e r s i e s The WCB ac c o r d i n g to some r e p o r t s , says t h a t i t pays the highest. l e v e l of b e n e f i t s of any compensation system i n Canada, and t h a t 96 per cent of a l l WCB cla i m s are accepted without d i spute. But a review of p o l i c i e s and s t a t i s t i c s r e v e a l s some doubts and c o n t r a d i c t i o n s . According to a Vancouver Sun r e p o r t on the WCB: 1 . If you get hu r t badly and want the WC-E< on your s i d e , you're b e t t e r o f f to have a severed hand than a bad back. 2 . S t a t i s t i c a11y, workers wi th the most severe i n j u r i e s are most l i k e l y to have to f i g h t the WCB f o r b e n e f i t s . 3. If you've been hurt on the job and you don't think your c l a i m has been handled p r o p e r l y , you could wait as long as s i x years f o r an answer to your appeal. And even i f you win, the WCB might not comply with the d e c i s i o n . 4. More workers say they are usi n g short, term measures to avoid d e a l i n g with the WCB, such as depending on p r i v a t e h e a l t h insurance companies or n e g o t i a t i n g d i s -a b i l i t y agreements i n t o t h e i r c o n t r a c t s (The Sun. -July 11,1937: A9> . These c o n t r a d i c t i o n s have cre a t e d c o n s i d e r a b l e c o n t r o v e r s y about the ne g a t i v e treatment of workers by the WCB. They r e f l e c t both employer p r e s s u r e to keep assessment r a t e s down and to l i m i t wor k e r s ' demands f or i n creased d i sab i i i ty benef i t s . Ac c ord i ng to a spokesman from the Labourer's Membership S e r v i c e , when the WCE< was e s t a b l i s h e d i n 1917, the workers gave up the r i g h t to sue t h e i r employer, no matter how n e g l i g e n t . In l i g h t of decreased compensation, workers are now convinced t h a t they would be b e t t e r o f f without a compensation board, and f r e e to sue t h e i r employers f o r i n j u r y on the job (The Sun. -June 13, 1987). A major c o n t r a d i c t i o n stems from the p o l i t i c a l b i a s e x e r c i s e d by the S o c i a l C r e d i t government i n the appoinment of WCB Commissioners, which goes counter to the WCB and government-p r o f e s s e d p o l i c y of n e u t r a l i t y and n o n - i n t e r f e r e n c e i n the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of the WCB. Commissioners do not have independent-tenure. They are appointed on the b a s i s of p o l i t i c a l patronage ra t h e r than l e g a l and academic e x p e r t i s e . There i s no o f f i c i a l guide to determine q u a l i f i c a t i o n s . The most recent case of such an appo i n tmen t to the c h a i r man s h i p of th e WCB i n vo 1 ved J i m N i e l s o n . A c c o r d i n g to C r a i g P a t e r s o n , a p r i v a t e lawyer s p e c i a l i z i n g i n WCB l i t i g a t i o n , the patronage appointment of -Jim N i e l s o n as chairman was the f i r s t such appointment in the h i s t o r y of the WCB and c o n t r a d i c t e d p r e v i o u s procedures, which r e q u i r e d t h a t the Board's chairman be appointed s o l e l y on the b a s i s of l e g a l and academic background. A c c o r d i n g to -John Weir of the BCFL, the S o c i a l Credit-government t r e a t s the WCB more l i k e an insurance company than a s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n . To date, the p r o v i n c i a l government i s s a i d to be c o n s i d e r i n g extending N i e l s e n ' s tenure as WCEf chairman. With respect. to the WCB c o n s t i t u t i o n a l precedent that the appointment of commissioners be on a t r i p a r t i t e b a s i s , ( i . e . , with r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s from l a b o r , management and the WCB), t h a t has changed s i n c e 1984 as employer b i a s has become the dominant f e a t u r e of WCB h i r i n g p o l i c y and procedures. The p r o t e c t i o n of WCB funds through the b a l a n c i n g of i t s f i s c a l budget at workers* expense i s another ma j o r c o n t r o v e r s y . A c c o r d i n g to C a l v i n Sanborn, a p r i v a t e lawyer s p e c i a l i z i n g i n WCB cases, the Board d i s c o u r a g e s a d j u d i c a t o r s from g i v i n g l a r g e awards to i n j u r e d workers - i n order to balance the WCB budget. The Board's a d j u d i c a t o r s have been d e s c r i b e d by Alan Maclean, a lawyer with the Vancouver Community Legal A s s i s t a n c e , as having a "cop m e n t a l i t y " and s u s p i c i o u s of the a c t i o n s of i n j u r e d workers who wish to f i l e a c l a i m . As a r e s u l t , workers adopt a d e f e n s i v e approach because they b e l i e v e t h a t the Board i s out to get them. The WCB i s f u r t h e r c h a r a c t e r i z e d by Maclean as one of the worst b u r e a u c r a c i e s in B.C. i n terms of i t s performance r e c o r d . In i t s e f f o r t to reduce high c o s t s , the Board's huge bureaucracy d e l a y s p r o c e s s i n g cases and adopts an a d v e r s a r i a l a t t i t u d e towards workers. On the i s s u e of a c c o u n t a b i l i t y , the WCB has been accused of being unaccountable to the employers and the M i n i s t e r of Labour. Industry i s s a i d to lobby through a s o p h i s t i c a t e d and e f f i c i e n t o r g a n i z a t i o n . The Employers' C o u n c i l of B.C., f o r example, has the economic a b i l i t y to i n f l u e n c e the government, s i n c e employers have the power to shut-down o p e r a t i o n s i f the government moves a g a i n s t t h e i r i n t e r e s t . Moreover, c o n f u s i o n e x i s t s i n the numerous j u r i s d i c t i o n s i n v o l v e d with i n s p e c t i o n and compensation. T h i s i s a t t r i b u t e d to the f a c t t h a t the WCB, being the largest, government agency, has some t h i r t y agencies and one hundred and f i f t y p r o v i n c i a l and f e d e r a l s e t s of r e g u l a t i o n s , some of which are ambiguous and complex. Added to t h i s , B.C.'s mining i n d u s t r y , f o r example, i s a high r i s k i n d u s t r y which does not f a l l under the Workers' Compensation A c t . A f u r t h e r problem i s t h a t there are more game wardens i n B.C. than there are a c c i d e n t p r e v e n t i o n i n s p e c t o r s . I n s p e c t o r s r a r e l y get a chance to i n s p e c t small i n d u s t r i e s s i n c e there are so many such i n d u s t r i a l concerns and so few i n s p e c t o r s . A u t h o r i t i e s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r more general working c o n d i t i o n s f a l l under the F a c t o r y ' s A c t , which has much weaker enforcement-p r o v i s i o n s . The I n d u s t r i a l Hygiene Department a l s o l a c k s adequate research f a c i l i t i e s and f i n a n c i a l b a c k i n g . I t now responds only to p r e - d e f i n e d problems and t e s t s each s e p a r a t e l y , f a i l i n g to look a t the t o t a l working environment to see the cumulative e f f e c t of chemicals, compounds, i n t e n s i v e n o i s e or heat on the workers. F i n a l l y , e x i s t i n g h e a l t h and s a f e t y education programs are not broadly developed and the p u b l i c i t y - s t y l e d i n f o r m a t i o n p r i n t e d by the Board f a i l s to address the broader i s s u e s of unsafe work o r g a n i z a t i o n s and c o n d i t i o n s . R e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r s a f e t y i s p l a c e d on the i n d i v i d u a l , and workers are not informed of the employers' r e s p o n s i b i l i t y (B.C. F e d e r a t i o n of Labor, 1987; S l e e v e s , 1981). In sum, the h i s t o r i c a l development- of workers' compensation l e g i s l a t i o n has meant decreased worker c o n t r o l over the workplace, and i n c r e a s e d decision-making power in the hands of the s t a t e (WCB) and employers. T h i s i s , i n p a r t , due t o : (1) The l o s s of the worker's r i g h t to sue an employer under the Workers' Compensation A c t ; ( 2 ) , the f r e q u e n t v i o l a t i o n of the Workers Compensation Act p r o v i s i o n s which r e q u i r e that commissioners be appointed on a t r i p a r t i t e b a s i s ; (3) continued employer n e g l i -gence of workplace h e a l t h and r e g u l a t i o n s and; (4) lack of adequate WCB research and funding i n t o the cumulative impact of worplace hazards on the worker's h e a l t h . The next chapter w i l l examine both primary and secondary sources of data i n order to determine how e f f e c t i v e l y the WCB has d e a l t with worker h e a l t h and s a f e t y concerns over the l a s t 14 y e a r s . Foot-notes B a r t r i p , P. W. J . and Burman, S-B. The Wounded S o l d i e r s of Industry..! I n d u s t r i a l . Compensation P o l i c y 1833-1.897^ Oxford: 1983. B.C. F e d e r a t i o n of Labour. Report of the F e d e r a t i o n of P u b l i c I n q u i r y i n t o the the B.C. Workers' Compensation Board. -June 3, 1986. Submission to the M i n i s t e r of Labour on the B.C. Workers' Compensation Board of Commisioners." January, 1987. B.C. Workers'- Compensation A c t . 1987. Bluman, B. "Claims P r a c t i c e and Procedures", Workers Compensation P r a c t i c e and Procedure, C o n t i n u i n g Legal Education S o c i e t y of B.C., Vancouver, June, 1982. Chief J u s t i c e S loan, i n J u s t i c e C h a r l e s Tysoe's Report of the Commission of Inqu i r y i n t o Workmen's Compensation A c t , V i c t o r i a : Queens's P r i n t e r , 1383. Manga, P. e t . al„ O c c u p a t i o n a l Health and Safety.: Issues and A l t e r n a t i v e s , . Canada: Economic C o u n c i l of Canada, 1981. Ombudsman of B.C. Workers' Compensation System Study. B.C. P u b l i c Report No. 7, J u l y , 1987. Ormsby, M. A. B r i t i s h Columbia,: A History.. Toronto: 1985. P a n i t c h , L. The Canadian S t a t e J. P o l i t i c a l Economy and P o l i t i c a l Power, Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto P r e s s , 1977. Reasons, C. e t . a l . A s s a u l t on the Worker.. Toronto: Butterworth and Co., L t d . , 1981. S l e e v e s , J . "Your S a f e t y and Your R i g h t s . " Vancouver: Legal S e r v i c e s of B.C. The Vancouver Sun. June 13, 1987. The Vancouver Sun. J u l y 11, 1987. Walters, V. "Occupational Health and S a f e t y i n O n t a r i o . " Canadian Review of S o c i o l o g y and Anthropology, 1933, 20 ( 4 ) : 413-34. Workers' Compensation Board of B.C. F a c t Sheet, 1987. 51 I I I . The M o b i l i z a t i o n of B i a s (1972-1987 I t would appear from the preceding chapter that the WCB has not-been e f f e c t i v e i n p r o v i d i n g workers with adequate h e a l t h and s a f e t y s e r v i c e s . To understand more f u l l y the r o l e of the WCB and the i n t e r e s t s i t i s s e r v i n g , t h i s chapter examines the m o b i l i z a t i o n of biais i n the WCB between 1972 and 1987; i . e . , whether the b i a s has been a g a i n s t employers or a g a i n s t workers. In order to f u r t h e r examine whether the b i a s has been stronger under the S o c i a l C r e d i t government than under the NDP, and whether i t i s more e v i d e n t i n recent y e a r s , t h i s chapter i s d i v i d e d i n t o f i v e s e c t i o n s . The f i r s t s e c t i o n , examines p a r t i c u l a r d e c i s i o n s and precedents in the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the Workers' Compensation A c t ; the second, d e a l s with the p o l i c y o r i e n t a t i o n of the WCB toward worker s a f e t y and a c c i d e n t h e a l t h hazard p r e v e n t i o n ; the t h i r d , i s a c r i t i q u e of the WCB d e c i s i o n -making and p o l i c y formation process and outcomes; the f o u r t h , d e a l s with the WCB responses to c r i t i c i s m and; the f i f t h s e c t i o n concludes with i d e n t i f i a b l e p a t t e r n s of b i a s i n the o p e r a t i o n s of the WCB. M o b i l i z a t i o n of b i a s i s d e f i n e d as a means by which the s t a t e (WCB) seeks to p r o v i d e l e g i t i m a c y to the predominant i n t e r e s t s t h a t i t i s s e r v i n g . The m o b i l i z a t i o n of b i a s between 1972-1987 has p l a y e d a c a r d i n a l r o l e i n shaping the nature and outcome of WCB d e c i s i o n s and precedents ( t h a t i s , s e l e c t e d cases which are exemplary, ground-breaking, e t c . ) T h i s h i s t o r i c a l p e r i o d has r e s u l t e d i n s i g n i f i c a n t developments and i n t e r p l a y among the v a r i o u s i n t e r e s t groups, . namely; the s t a t e and/or WCB, employers, org a n i z e d labour and advocate groups (lawyers, medical p r a c t i t i o n e r s , o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y s p e c i a l i s t s , e t c . ) , concerned with o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y i n the workplace w i t h i n B.C.'s i n d u s t r i a l economy. In 1972, B r i t i s h Columbia experienced a t r a n s f e r of p o l i t i c a l power from the S o c i a l C r e d i t Party to the New Democratic P a r t y (NDP). The v i c t o r y ended two decades of r u l e by the S o c i a l Credit-Party under the l e a d e r s h i p of W.A.C. Bennett, arid made B r i t i s h Columbia the t h i r d P r o v i n c e i n Canada in which a s o c i a l democratic p a r t y was e l e c t e d i n t o p o l i t i c a l power. The problems and t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s t h a t o c c u r r e d a f t e r 1972 w i t h i n the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) of B.C. were i n f l u e n c e d , as we s h a l l l a t e r argue, by the p o l i t i c a l c l i m a t e of t h i s p r o v i n c e d u r i n g the 1970s and 1980s. At- the h e i g h t of labour - management c o n f l i c t was the p o l i t i c a l s t r u g g l e between the New Democratic Party (a s o c i a l i s t . - democratic party) and the S o c i a l , C r e d i t P a r t y (a right-wing, p o p u l i s t p a r t y ) . For the NDP, 1972 represented a year of o p p o s i t i o n d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t the S o c i a l C r e d i t P a r t y , the l a r g e c o r p o r a t i o n s , and to some extent the p r o v i n c i a l government bureaucracy s i n c e each was p e r c e i v e d to be a p p r o p r i a t i n g p u b l i c resources f o r p r i v a t e p r o f i t and denying o r d i n a r y working people the p r o t e c t i o n and s e r v i c e s to wh i ch they were en t i 11ed. The government imposed s t r i n g e n t development c o n t r o l s on mining companies and imposed a f l a t - r a t e p r o d u c t i o n tax r a t h e r than a tax on mining p r o f i t s . Through the Petroleum C o r p o r a t i o n the government assumed complete c o n t r o l of n a t u r a l gas p r i c i n g and marketing. Through the Insurance C o r p o r a t i o n the government assumed complete c o n t r o l of automobile insurance and removed p r i v a t e insurance companies from a l l automobile insurance f i e l d . Through the land Commission the government c l a s s i f i e d a l l land i n the p r o v i n c e and imposed r i g i d c o n t r o l over the use of a g r i c u l t u r a l land ( i b i d . , 5 0 ) . The e x p r o p r i a t i o n of key primary resources and s e r v i c e i n d u s t r i e s of the B.C. economy extended i n t o the areas of labour and i n d u s t r i a l r e l a t i o n s . In r e l a t i o n to i n d u s t r i a l r e l a t i o n s , the NDP committed i t s e l f to a f a r - r e a c h i n g r e v i s i o n of the Workmen's Compensation, as i t was o r i g i n a l l y implemented. The purpose of the r e v i s i o n was to ensure proper compensation f o r i n d u s t r i a l i n j u r i e s , to r e s t o r e the o r i g i n a l i n t e n t of p r o v i d i n g sympathetic treatment f o r i n j u r e d workmen and women, and to p r o v i d e an independent appeal procedure to prevent a r b i t r a r y and un j u s t treatment (NDP, 1972: 26-27)„ Other p o l i c y commitments i n c l u d e d the a c t i v e encouragement of e f f e c t i v e c o l l e c t i v e b a r g a i n i n g i n a l l i n d u s t r i e s , e f f e c t i v e -a d m i n i s t r a t i o n and enforcement of a l l labour s t a t u t e s and r e g u l a t i o n s , the r e p o r t i n g of a l l i n f r a c t i o n s i n the Department of Labour Annual Report, r e p r e s e n t a t i o n on a l l government boards chosen by the trade union movement, and the exte n s i o n of labour's v o i c e i n management of p r i v a t e and p u b l i c e n t e r p r i s e s ( I b i d . ) . By 1973, labour u n r e s t i n B.C. was on the r i s e and to keep i t to a minimum, the NDP adopted the Labour Code. The Labour Code contained f o u r t y - f o u r items f a v o u r a b l e to management and only s i x t e e n h e l p f u l to labour (Kavic and Nixon, 1978: 151). Some of i t s main c l a u s e s i n c l u d e d : (1) The use of p r o f e s s i o n a l s t r i k e breakers i s p r o h i b i t e d . (2) The burden of proof l i e s on the employer t h a t he d i d not d i s c h a r g e , suspend, l a y -o f f or d i s c i p l i n e an employer f o r union a c t i v i t i e s . (3) The c o r p o r a t e v e i l may be p i e r c e d to determine the r e a l employer. (4) P i c k e t i n g i s d e f i n e d and the p l a c e s where such p i c k e t i n g may occur are c l e a r l y s e t out and i n c l u d e the p l a c e s of business of another employer who i s an " a l l y " of the employer being str u c k or locked out. (23) Persuasion other than p i c k e t i n g i s i s p e r m i t t e d f o r o r g a n i z a t i o n a l purposes (Re i sn i c k , 1377: 3 ) » These reforms were not viewed as unfavourable by b u s i n e s s , but came as a disappointment to u n i o n i s t s , i n p a r t i c u l a r the B.C. Fe d e r a t i o n of Labour (BCFL). In h i s new year message of 1373, the then M i n i s t e r of Labour, B i l l K ing, cautioned both employers and employees t h a t a shake-up in the s t r u c t u r e and r e g u l a t i o n s governing the workers' compensation Board would come about s l o w l y and cal m l y . He began by a t t r i b u t i n g i n j u r y or s i c k n e s s to the workplace (The Sun, January 6,1973). Another s i g n i f i c a n t development i n v o l v e d the esta b l i s h m e n t of l e g i s l a t i o n a l l o w i n g government appointed boards of review to hear appeals of Workers' Compensation Board d e c i s i o n s s t a r t i n g January 1, 1973. The l e g i s l a t i o n s t i p u l a t e d t h a t f o l l o w i n g a board d e c i s i o n an employer or employee had 90 days to which to appeal the d e c i s i o n to a three - man member board of review (The Sun December 2,1973). At the WCB, the NDP government made a d m i n i s t r a t i v e changes along a t r i p a r t i t e b a s i s . T h i s r e s u l t e d i n the appointment of T e r r y Ison, a lawyer by p r o f e s s i o n , as chairman of the Board. Two other appointees as commissioners i n c l u d e d George Kowbel, former B.C. F e d e r a t i o n of Labour (BCFL) Occupational Health and S a f e t y s p e c i a l i s t , and T e r r y Watt, p r e s i d e n t of the Employers* C o u n c i l of B.C. F o l l o w i n g h i s appointment Te r r y Ison proceeded to make changes to the Workers' Compensation A c t . The three key changes made under t h i s t r i p a r t i t e body i n c l u d e d a p o l i c y on o c c u p a t i o n a l deafness, a review of the WCB appeal procedures, and r e v i s i o n s of the pension payment scheme. In 1975, f o l l o w i n g a one year concerted l o b b y i n g campaign by the BCFL to ensure t h a t workers had a v o i c e i n the workplace, it-submitted seventeen recommendations to t h i s e f f e c t . The NDP government resp«onded to the pr e s s u r e by making c o n c e s s i o n s . It-implemented the code t r i b u n a l c a l l e d the Labour R e l a t i o n s Board under the chairmanship of Paul Weiner, a U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto law p r o f e s s o r . Other changes were s i g n i f i c a n t i n that under the Workers' Compensation Act of 1917, workers would r e c e i v e a pension on the b a s i s of f u n c t i o n a l d i s a b i l i t y (e.g., l o s s of a f i n g e r by a c o n s t r u c t i o n worker) and would take i n t o account the pensioner's l o s s of a t r a d e . Thus, a c c o r d i n g to the present B.C. Fe d e r a t i o n of Labour's Occupational Health and S a f e t y s p e c i a l i s t , the new pension l e g i s l a t i o n i n c l u d e d both l o s s of p h y s i c a l f u n c t i o n and l o s s of e a r n i n g s . As f o r the S o c i a l C r e d i t P a r t y , i t was swept i n t o power in 1975 f o l l o w i n g an e l e c t i o n d e f e a t of the incumbent NDP government under the l e a d e r s h i p of Dave B a r r e t t . Led by B i l l Bennett, the NDP became a major target- of the S o c i a l Credit-P a r t y ' s e l e c t i o n s t r a t e g y . The Socred P a r t y ' s e l e c t i o n s t r a t e g y s t r e s s e d the NDP's i n e f f i c i e n c y and waste and a t t a c k e d i t s economic c o n t r o l p o l i c i e s (Tennant, 1977 2 500). L i k e the NDP, the S o c i a l Credit, government committed i t s e l f to a few s p e c i f i c p o l i c i e s such as cutbacks in s o c i a l programs and i n c r e a s e d p r i v a t i z a t i o n of the p u b l i c s e c t o r . For i n s t a n c e , in the area of workers' compensation, the government, supported by employer groups, moved q u i c k l y to cut the power of the WCB. In 1976, immediately a f t e r h i s appointment as the M i n i s t e r of Labour, A l l e n W i l l i a m s ordered an o p e r a t i o n a l review and a c t u a r i a l a n a l y s i s of the WCB. The c o n c l u s i o n s of the study were an indictment of the WCB as a d e f i c i e n t and wasteful spender - i t echoed employer groups' concern over an $85.53 m i l l i o n a c t u a r i a l d e f i c i e n c y i n the WCB r e s e r v e funds. As expected, o r g a n i s e d labour and the o p p o s i t i o n NDP c r i t i c i z e d the pro-employer b i a s e d p o l i c i e s of the Socred government towards the WCB. Organised labour c r i t i c i z e d the Socreds and employers f o r p u t t i n g " c o s t and e f f i c i e n c y ahead of b e n e f i t q u a l i t y and s e r v i c e , as well as s a f e t y to human l i f e " (The Sun. A p r i l 23,1976). And the NDP r e j e c t e d a c c u s a t i o n s of mismanagement and lack of budget c o n t r o l by p o i n t i n g to i t s s u c c e s s f u l l e g i s l a t i v e r e c o r d of having i n t r o d u c e d the Labour code governing employer and employee r e l a t i o n s i n B.C. I t i s a g a i n s t t h i s background of i n d u s t r i a l and p o l i t i c a l c o n f l i c t i n B.C. t h a t t h i s chapter proceeds to examine the mobilization of bias at the WCB between 1972 and 19S7. A. WCB Decisions and Precedents According to Bruce Elphistone, BCFL Occupational Health and Safety specialist, there are hundreds of claims and appeal cases that have come before the WCB, under the aegis of the 'coming and going rules.' The fundamental principle of compensation law is that if a person is injured at work, he or she would receive coverage, and if a worker is injured off work, he or she would be covered under other plans such as the B.C. Medical Plan. Elphistone observes that under the 'going and coming rules,' there are some notable exceptions. For instance, a 1973 claim for dependent benefits was appealed to the Workers' Compensation Board of B.C. chaired by Terry Ison and the two commissioners, R.B. Carpenter and George Kowbel. This was a claim arising out of a fatal accident that occured in March, 1972, when the claimant, while proceeding on a direct route back to the yard where it was his responsibility to return his truck after a day's work, was struck by a passing motor vehicle and injured. The accident occured when he was crossing the road on foot by an unmarked cross-walk on his way from cashing a pay-cheque at a bank along the return route. At first, the claim was not opposed by the employer, yet it was denied in the Claims Department on the grounds that the injuries did not arise out of and in the course of employment. The decision was affirmed by the Board of Review. Thus, the c l a i m r a i s e s a dilemma t h a t has always been i n h e r e n t i n workmen's compensation: The d i f f i c u l t y , of course, i s t h a t the a c t i v i t i e s of men are not n e a t l y d i v i -s i b l e i n t o two c l e a r c a t e g o r i e s , t h e i r employment f u n c t i o n s and t h e i r p»ersonal l i v e s . There i s a broad area of i n t e r s e c -t i o n and o v e r l a p between work and personal a f f a i r s , and somewhere i n t h a t broad area we must map the perimeter of workmen's personal compensation. An i n c i d e n t a l i n t r u s i o n of personal a c t i v i t y i n t o the process of work w i l l not r e q u i r e a c l a i m , otherwise v a l i d , to be den i e d . For exampile, i t has long been accepited that, compensation i s not l i m i t e d to i n j u r i e s o c c u r r i n g i n the course of pr o d u c t i o n (W.C.B. of B.C. Reporter S e r i e s , D e c i s i o n No. 2, June 1973, 7 ) . i Case # 1 - A boat a c c i d e n t The former case of a truck d r i v e r i n v o l v e d i n an a c c i d e n t while a t t e n d i n g to h i s personal a f f a i r s d u r i n g the course of work s e t s a precedent f o r many cases f e a t u r i n g s i m i l a r circumstances. The broad area of i n t e r s e c t i o n between personal a f f a i r s and employment o f t e n becomes f o r the WCB a b a s i s f o r a c c e p t i n g or denying a c l a i m . The f o l l o w i n g case r e p r e s e n t s the Board's u n w i l l i n g n e s s to ignore e x t r a - o c c u p a t i o n a l f a c t o r s i n d e c i d i n g a c l a i m . I t i l l u s t r a t e s an apparent i n j u s t i c e i n t h a t the Board ign o r e s 7 the worker's e n t i r e work h i s t o r y while e x p l o i t i n g a s i n g l e t e c h n i c a l i t y (death by reason of being under the i n f l u e n c e of a l c o h o l i n the course of employment) as a b a s i s f o r d i s a l l o w i n g the c l a i m . The deceased was a fisherman employed on a boat t h a t was t i e d up at a dock i n Vancouver. He retu r n e d to the boat a t approximately midnight. In D e c i s i o n 10, the Commissioners note that i t seems reasonablee to assume t h a t somehow he mismanaged the attempt to board the v e s s e l from the dock. He d i e d from drowning. A subsequent blood t e s t on the body i n d i c a t e d a blood a l c o h o l content of 0.27. T h i s i n d i c a t e d a high l e v e l of i n t o x i c a t i o n and a c o n s i d e r a b l e impairment of the c a p a c i t y of the deceased to take care of h i m s e l f . The deceased was attempting to board the s h i p to s l e e p there i n p r e p a r a t i o n f o r s a i l i n g the f o l l o w i n g day. The Commisioners s t a t e d t h a t they d i d not think i t s i g n i f i c a n t whether he was r e q u i r e d to board the s h i p the n i g h t b e f o r e , or whether he had an o p t i o n about the time of the b o a r d i n g . He was, in any event, attempting to board the s h i p f o r the purpose of work the f o l l o w i n g day. The c l a i m i s s a i d to have been d i s a l l o w e d on the grounds t h a t the death d i d not a r i s e out of and i n the course of employment. The Board of Review a f f i r m e d d i s a l l o w a n c e of the c l a i m on the same ground. They a l s o f e l t with regard to the c l a i m s dependents' allowances that there was no dependency. WCB r e g u l a t i o n s s t a t e t h a t an i n j u r y or death o c c u r r i n g i n the course of g a i n i n g access to the premises of an employer i s t r e a t e d as one a r i s i n g out of and i n the course of employment. The commissioners uphold t h i s view at l e a s t where the worker has reached the hazard area of h i s employment and where, as i n t h i s case, the normal hazards of h i s employment were a cause of the death. T h e r e f o r e , they cannot see on what ground i t can be t r e a t e d as s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t the deceased was probably seeking to gain access to the v e s s e l by a method t h a t was probably d i f f e r e n t from that which the c a p t a i n or dock-owner intended (W.C.B. of B.C. Reporter S e r i e s , D e c i s i o n No. 10, 197:-:: 45-46). An exemplary case of Robertson v s . A l l a n has two i n s t r u c t i v e p o i n t s t h a t have been r e f e r r e d to by the Commissioners i n t h e i r d e l i b e r a t i o n s on the fisherman case. In the former case, a seaman went ashore to spend approximately four hours in r e c r e a t i o n a l d r i n k i n g . On r e t u r n i n g to the s h i p i n t o x i c a t e d , he attempted to board the v e s s e l by a method that was p r o h i b i t e d by h i s employers. In so doing he f e l l i n t o the h o l d . In s p i t e of the drunkenness and the d i s o b e d i e n c e i n u s i n g an unsafe method of a c c e s s , the P r o v i n c i a l Court of Appeal decided t h a t the a c c i d e n t was one a r i s i n g out of and i n the course of employment. The i n t o x i c a t i o n of the deceased i s s a i d to have been c a u s a t i v e in producing the death, but t h a t i t was not the s o l e cause. I t was thought t h a t the seaman 'must have been drunk f o r some time be f o r e a r r i v i n g at the v e s s e l ; but h i s drunkenness d i d not k i l l him u n t i l i t s e f f e c t was combined with the hazards of h i s employment. T h e r e f o r e , a d i s t i n g u i s h i n g f e a t u r e of drunkenness g e n e r a l l y regarded as c u l p a b l e behaviour. The deceased was not t a k i n g reasonable care of h i m s e l f . But one of the b a s i c purposes f o r which workmen's compensation was i n t r o d u c e d was to away from the common law d o c t r i n e of c o n t r i b u t o r y n e g l i g e n c e as a bar to a c l a i m . The extent to which that bar has been r e t a i n e d i s p r e s c r i b e d i n S e c t i o n 6 of the A c t : Where the i n j u r y i s a t t r i b u t a b l e s o l e l y to the s e r i o u s and w i l f u l misconduct of the workman, no compensation s h a l l be payable u n l e s s the i n j u r y r e s u l t s i n death or s e r i o u s or permanent d i s -ablenient ( I b i d . : 4 6 ) . Apart from d e a l i n g with other concerns such as the dependency of those ( c h i l d r e n and widow) c l a i m i n g e n t i t l e m e n t to b e n e f i t s , the Commissioners r e s o l v e d to do two t h i n g s : r e c o g n i z e t h a t the death of the fisherman arose out of and in the course of work; and t h a t f u n e r a l b e n e f i t s should be p a i d ( i b i d . : 48). (i> F i l e D i s c l o s u r e : Among the s i g n i f i c a n t concerns t h a t a r i s e from a number of key cases b e f o r e the Board are those d e a l i n g with a cl a i m a n t ' s f i l e d i s c l o s u r e . Such cases are s a i d to have encountered r e s i s t a n c e from the WCB. T h i s p r a c t i c e of w i t h h o l d i n g from the compensation claimant i n f o r m a t i o n which i s i n h i s / h e r f i l e s a t the WCB has been going on f o r y e a r s . The reason why the WCB does not allow a c l a i m a n t to see a f i l e with i n f o r m a t i o n p e r t a i n i n g to h i s or her l i f e and h e a l t h has not been c o n v i n c i n g l y p r o v i d e d . Such a f i l e may c o n t a i n important i n f o r m a t i o n p e r t a i n i n g to a cl a i m a n t ' s case, and may be used f o r the purpose of pursuing or a p p e a l i n g to the Board of Review or the Board of Commissioners a d e c i s i o n of the WCB. I n a c c e s s i b i l i t y to i n f o r m a t i o n in a claimant f i l e has made i t d i f f i c u l t to use any evidence obtained from the clai m a n t ' s p h y s i c i a n or s p e c i a l i s t s to argue a case. Moreover, g i v i n g c l a i m s a d j u d i c a t o r s , other decision-making WCB o f f i c e r s , and Boards of Review, a l e s s c o n s t r i c t e d range i n e x p l a i n i n g d e c i s i o n s to cl a i m a n t s presumably would reduce the n e c e s s i t y f o r appeals and the preva l e n c e of d i s g r u n t l e d c l a i m a n t s , i n a d d i t i o n to g e n e r a t i n g an overdue atmosphere of good w i l l . Apart from the employers, o n l y the Compensation C o n s u l t a n t , Compensation C o u n s e l l o r , and Employers' Advisor are e n t i t l e d by s t a t u t e to examine and i n v e s t i g a t e a c l a i m a n t ' s f i l e . If (with r e s p e c t to the Con s u l t a n t and C o u n s e l l o r ) however, the claima n t seeks the counsel or r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of a labour union o f f i c e r , a caseworker or s o l i c i t o r , i t f o l l o w s t h a t the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e ' s job i s made u n n e c e s s a r i l y d i f f i c u l t by the v e i l of se c r e c y r e g a r d i n g the cl a i m a n t ' s f i l e . The e f f e c t of s e c t i o n 78(1) has been c h a r a c t e r i z e d by o r g a n i z e d labour as d r a c o n i a n ; the p r e v a i l i n g argument behind such secrecy remains one of the most un j u s t and unfounded aspect of the compensation scheme i n t h i s p rov i n c e (BCFL, 1981). Case #2 Napo l i vs WCB The Napoli case i s an example of how the f u l l weight of the law has been brought to bear upon the WCB f o r i t s p e r s i s t e n t v i o l a t i o n of the Workers' Compensation A c t . Although t h i s case r e p r e s e n t s a break-through f o r workers' r i g h t to access t h e i r own f i l e s , i t does not imply t o t a l a c c e s s . There are some b u r e a u c r a t i c r e s t r i c t i o n s t h a t workers must f a c e i n f i l i n g an appeal which, i f r e j e c t e d by the Board, can take months f o r the commissioners or the c o u r t s to hear. Since the B.C. Court of appeals d e c i s i o n i n Napole v s . Workers Compensation Board, (1981), 29 B.C.L.R. 371, the worker i s now e n t i t l e d to d i s c l o s u r e of the c l a i m f i l e f o r the purpose of pursuing or opposing an appeal . He or she now has the r i g h t to know the evidence on which the adverse d e c i s i o n was based and, t h e r e f o r e , has an o p p o r t u n i t y to c o r r e c t any f a l s e i n f o r m a t i o n , and to determine what evidence i s l a c k i n g or r e q u i r e s c l a r i f i c a t i o n , i n order to prepare f o r an appeal- The employer a l s o has access to r e l e v a n t f i l e m a t e r i a l . A Committee w i t h i n the WCB r e c e n t l y recommended changes i n the WCB's d i s c l o s u r e p r a c t i c e . The suggested changes i n c l u d e d i s c l o s u r e of c l a i m f i l e s to workers and employers a f t e r an appea1ab1e dec i s i o n i s made, but bef ore an appea1 i s f i1ed (Workers Compensation Reporter D e c i s i o n No. 410, 1987). T h i s would g i v e the worker or employer an o p p o r t u n i t y to review the r e l e v a n t evidence i n order to d e c i d e whether to appeal or seek a Manager - l e v e l Review. T h i s recommendation i s viewed as f a v o u r a b l e by o r g a n i s e d labour and the Ombudsman of B.C. However, org a n i s e d labour would l i k e to see a l l r e s t r i c t i o n s e v e n t u a l l y removed and a worker given f r e e access whether there i s an appealable d e c i s i o n or not. Some of the former committee's recommendations have been i n t e r p r e t e d by c r i t i c s as p r o b l e m a t i c . For example, the worker i s not given d i s c l o s u r e other than when an appealable d e c i s i o n i s made. T h i s p o l i c y prevents the worker from having d i s c l o s u r e of the; f i l e or when r e q u e s t i n g a r e c o n s i d e r a t i o n as s e t out in Reporter D e c i s i o n No. 29 and P o l i c y Manual. An e a r l i e r d e c i s i o n w i l l be r e c o n s i d e r e d i f there i s s i g n i f i c a n t new evidence i n d i c a t i n g t h a t a d e c i s i o n should be reached. The Board i s , however, more l i k e l y to reach a d i f f e r e n t c o n c l u s i o n i n t h i s type of case i f the new evidence was u n a v a i l a b l e p r e v i o u s l y than i f i t was a v a i l a b l e to the a p p l i c a n t before the o r i g i n a l d e c i s i o n (Reporter D e c i s i o n No. 9 ) . The Board's requirement t h a t evidence be new, means, i n the case of medical evidence t h a t , e i t h e r the medical f i n d i n g s or a new o p i n i o n based on those f i n d i n g s must be d i f f e r e n t from those a t the time of the o r i g i n a l d e c i s i o n , supported by new medical f i n d i n g s or a new op i n i o n as to the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the same f i n d i n g s ( P o l i c y Manual 108.11). In N apoli v s . Workers' Compensation Board, (1981), 27 B.C.L.R. 306, the Supreme Court f u r t h e r commented: Apparent l y , the W.C.B. i s prepared to l e t everyone e l s e i n v o l v e d i n these proceedings examine the p e t i t i o n e r ' s f i l e except the p e t i t i o n e r h i m s e l f . The compensation c o n s u l -t a n t has seen i t , counsel f o r the W.C.B. has seen i t , and now i t has been o f f e r e d to me. But the W.C.B. says t h a t under no c o n d i t i o n i s the p e t i t i o n e r to have a look at i t . And yet he i s the s u b j e c t of i t s c o n t e n t s . Reasonable access on request, i t i s argued, would have some important b e n e f i t s f o r the W.C.B. and c l a i m a n t s . Secrecy breeds s u s p i c i o n and a lack of confidence i n the system. Reasonable access on request would c o u n t e r a c t t h i s . The Ombudsman's r e p o r t notes t h a t reasonable access on request would have some important b e n e f i t s f o r the W.C.B. and c l a i m a n t s . There would a l s o be an inc r e a s e d understanding by c l a i m a n t s ; i t would p r o v i d e p o s i t i v e p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s f o r the W.C.B. as i t would be i n the vanguard promoting g r e a t e r access to inf o r m a t i o n f o r i n d i v i d u a l s ; and i t would c o n t r i b u t e toward improved a d j u d i c a t i o n (1981: 23). The reason given by the committee on f i l e d i s c l o s u r e f o r not d i s c l o s i n g f i l e s on request i s th a t " a l l o w i n g d i s c l o s u r e at any time would unduly hamper the a c t i v i t i e s of the Board's departments i n t h e i r r o u t i n e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n " ( i b i d . : 2 2 ) . A d m i n i s t r a t i v e d i f f i c u l t y , however, would seem to be an inadequate reason f o r the W.C.B. to r e s t r i c t f u l l a c cess to inf o r m a t i o n over matters which concern an i n d i v i d u a l ' s h e a l t h and income. The Federal Government appears to have r e s o l v e d any a d m i n i s t r a t i v e d i f f i c u l t i e s there may be i n a l l o w i n g c i t i z e n s to examine personal i n f o r m a t i o n or p r o v i d e copies of t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n pursuant to the P r i v a c y Act (Canada). " L i k e w i s e , the W.C.B. should be abl e to overcome any a d m i n i s t r a t i v e problems that d i s c l o s u r e on request would cause" ( i b i d . ) . The W.C.B. has the d i s c r e t i o n under the Act to pr o v i d e d i s c l o s u r e of cl a i m f i l e s to workers upon request, and there i s no p r e s s i n g reason not to do so. If d i s c l o s u r e were to i n t e r f e r e with or del a y a d e c i s i o n on the c l a i m , the worker could be informed of t h i s and thus have the o p t i o n of d e c i d i n g whether d i s c l o s u r e was worth the inconvenience (Ombudsman Report, 1981:22-23). ( i i ) Conf1i c t of Fun c t i on s The Commissioners of the Board are r e s p o n s i b l e f o r a d m i n i s t e r i n g the WCB. T h e i r scope of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n c l u d e s the p r o v i s i o n of cla i m s and r e h a b i l i t a t i o n , the management of the a c c i d e n t fund, the enforcement of o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y laws, and policy-making p o l i c i e s to guide WCB s t a f f i n the execution of t h e i r s t a t u t o r y mandate. However, the Board's r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s as an a p p e l l a t e t r i b u n a l on r e h a b i l i t a t i o n and claims d e c i s i o n s , which i n c l u d e appeals from S e c t i o n 31 of the Act and r e f e r r a l s of WCRB d e c i s i o n s under s e c t i o n S e c t i o n 96(2), has been the foc u s of cont r o v e r s y and debate. T h i s c o n t r o v e r s y stems from the f a c t t h a t s i n c e the enactment of B i l l 130 i n 1973, which p r o v i d e s the Board with the a u t h o r i t y to r e c o n s i d e r WCRB d e c i s i o n s , the Board's r o l e has become a source of c o n f l i c t of f u n c t i o n s . The Board o f t e n o v e r r i d e s d e c i s i o n s of the WCRB by pa s s i n g judgement on an appeal f o r compensation i t o r i g i n a l l y d i s a l l o w e d . The fo l l o w n g i s a c l a s s i c case of c o n f l i c t between the f u n c t i o n s of the Board and the WCRB. Case #3 Napoli v s . WCB The Napoli v s . Workers' Compensation Board (19815 case r e s u r f a c e s on the que s t i o n of c o n f l i c t of f u n c t i o n s among WCB Commissioners. According to the Ombudsman's r e p o r t , s i n c e the enactment of B i l l 130 i n 1973 the p r o v i s i o n f o r r e c o n s i d e r a t i o n of W.C.R.B. d e c i s i o n s by the W.C.B. has been the fo c u s of c o n s i d e r a b l e c o n t r o v e r s y and c r i t i c i s m s and debate. The c r i t i c i s m i s s a i d to apply with equal f o r c e to appeals of W.C.R.B. d e c i s i o n s to the Comrnisioners. In the Napoli v s . Workers' Compensation Board case the court-observed ' Instead, the appeal would be back to the W.C.B. i t s e l f . Then, the Commissioners, a c t i n g as the W.C.B., would hear an appeal from the board of review. The worker would be the only other p a r t y to the proceedings. H i s o p p o s i t e number at the board of review l e v e l , i . e . the W.C.B. would become h i s judge on h i s a p p e a l . That does not seem to make much sense ( I b i d . 47). The W.C.B. has long r e c o g n i s e d the c r i t i c i s m of i t s power to reconsider W.C.R.B. decisions and has made attempts to meet that criticism. Reporter Decision 280 states the following: Since Decision No. 60, several arguments have been advanced against the Board's power and right to define the jurisdiction of the boards of review. In general, it has been suggested that to exercise such a power is to curtail the power of the board of review itself, either in fact or by giving the appearance that the Board controls what- purports to be an independent body. In short, by defining the jurisdiction the Board might well defeat the the purpose of the legislation establishing the appeals process. The alternative would be that the board of review could define its own jurisdi-ction and, in doing so, could assume power to make decisions in relation to certain Board functions which were clearly not intended when Section 76B was enacted. It might be contended that the board of review would have no reason to involve itself in decisions related to, for example, the Board's physical plant or personnel policies, would be precluded from doing so in any event by the wording of the Act, and would therefore prescribe its own 1 i ITI i t-5 (Ibid. 47-48 ) . The W.C.B. went on to consider that the definition of the jurisdiction of the boards of review was a reasonable exercise of the W.C.B.'s duty to define the limits of any process under Part I of the Act. The Ombudsman Report notes that while the Commissioners have expressed concern that an independent W.C.R.B. might make decisions outside its intended jurisdictional envelope, for example, concerning W.C.B. personnel policies, the principal concern appears to be that expressed in Reporter Decision 136, i.e., that the Commissioners are vested with the overall responsibility to determine claims policy and to ensure its consistent application. That rationale was sometimes necessary to "modify" board of review decisions (ibid). 63 In h i s report, on the U.C.B., the Ombudsman contends t h a t "while few would argue t h a t the W.C.B. should s e t p o l i c y and th a t the W.C.R.B. should be bound thereby, i t i s not c o n v i n c i n g that the best way to ensure W.C.R.B. adherence to p o l i c y i s by l e a v i n g the f i n a l decision-making power i n i n d i v i d u a l cases with the W.C.B." He b e l i e v e s t h a t i t i s c o n t r a r y to the p r i n c i p l e s of f a i r n e s s to v e s t the power to review appeal d e c i s i o n s i n the o r i g i n a l decision-maker. C e r t a i n l y , i f there i s not an a c t u a l b i a s i n favour of the o r i g i n a l d e c i s i o n , such a scheme p r o v i d e s the foundation f o r a reasonable apprehension of b i a s . T h i s a p p l i e s to a l l reviews of W.C.R.B. d e c i s i o n s , whether by way of appeal or r e f e r r a l ( I b i d . : 4 8 ) . ( i i i ) Burden of Proof Complaints t h a t o f t e n come before the Ombudsman concern cases that r e q u i r e a claimant to pro v i d e the W.C.B. with proof of a work-related i l l n e s s or i n j u r y . One such case i s Mrs. Hanney v s . Workers' Compensation Board. According to the Ombudsman's S p e c i a l Report, the medical p r o f e s s i o n has long recognized that back pain can prove to be extremely f r u s t r a t i n g f o r both p a t i e n t s and t h e i r p h y s i c i a n s ; the pain can come to dominate a p a t i e n t ' s l i f e , and the reason f o r the pain can o f t e n elude d i a g n o s i s . The best-medical treatment a v a i l a b l e cannot- always guarantee r e l i e f . Case # 4 - Mrs Hanney v s . WCB The Mrs. Hanney case i s d e s c r i b e d as a c l a s s i c a l example of an i n d i v i d u a l caught in the above dilemma. She had been a p r a c t i c a l nurse f o r three years with no h i s t o r y of back problems u n t i l 1975 when she f e l l w hile l i f t i n g a heavy p a t i e n t , s u f f e r i n g a p a i n f u l and severe back s p r a i n i n the p r o c e s s . For the next year she was to have r e c e i v e d wage l o s s b e n e f i t s as she was unable to r e t u r n to work. During t h i s p e r i o d she r e c e i v e d c o n s e r v a t i v e treatment as x-rays and myleograms d i d not r e v e a l any c o n d i t i o n that would warrant s u r g i c a l i n t e r v e n t i o n . In 1976 she r e g i s t e r e d f o r a h a i r d r e s s i n g course, i n an attempt to change to a l e s s strenuous o c c u p a t i o n . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , the p a i n was s t i l l so severe that she was unable to complete the course, and s h o r t l y t h e r e a f t e r she was examined by the Board f o r a permanent pension award. While no p h y s i c i a n questioned the genuineness of her p a i n , and the reason f o r i t s onset seemed obvious, the Board chose to r e l y upon the lack of any concrete d i a g n o s i s as an i n d i c a t i o n t h a t her impairment was not s i g n i f i c a n t enough to warrant a pension (Ombudsman's S p e c i a l Report, 1984: 10). A f t e r s e v e r a l years of d i f f e r e n t treatments, i n c l u d i n g surgery in 1978, Mrs. Hanney was s t i l l without e i t h e r r e l i e f or d i a g n o s i s f o r her problem. Her own p h y s i c i a n s a l l agreed, however, th a t her back pain was genuine, severe, and r e l a t e d to and caused by her work i n j u r y of 1975. Nonetheless, her c l a i m has been c o n s i s t e n t l y r e f u s e d on the grounds t h a t she has been unable to p r o v i d e any c o n c l u s i v e , o b j e c t i v e proof t h a t her d i s a b i l i t y was caused by t h a t i n j u r y . In 1978 she was turned down by the boards of review. In 1979, her request f o r a Medical Review Panel was r e f u s e d on the grounds that no medical d i s p u t e e x i s t e d . In 1980, her appeal to the Commisssioners was denied. Mrs. Hanney has been unable to pr o v i d e the c o n c l u s i v e proof r e q u i r e d by the Board because c u r r e n t medical knowledge i s simply not a b l e to. g i v e a s p e c i f i c reason f o r her p a i n . Thus, the Board's standards p l a c e her i n the imp o s s i b l e p o s i t i o n of having to p r o v i d e i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t does not e x i s t ( I b i d . 2 1 1 ) . The Ombudsman has t h e r e f o r e proposed to the Board a sequence of p r e r e q u i s i t e s that c o u l d be con s i d e r e d f o r a p p l i c a t i o n i n cases such as Mrs. Hanney's: 1. The worker has s u f f e r e d a compensable work i n j u r y which a f f e c t s a p a r t of the body not p r e v i o u s l y the cause of compla i n t s . 2. There i s no evidence of a p r e - e x i s t i n g c o n d i t i o n , e i t h e r p s y c h o l o g i c a l or p h y s i c a l , which accounts f o r the c o n t i n u i n g c o n d i t i o n . 3. The c o n d i t i o n i s continuous from time of i n j u r y and no i n t e r v e n i n g f a c t o r s account f o r i t . ( I b i d . : 1 1 - 1 2 ) . If a l l these f a c t o r s are met, the worker should be e l i g i b l e f o r a p e n s i o n . In s i t u a t i o n s with any r e s i d u a l ambiguity, the Ombudsman has recommended that the Commissioners apply S e c t i o n 99 of the Workers' Compensation Act which reads as f o l l o w s : The Board i s not bound to f o l l o w l e g a l precedent. I t s d e c i s i o n s h a l l be given a c c o r d i n g to the m e r i t s and j u s t i c e of the case and, where there i s doubt on an i s s u e and the d i s p u t e d p o s s i b i l i t i e s are evenly balanced, the i s s u e s h a l l be r e s o l v e d i n accordance with the p o s s i b i l i t y which i s f a v o u r a b l e to the worker ( I b i d . : 1 2 ) . However, the Ombudsman f e l t t h a t the Commissioners d i d not agree with e i t h e r one of h i s p r o p o s a l s . They argue t h a t he was merely attempting to s u b s t i t u t e h i s weighing of the evidence f o r t h e i r s . He mentions t h a t by p l a c i n g an impossible burden of proof upon Mrs. Hanney, the Commissioners were u n j u s t l y denying her c l a i m s . Walter F l e t c h e r , former WCB Chairman from 1984 to 1986, i s quoted as having s a i d t h a t a d e c i s i o n of the Supreme Court of B r i t i s h Columbia on Mrs. Hanney's case confirmed the Board's p o s i t i o n . The Ombudsman would d i s a g r e e . In 1981 the Court decided t h a t , as the Board's d e c i s i o n not to award compensation to Mrs. Hanney "was not a pe r v e r s e d e c i s i o n , " the Board was a c t i n g w i t h i n i t s j u r i s d i c t i o n , and the cou r t c o u l d thus not i n t e r v e n e . T h i s was not a d e c i s i o n on the me r i t s of Mrs. Hanney's c l a i m ( I b i d . :12-13> . The Ombudsman's S p e c i a l Report concludes with the o b s e r v a t i o n s that there are very few grounds upon which j u d i c i a l review of a Board d e c i s i o n i s p o s s i b l e , and t h a t the c o u r t ' s judgement i s a r e f l e c t i o n of i t s l i m i t e d j u r i s d i c t i o n r a t h e r than the v a l i d i t y of Mrs. Hanney's c l a i m . The Ombudsman b e l i e v e s that, the Board ought to a s p i r e to a higher standard i n i t s d e c i s i o n s , such as having f a i r , correct, and j u s t d e c i s i o n s , not d e c i s i o n s merely based on an absence of p e r v e r s i t y ( I b i d . : 13). ( i v ) B.C. Supreme Court r u l i n g s on WCB cases Other c l a i m s cases demonstrate a c o n s i s t e n t WCB p a t t e r n of r e f u s i n g to implement Workers' Compensation Review Board d e c i s i o n s . Once a claim a n t has exhausted a l l the avenues of appeal a t the WCB (see t a b l e 1), he or she tu r n s to the W.C. Review Board which i s independent from the WCB. The Review Board operates l i k e an appeal c o u r t f o r i n j u r e d workers who are unhappy with WCB r u l i n g s . As an independent appeal mechanism, the Review Board has made a number of r u l i n g s f a v o u r a b l e to the worker and unfavourable to the WCB. In t u r n , the WCB has responded by suspending payments pending appeals, a 15 - year o l d p r a c t i c e . T h i s has prompted c l a i m a n t s to launch a l e g a l c h a l l e n g e demanding compensation f o r workplace i n j u r i e s . For i n s t a n c e , s e v e r a l B.C. Supreme Court r u l i n g s have i n d i c a t e d t hat the WCB acted o u t s i d e i t s j u r i s d i c t i o n when i t overturned Workers' Compensation Review Board d e c i s i o n s . Among the rec e n t court-c h a l l e n g e s i s the Franco Guadagni case which won two appeals to the Review Board r e l a t e d to h i s c l a i m s , y e t the Commissioners of the WCB r e f u s e d to implement the d e c i s i o n s . In t h i s case, the Supreme Court judge wrote t h a t : "The law c l e a r l y o b l i g e s the board to f o r t h w i t h implement a f i n d i n g of the review board, even i f a f u r t h e r appeal to the Commissioners i s taken by the worker or the employer" (The Sun, March 18,1988!). The judge f u r t h e r d e c l a r e d that even i f the board d e c i s i o n i s l a t e r o v e r r u l e d by the WCB commissioners, a l l b e n e f i t s granted by the review board " w i l l remain the p r o p e r t y " of the claima n t ( I b i d . ) . T h i s d e c i s i o n i s seen by o r g a n i s e d labor as the f o u r t h i n a s e r i e s of Supreme Court r u l i n g s i n just- over a year t h a t r e p r e s e n t an indictment of the WCB a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . Case # 5 Banks vs WCB In another case, a co u r t c h a l l e n g e was made by lawyer J u d i t h Lee on behalf of Harmac M i l l worker B r i a n Banks, who i n j u r e d h i s ankle a t work on October 28, 1987. H i s doctor had diagnosed s p r a i n and estimated a temporary t o t a l d i s a b i l i t y of seven to 14 days. F o l l o w i n g d e l i b e r a t i o n s over the arguments of the case, 74 the B.C. Supreme Court J u s t i c e R e g i n a l d Gibbs overturned the Workers' Compensation Board p r a c t i c e of suspending benefit-payments pending a p p e a l . T h i s WCB p r a c t i c e i s s a i d to date from a d e c i s i o n of the Commissioners made December 11, 1973 when they r u l e d t h a t s i n c e the s t a t u t e was s i l e n t on the matter of suspension d u r i n g appeal, they c o u l d do i t "as a matter of a d m i n i s t r a t i v e p r a c t i c e . " T h e i r r e s o l u t i o n i n d i c a t e s t h a t there was concern about r e c o v e r i n g monies p a i d out i f the employer's appeal was s u c c e s s f u l (The Sun. March 30,1938). But "the commissioners f e l l i n t o an unreasonable e r r o r of law," J u s t i c e R e g i n a l d Gibbs r u l e d . The WBC responded by arguing t h a t the c l a i m a n t , B r i a n Banks, had to exhaust- h i s appeals to the Board b e f o r e he co u l d come bef o r e the c o u r t , but Just-ice Gibbs r u l e d o t h e r w i s e . He i s quoted as having s a i d t h a t the Commissioners' e r r o r brought about "the very e v i l they spoke o f , namely, d e l a y , p r o c r a s t i n a t i o n and expense, thereby thwarting one of the fundamental purposes of the Act" ( I b i d . ) . In an e a r l i e r but s i m i l a r case i n v o l v i n g the WCB p o l i c y of suspending payments to a claimant i f an employer f i l e d an appeal to the WCB review board, Joseph Kolman, a plumber who o r i g i n a l l y r e c e i v e d $466,917 from the WCB f o r work-related i n j u r i e s s u f f e r e d in 1981 and 1982 and had the award r o l l e d back by the Board's i n t e r n a l a u d i t o r s , c h a l l e n g e d the WCB b e f o r e the B.C. Supreme Court. The b a s i s of Mr. Kolman's c h a l l e n g e was t h a t the Commisioners had v i o l a t e d the law by r e f u s i n g to implement the W.C. Review Board d e c i s i o n i n h i s favour (The Sun. October 31, 1387). The B.C. Supreme Court r u l e d t h a t the Board acted o u t s i d e i t s j u r i s d i c t i o n when they overturned the WCB Board of Review d e c i s i o n and ordered that i t pay back the compensation o r i g i n a l l y granted Mr. Kolman. The i m p l i c a t i o n of these Supreme Court d e c i s i o n s have not only c r e a t e d a p u b l i c o u t c r y a g a i n s t the poor q u a l i t y of a d m i n i s t e r i n g workers' compensation in t h i s province? they have a f f e c t e d over twenty c l a i m f i l e s and backpayments the Board has had to implement. E(. P o l i c y O r i e n t a t i o n of the WCB toward Worker S a f e t y and A c c i d e n t / H e a l t h Hazard P r e v e n t i o n The purpose of t h i s s e c t i o n i s to examine the o r i e n t a t i o n of WCB p o l i c y i n the area of worker s a f e t y and h e a l t h hazard p r e v e n t i o n . A d e s c r i p t i o n of the Workers' Compensation Act as i t a p p l i e s to o c c u p a t i o n a l d i s e a s e along with i t s impact on workers are a n a l y s e d , and a d i s t i n c t i o n between o c c u p a t i o n a l a c c i d e n t (or i n j u r y ) and o c c u p a t i o n a l d i s e a s e i s p r o v i d e d . A f t e r examining problems a s s o c i a t e d with e s t a b l i s h i n g cause in o c c u p a t i o n a l d i s e a s e cases, the s e c t i o n concludes with a look a t o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y l e g i s l a t i o n and s e r v i c e s i n other European c o u n t r i e s . The WCB p o l i c y on s a f e t y and h e a l t h p r e v e n t i o n i s d e f i n e d i n accordance with the Workers' Compensation A c t . S e c t i o n 1 of the Act d e f i n e s o c c u p a t i o n a l d i s e a s e as " i n d u s t r i a l d i s e a s e " , which i s "... any d i s e a s e mentioned i n Schedule B and any d i s e a s e which the Board by r e g u l a t i o n or otherwise may d e s i g n a t e or r e c o g n i s e as an i n d u s t r i a l d i s e a s e , and ' d i s e a s e ' i n c l u d e s disablement resulting from exposure to contamination". Subsequently, in this report, the term occupational disease is used because it has broader implications. The term "industrial" has a narrower focus, usually not including services, clerical work, salespersons, and many other blue- and white-collar employees. Section 6 (1) of the Workers' Compensation Act provides for payments of compensation for occupational disease where "the disease is due to the nature of any employment in which the worker was employed". There are, therefore, two significant requirements to be satisfied before a claim is accepted. The first is that the condition is classified as an "occupational disease", and the second is that it must be caused by the c1aimant's work. On the other hand, Schedule B is a description of the process or industry where the disease is contracted. The significance of the schedule is that it represents the only points in the legal system which recognises a work process or industry as being causative of certain diseases. In all other cases, the onus is on the worker to prove cause or association of disease with industry. However the restrictive nature of the schedule and the complicated process involved in claiming compensation explains the meagre record of disability awards (Hardwick, 1980: 3!) . There are therefore two significant requirements to be satisfied before a claim is accepted. The first is that the condition is classified as an "occupational disease" and the second is that it must be caused by the claimant's work. Schedule B (Appendix 1) i s the f i r s t p l a c e where one u s u a l l y looks to determine i f the d i s e a s e i s an o c c u p a t i o n a l d i s e a s e . However, the l i s t of d i s e a s e s i n t h a t schedule i s not ex h a u s t i v e , as one can see i n Appendix I c i t e d above. T h e r e f o r e , a c c o r d i n g to the Workers' Compensation A c t , d i s e a s e other than those l i s t e d i n schedule B may a l s o be compensated as o c c u p a t i o n a l d i s e a s e s . Thus, the omission of a d i s e a s e from Schedule B does not n e c e s s a r i l y mean th a t no compensation i s payable. There are b a s i c a l l y two ways i n which the Board r e c o g n i z e s o c c u p a t i o n a l d i s e a s e other than under Schedule B. One method i s f o r the Board to adopt a r e g u l a t i o n s p e c i f y i n g a d i s e a s e as an " i n d u s t r i a l d i s e a s e " . Such a r e g u l a t i o n a p p l i e s to a l l cl a i m s made by workers with t h a t d i s e a s e . A c c o r d i n g to the Board's p u b l i s h e d d e c i s i o n s in the Workers' Compensation Reporter s e r i e s , there were seventeen d i s e a s e s recognized i n t h i s way which are l i s t e d i n D e c i s i o n No. 93 (W.B.C. of B.C. Reporter S e r i e s , D e c i s i o n No. 93, 1974: 4 ) . D e c i s i o n No. 94 CW.C B.. of B.C. Reporter S e r i e s , 94, 1974: 5) a l s o d e s c r i b e s a procedure f o r r e c o g n i z i n g f u r t h e r d i s e a s e s by t h i s method. T h i s procedure was f o l l o w e d , f o r example, i n D e c i s i o n No. 123 (W.C.B. of B.C. Reporter S e r i e s No. 128, 1975: 126) by which b r o n c h i t i s and emphysema were re c o g n i z e d as " i n d u s t r i a l d i s e a s e " in c e r t a i n s i t u a t i o n s . The second method i s f o r the Board to recog n i z e a di s e a s e i n a p a r t i c u l a r case. A c l a i m may be accepted f o r any d i s e a s e by t h i s method, but the r e c o g n i t i o n does not normally extend beyond the p a r t i c u l a r c l a i m i n which i t took p l a c e . I t i s a l s o important to d i f f e r e n t i a t e between o c c u p a t i o n a l a c c i d e n t (or injury.) and o c c u p a t i o n a l d i s e a s e . The main d i f f e r e n c e i s u s u a l l y the length and nature of the exposure: o c c u p a t i o n a l a c c i d e n t i s i n general a traumatic i n c i d e n t of sudden onset (exposure time i s from p a r t s of a second to a few seconds), whereas QD's are u s u a l l y caused by exposures which l a s t weeks, months or years but which can sometimes l a s t only a few hours ( A s h f o r d , 1976). T h i s r e f e r s to the ' l a t e n c y p e r i o d * e f f e c t of some cancers or d i s e a s e s and i t means t h a t i f the worker changes jobs b e f o r e d i s e a s e onset, i t i s up to him/her to prove the f i r s t job caused the d i s e a s e . T y p i c a l examples of the former type OD's a r e : n o i s e - i n d u c e d h e a r i n g l o s s e s , pneumoconiosis, Farmers' Lung, lead p o i s o n i n g . Examples of OD's caused by r e l a t i v e l y s h o r t exposures are p o i s o n i n g s caused by a few hours' exposure to organic s o l v e n t s or r e s p i r a t o r y i r r i t a t i o n cases caused by a few minutes to s e v e r a l hours of exposure . to ammonia, s u l f u r or c h l o r i n e . E x c e p t i o n s to the general r u l e a r e , f o r example, welders' f l a s h and chemical burns, both of which are caused by an exposure of some seconds, but which are c l a s s i f i e d as an o c c u p a t i o n a l d i s e a s e . Thus, there i s no c l e a r d i s t i n c t i o n between o c c u p a t i o n a l a c c i d e n t (or i n j u r y ) and d i s e a s e ; one has to see t h i s grouping as a r e s u l t of n a t u r a l development, in which work r e l a t e d s i c k n e s s e s are c l a s s i f i e d as o c c u p a t i o n a l i n j u r y or d i s e a s e , depending on i t s o r i g i n : " i n j u r y " , i f t e n o s y n o v i t i s i s caused by a contusion ( h i t ) ; and " d i s e a s e " , i f i t i s caused by r e p e t i t i v e motion. However, in t h i s example, the length of exposure i s p a r t of a second; i n the l a t t e r case, i t i s hours, days o r r weeks. In t h i s i n s t a n c e , some cases are s a i d t o be hard f o r a worker to prove. For example, Hardwick argues t h a t a worker who has been performing the same .job f o r ten years and has, over t h a t time, developed t e n o s y n o v i t i s , w i l l f i n d i t more d i f f i c u l t to prove cause as he/she cannot- say he/she was unaccustomed to the job i f he/she has been doing i t f o r ten y e a r s . Thus the very c o n d i t i o n s which produce the d i s e a s e , pre-empt any c l a i m f o r c ompen sa t- i on ( 1981 :5) . Desp i t e t h i s r e s t r i c t i o n to Schedule B, i t d e s c r i b e s o n l y Occupational Diseases which are caused by p h y s i c a l , , chemical or b i o l o g i c a l agents, which i s the i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y used exposure c l a s s i f i c a t i o n (Workers' Compensation A c t , 1979, Zenc,1980, Zenc, 1975). In recent y e a r s , there has been much d i s c u s s i o n of work-r e l a t e d d i s e a s e s caused by mental s t r e s s , i n c l u d i n g cancers a s s o c i a t e d with v i n y l c h l o r i d e , b i s c h l o r o m e t h y l e t h e r , wood d u s t s , p e s t i c i d e s , e t c . , which do not show up i n l i s t s of compensated OD's i n B.C. or elsewhere (Workers Health Group, 1980). In comparison to B.C., O n t a r i o has l e g i s l a t i o n concerning h e a l t h and s a f e t y i n the work p l a c e (Malcolmson, 1982). T h i s i s i n c l u d e d i n B i l l 70, "The Occupational Health and S a f e t y A c t " , which took e f f e c t i n the p r o v i n c e from the beginning of 1979 (Malcolmson, 1982, Occupational Health and S a f e t y A c t , 1978). The Act i s q u i t e comprehensive and i t i s comparable with l e g i s l a t i o n i n Sweden and i n F i n l a n d (Malcolmson, 1982, World Health O r g a n i z a t i o n , 1982: 34). The O n t a r i o Act brought together the o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y p r o v i s i o n s from a v a r i e t y of s t a t u t e s and then amalgamated i n the M i n i s t r y of Labour the a d m i n i s t r a t i v e and r e g u l a t o r y f u n c t i o n s concerning o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y . A l s o , i t pro v i d e d the framework of p r e v e n t i v e o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h a c t i v i t i e s by l e g i s l a t i n g workers' and managements' p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n these a c t i v i t i e s a t the work-place l e v e l . The O n t a r i o Act can be considered to be a c l e a r , l e g i s l a t i v e statement of o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y p o l i c y , but i n s p i t e of i t s many improvements, i t i s s t i l l not a model f o r o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h s e r v i c e s (OHS) as d e f i n e d by the World Health O r g a n i z a t i o n (WHO) (see i n t r o d u c t i o n ) . One can conclude from the above t h a t i f even the most re c e n t o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y l e g i s l a t i o n does not i n c l u d e an OHS p o l i c y , one cannot expect comprehensive l e g i s l a t i o n concerning OHS i n any other Canadian p r o v i n c e or t e r r i t o r y (Canadian Employment S a f e t y and Health Guide, 1982). A l b e r t a and Saskatchewan have l e g i s l a t i o n r e g a r d i n g medical examination (pre-employment and p e r i o d i c a l ) of workers exposed to some s p e c i f i c harmful agents. O n t a r i o a l s o has a proposal concerning medical examinations i n s p e c i f i c exposures, but i t has not- been promulgated, as i s the case with B.C.'s S e c t i o n 78 i n WCB's Health and S a f e t y R e g u l a t i o n s (Canadian Employment S a f e t y and Health Guide, 1982, W.C.B., 1980). A f u r t h e r c o m p l i c a t i o n i n i n d u s t r i a l d i s e a s e cases i s t h a t compensation boards g e n e r a l l y do not p u b l i s h the d i a g n o s t i c c r i t e r i a used i n making d e c i s i o n s on i n d u s t r i a l d i s e a s e c l a i m s . Thus i t i s d i f f i c u l t to monitor c o n s i s t e n c i e s or i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s i n c l a i m awards and to prepare f u t u r e cases. Ison i s c i t e d by Hardwick (1981) f o r arguing t h a t q u i t e r i g o r o u s use i s made of Schedule B i n the a d j u d i c a t i o n of i n d u s t r i a l d i s e a s e c l a i m s . In add :i. t i on , he has a r gued th a t : On any qu e s t i o n of employment c a u s a t i o n , there appears to be a widespread f e e l i n g i n the medical p r o f e s s i o n that the absence of p i o s i t i v e data r e q u i r e s a n e g a t i v e assumption. U n c e r t a i n t y about the cause of a d i s e a s e can, t h e r e f o r e , lead a u t o m a t i c a l l y to the d e n i a l of a c l a i m without any intermediate r e f e r e n c e to the e v i d e n t i a r y c r i t e r i a p r e s c r i b e d by law ( I b i d . : 5 ) . Apart from Workers' Compensation claims there i s no r e c o r d i n g of i n d u s t r i a l d i s e a s e s t a t i s t i c s i n Canada. As a matter of p o l i c y , the Workers' Compensation Board i s known to p r o v i d e two main s e r v i c e s ; namely, c l a i m s and r e h a b i l i t a t i o n , which i s the main task, and p r e v e n t i o n , which i s the o t h e r . But-ac c o r d i n g to numerous p u b l i c r e p o r t s , d e s p i t e numerous Royal Commissions on Workers' Compensation i n B.C. which have s t r e s s e d the importance of pr e v e n t i o n s e r v i c e s , t h i s area remains n e g l e c t e d ( i b i d . : 6 ) . A major problem i n B.C. i s th a t there are many government agencies i n v o l v e d i n o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y because of the s c a t t e r e d l e g i s l a t i o n : WCB and the M i n i s t r i e s of Labour, Health and Environment (McKenzie, WC A c t ) . These v a r i o u s government agencies c o n t r i b u t e to the fragmentation and redundancy of o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h p r a c t i c e , e.g. replacement and p e r i o d i c h e a l t h examinations and i d e n t i f y i n g h e a l t h hazards a t i n d i v i d u a l work p l a c e s , which are the c e n t r a l p r e v e n t a t i v e a c t i v i t i e s of OHS. Front the i n t e r n a t i o n a l p e r s p e c t i v e , i t i s worth mentioning t h a t , in s o c i a l i s t c o u n t r i e s , OHS are more or l e s s an i n t e g r a l p a r t ( s t a t u t o r y ) of h e a l t h s e r v i c e s i n general ( i n the S o v i e t Union, OHS are i n t e g r a t e d i n t o the whole HS-system f o r the adult-p o p u l a t i o n , i n c l u d i n g both d i a g n o s t i c and treatment s e r v i c e s ) . In F i n l a n d , France, the F e d e r a l Republic of Germany and I t a l y , t here are comprehensive, p r e v e n t i v e OHS Acts i n e f f e c t (The F i n n i s h O c c u p a t i o n a l A c t , 1978, WHO, 1978). The OHS l e g i s l a t i o n i n these? l a t t e r c o u n t r i e s i s q u i t e new (except i n France, 1946), s t a r t i n g from Germany's Act i n 1974 and ending with I t a l y ' s i n 1980. The emphasis i n the OHS l e g i s l a t i o n i n these c o u n t r i e s i s on the p r e v e n t i o n of 0D,s although some d i a g n o s t i c and treatment a c t i v i t i e s a t the primary care l e v e l are made p o s s i b l e or recommended in connection with the OHS and are p r o v i d e d by the OH p e r s o n n e l . C. C r i t i q u e s of the WCB decision-making and p o l i c y f o r m u l a t i o n A major c r i t i q u e of the Board's decision-making and p o l i c y f o r m u l a t i o n process begins with the gains t h a t the labour movement l o s t s i n c e the S o c i a l C r e d i t government came i n t o p o l i t i c a l power i n 1975. Four i n s t a n c e s of t h i s d e t e r i o r a t i o n i n the q u a l i t y of s e r v i c e s p r o v i d e d by the WCB has been recorded by the C o n f e d e r a t i o n of Canadian Unions (CCU) , which r e p r e s e n t s 14000 workers in s i x a f f i l i a t e unions: (a) The f i r i n g of former WCB chairman Terence I son. (b) The appointment of the management o f c o n s u l -t a n t f i r m of P.S. Ross to review the WCB -the f i r m ' s e x p e r t i s e l i e s with the bu s i n e s s community, not a workers* body. (c) The h i r i n g of a c t u a r i e s E c k l e r , Brown Segal Company L i m i t e d to i n v e s t i g a t e WCB f i n a n c e , in a d d i t i o n to an o u t s i d e actuary a l r e a d y employed by the board, can only mean one t h i n g - a waste of tax-payers money. (d) A riewpaper ad. f o r a new chairman sought to h i r e a busi n e s s e x e c u t i v e who co u l d do good p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s work and would make c o s t - c u t t i n g a p r i o r i t y ( P r o v i n c e , A p r i l 23, 1976> . The I n t e r n a t i o n a l Woodworkers of America CIWA) l a t e r j o i n e d i n the condemnation of the Socred government and employer groups bent on d e s t r o y i n g the WCB. The IWA, B.C.*s l a r g e s t union l e d by Jack Munro as p r e s i d e n t , noted i n a 40 - page b r i e f i t submitted to the then labour m i n i s t e r , A l l e n W i l l i a m s , t h a t f o r the last-ten months v a r i o u s employer groups have been a p p l y i n g enough pr e s s u r e to have p r o g r e s s i v e p r e v e n t i o n programs s h e l v e d , people f i r e d , review board d e c i s i o n s r e v e r s e d , and a "myriad of other t h i n g s , a l l f o r the sake of s a v i n g few d o l l a r s " ( P r o v i n c e . Nov. 30, 1976) . Since the org a n i s e d labour campaign t h a t s t a r t e d i n the l a t e 1970s to stop an e r o s i o n of workers' compensation gains made under the p r e v i o u s NDP government, other i n t e r e s t groups (employers, advocate groups, p o l i t i c i a n s , e t c . ) have condemned the WCB r e c o r d as flawed with s e r i o u s s t r u c t u r a l and a d m i n i s t r a t i v e problems. In numerous submissions to the M i n i s t e r of Labour, the B.C. F e d e r a t i o n of Labour (B.C.F.L.) has complained t h a t there i s no c o n s i s t e n t , d i r e c t access to the Board by the labor movement., and no method whereby p o l i c y recommendations can be f u l l y d i s c u s s e d r e g a r d i n g such concerns as a c c o u n t a b i l i t y , power of the chairman, the r o l e of the commissioners, and p o l i t i c a l i n t e r f e r e n c e by the S o c i a l Credit-government . ( i .") Accountabi 1 i ty : The i s s u e of a c c o u n t a b i l i t y i s a t the core of labour's concerns with the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of the Board i n a v a r i e t y of ways. Commissioners are not chosen by t h e i r p r i n c i p a l s , so they do not r e p r e s e n t t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e communities of i n t e r e s t . T h e r e f o r e , there i s no a c c o u n t a b i l i t y to the communities which they are supposed to r e p r e s e n t . "Regardless how 'good' the labour commissioner i s , he or she becomes submerged w i t h i n the WCB o r g a n i z a t i o n . There i s no formal way t h a t the labour movement can r e g u l a r l y exchange views or ideas with the 'labour' commissioner who, at the o u t s e t , i s a m i n o r i t y under the present set-up. More i m p o r t a n t l y , t h e r e i s no c o n s i s t e n t , direct- access to the Board by the labour movement, and no method whereby p o l i c y recommendations can be f u l l y d i s c u s s e d and implemented" (BCFL, 1937: 1). The present a d v i s o r y or c o n s u l t a t i v e process leaves the labour movement with no decision-making a u t h o r i t y or r e a l i n f l u e n c e over the workers * compensation system. The r e s u l t s from c o n s u l t a t i v e committees or meetings are o f t e n ignored and are used to j u s t i f y predetermined p o l i c y changes ( I b i d ) . (a) Access to worker f i l e s Quest ions about the a c c o u n t a b i l i t y of the WCB have been piosed p e r s i s t e n t l y by i t s c r i t i c s . They argue that there i s ample evidence to prove that the WCB i s accountable not to the workers but to the employers. Among such concerns about a c c o u n t a b i l i t y i s the i s s u e of se c r e c y surrounding workers* f i l e s a t the WCB,, According to a Co n f e d e r a t i o n of Canadian Unions, B.C. C o u n c i l : Who are they s e c r e t from? Not from the Claims A d j u d i c a t o r who makes the c l a i m d e c i s i o n ; not from the D i s a b i l i t y Award O f f i c e r who makes the pension d e c i s i o n ; not from the Medical Advice; not from the R e h a b i l i t a t i o n C o n s u l t a n t who helps workers r e h a b i l i t a t e themselves; not from the Commisioners i f the c l a i m i s r e f e r r e d or appealed; not from the Workers' Advisor i f the worker seeks a d v i c e - the only people i n t e r e s t e d i n the f i l e who are denied direct-access to i t are union or l e g a l r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s £ 1980 , Apri1 9: 73 . T h i s p o l i c y of denying workers' access to t h e i r own f i l e s , even though they have a l e g a l right- of a c c e s s , has r e c e n t l y been m o d i f i e d . A c c o r d i n g to Blake W i l l i a m s of the M i n i s t r y of Labour's Independent Review Board, a worker can now o b t a i n access to medical i n f o r m a t i o n through an appealable d e c i s i o n . T h i s does not imply complete a c c e s s , but means that- a worker can appeal f o r spec i f i c i n f ormat ion . The s u b j e c t of d i s c l o s u r e i s a s s o c i a t e d with the WCB f e a r t h a t such d i s c l o s u r e would lead to the exposure of embarrassing d e t a i l s and i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s on how the medical r e p o r t s of workers are compiled. These concerns range from c o n f i d e n t i a l i n f o r m a t i o n on who i s e n t i t l e d to compensation and who i s not, how d e c i s i o n s in p r o c e s s i n g a c l a i m are a r r i v e d a t , the use of derogatory and inflammatory language, e t c . Moreover, the automatic r i g h t of access of employers' to a worker's f i l e has been v i g o r o u s l y c h a l l e n g e d by o r g a n i z e d labour due to the f e a r t h a t i t w i l l be used as a b a s i s to terminate workers' jobs and pension b e n e f i t s . ( i i !> Hea 1 th and Saf e ty Regu 1 a t i ons As f a r as these r e g u l a t i o n s are concerned, one area where WCB a c c o u n t a b i l i t y has been p<ut to the t e s t i s the I n d u s t r i a l Health and S a f e t y R e g u l a t i o n s which were formulated by h o l d i n g p u b l i c h e a r i n g s , s o l i c i t i n g and r e c e i v i n g b r i e f s from employers, unions and the R e g u l a t i o n A d v i s o r y Committee, reviewing past c l a i m s , and s u r v e y i n g the r e l e v a n t l i t e r a t u r e from other j u r i s d i c t i o n s . The R e g u l a t i o n A d v i s o r y Committee was composed of subcommittees e s t a b l i s h e d f o r each s e c t i o n of the R e g u l a t i o n s to be reviewed. Each subcommittee was composed of i n d u s t r y , union and WCB Occupational Health and S a f e t y s p e c i a l i s t s with knowledge of t h a t p a r t i c u l a r s e c t i o n . For example, there were subcommittees s e t up to develop r e g u l a t i o n s on a g r i c u l t u r e , underground ( workings, b l a s t i n g and underwater d i v i n g (BCFL Report, 1385: 1S~ 17}. But a c c o r d i n g to a BCFL r e p o r t , "under the c u r r e n t WCB a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , the most re c e n t R e g u l a t i o n s A d v i s o r y Committee process became meaningless when the WCB Commissioners removed the A g r i c u l t u r a l R e g u l a t i o n s from the Second D r a f t Amendments. They a l s o r e f u s e d to p u b l i s h new amended r e g u l a t i o n s on the Second D r a f t Amendments which went to P u b l i c Hearings i n 1384." ( I b i d . ) . ( T h i s was an important i s s u e which a f f e c t e d farmworkers.) The BCFL r e p o r t c i t e s newspapers which r e p o r t e d t h a t the Commissioners were pr e s s u r e d by the S o c i a l C r e d i t Cabinet to a p p a r e n t l y appease the B.C. F e d e r a t i o n of A g r i c u l t u r e who were t o t a l l y opposed to e n f o r c e a b l e a g r i c u l t u r e r e g u l a t i o n s . The r e a c t i o n of the labour r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s was to withdraw from the R e g u l a t i o n A d v i s o r y Committee (October 14, 1983) and to r e f u s e to p a r t i c i p a t e i n subsequent review committees ( i b i d . ) . S i n c e then, the WCB has p e r s i s t e n t l y r e f u s e d to meet- o r g a n i z e d labour demands that i t extend comprehensive compensation to farmworkers, a r t i s t s , fishermen, domestic workers and o t h e r s . Farming, f o r i n s t a n c e , i s c o n s i d e r e d to be one of the most hazardous i n d u s t r i e s i n Canaida with workers a t r i s k from exposure to p e s t i c i d e s whose p r o p e r t i e s are known to cause cancer, death to l i v i n g organisms, and amputations from dangerous machinery. T h i s s i t u a t i o n has not been improved by a r e c e n t i n t r o d u c t i o n of a Workplace Hazardous M a t e r i a l s Information Systems under the Federal C o n t r o l P e s t i c i d e s A c t , s i n c e i t ignores p e s t i c i d e s in the workplace. The computer system, which comes i n t o e f f e c t i n October 1988, was developed by Ottawa i n c o n j u n c t i o n with p r o v i n c i a l workers' compensation boards. C a l l i n g the e x c l u s i o n of p e s t i c i d e s 'outrageous', the Canadian Farmworkers' Union p r e s i d e n t , Sarwan Boal , commented: "We are not s u r p r i s e d t h a t farmworkers have been s y s t e m a t i c a l l y excluded from t h i s p r o t e c t i o n . I t happened to us many times b e f o r e " (The Sun. A p r i l 4, 1988). He f u r t h e r argued t h a t farmworkers i n t h i s p r o v i n c e are not covered under the minimum wage laws. At p r e s e n t , with F e d e r a l r e s t r i c t i o n s on the use of p e s t i c i d e s only e n f o r c e a b l e on Crown land and not on p r i v a t e s e c t o r farms, the s i g n i f i c a n c e of e x c l u d i n g p e s t i c i d e s means t h a t , u n l i k e other i n d u s t r i e s , i t w i l l not be r e g u l a t e d under the WCB h e a l t h and s a f e t y r e g u l a t i o n s . But a c c o r d i n g to a recent announcement from the WCB, a new s e t of g u i d e l i n e s r e g a r d i n g p e s t i c i d e s r e g u l a t i o n s are being reworked along with a h e a r i n g f o r p u b l i c i n p u t . However, Anna B r i s e b o i s , s t a f f r e p r e s e n t a t i v e f o r the independent Review Board, argues t h a t any proposed changes w i l l o n l y deal with p e s t i c i d e s and ignore the whole s u b j e c t of a g r i c u l t u r e as an i n d u s t r y . T h i s concern was echoed by the CFU p r e s i d e n t Sarwal Boal who views the new p u b l i c h e a r i n g s on proposed o c c u p a t i o n a l s a f e t y and h e a l t h r e g u l a t i o n s by the Board as a f a m i l i a r s t a l l . " T h i s i s s u e need not be s t u d i e d f u r t h e r , we have research m a t e r i a l t h a t we can make a v a i l a b l e to the Efoard any time. What we want i s a c t i o n now, and any new r e g u l a t i o n s should address the a g r i c u l t u r a l i n d u s t r y as a whole." ( i i i ) Claims A d j u d i c a t i o n and R e h a b i l i t a t i o n In c l a i m s a d j u d i c a t i o n and r e h a b i l i t a t i o n , the f u n c t i o n of f i r s t l e v e l decision-making i s p e r c e i v e d as c r u c i a l i n c o n s i d e r i n g the c l a i m s and appeals s t r u c t u r e . "Decision-makers who are committed to thorough, high q u a l i t y d e c i s i o n s , and who are t r a i n e d and encouraged i n the acceptance ( i . e . , acknowledging) t h a t q u a l i t y i s t h e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , have the e f f e c t of d e c r e a s i n g the number of a p p e a l s . Increased commitment to q u a l i t y leads to greater-p r o d u c t i v i t y " (Ombudsman Report. J u l y 1987: 35). Using a quote from the Tysoe Report on the P u b l i c Commission of I n q u i r y (1966) i n t o the WCB, the Ombudsman r e p o r t draws t h i s cone 1usion : With 80,000 c l a i m s to be a d j u d i c a t e d upon every year, it would be foolish to supipose or expect that no errors would be made. Moreover, perfect justice in all cases is simply unattainable. Even the Courts, on occasion, make mistakes. The important thing, to my mind, is that the practices and procedures of the Board should be such that there should be as little room as possible for arbitrariness to creep in or for decisions of the Board to be based on wrong or incomplete facts. As much protection as can be given to assure that the rights of workmen and employers are not prejudiced, and that every claim is honestly and conscientiously viewed and considered, should be pi r ov i ded (Ibid.) . The report points out that W.C.B. policies concerning initial decision-making are set out in the Policy Manual and are generally thoughtful and thorough. Although this policy exists in writing, it is not followed in practice when dealing with complaints from claimants. There is a discrepancy between policy and practice at the WCB which reveals that decision-makers do not comply with the written policy. "It is difficult to ascertain the reasons for this inconsistency. Certainly, however, the issue of recruitment, training, size of case loads, supervision, real or perceived pressures to reduce costs, and ineffective quality control, can all be factors leading to inconsistent app1i c at i on of po1i c y" (ibid.). The Ombudsman report has identified areas where inconsistency has arisen between policy and practice in primary decision-ma k i ng. (a) Taking the initiative W.C.B. policy regarding the responsibility of the adjudicator in taking the initiative is as follows: The correct approach is to examine the evidence to see whether it is sufficiently complete and reliable to arrive at a sound conclusion with c on f i den c e. If not, the ad j ud i c a to r sh ou1d co n s i d e r what other evidence might be o b t a i n e d , and must take the i n i t i a t i v e i n seeking f u r t h e r ev i denc e . (Po 1 i c y Manua 1 : #97 . > « I t i s the o p i n i o n of the Ombudsman t h a t while t h i s i s an ' e x c e l l e n t * p o l i c y , i t i s not being implemented; hence, the i n c o n s i s t e n c y between p o l i c y and p r a c t i c e C i b i d . : 3 7 ) . ( i ) Communication d u r i n g the decision-making p r o c e s s A c c o r d i n g to the Ombudsman i t i s the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the a d j u d i c a t o r to communicate with the worker d u r i n g the d e c i s i o n -making process as f o l l o w s : . . . i f i n v e s t i g a t i o n i n d i c a t e s grounds of i n v a 1 i d i t y , the worker i s informed of the d i f f i c u l t i e s i n paying the c l a i m , so t h a t he has an o p p o r t u n i t y to respond. ...the a d j u d i c a t o r does not grant f i n a l wage l o s s b e n e f i t s u n t i l t here has been a d i s c u s s i o n with the worker r e g a r d i n g t h i s d e c i s i o n ( I b i d . : 37-38) . Paul U e i l e r ' s 1980 r e p o r t on workers' compensation i n O n t a r i o i s quoted f o r t h i s purpose because i t suggests t h a t the W.C.B t e l l a c l a i m a n t of any d i f f i c u l t i e s with the c l a i m , and e n l i s t the cl a i m a n t ' s help i n s o l v i n g the problems: Otherwise, i f a c l a i m i s r e j e c t e d and the worker r e c e i v e s the Board l e t t e r and l e a r n s of the grounds to make a g a i n s t these reasons, he i s almost sure to appeal and s u b j e c t every-one to a lengthy and c o s t l y h e a r i n g p r o c e s s . How much b e t t e r to gi v e the claimant a chance to make these p o i n t s b e f o r e he gets locked i n t o an a d v e r s a r i a l stance with the Board, t r y i n g to r e v e r s e a judgment which has alr e a d y been made ( i b i d . : 3 8 ) . The Ombudsman r e p o r t supports both WCB's p o l i c y and W e i l e r ' s a n a l y s i s of the b e n e f i t s of such a p o l i c y . "However, a g a i n , the p o l i c y i s not always f o l l o w e d i n p r a c t i c e . To be c e r t a i n t h a t d i f f i c u l t i e s with the c l a i m are c l e a r they should be s e t out i n a l e t t e r b e f o r e the d e c i s i o n becomes f i n a l " ( i b i d . ) . On the whole, there are a number of c l a i m s denied or delayed when they are f i r s t i n i t i a t e d . For many c l a i m a n t s , the f u t u r e can be bleak and u n c e r t a i n . According to the B.C. P r o v i n c i a l C o u n c i l of C a r p e n t e r s : "We deal almost d a i l y with WCB claims which are denied by c l a i m s a d j u d i c a t o r s , although we r e c o g n i z e t h a t there are always some cl a i m s t h a t are f r i v o l o u s or even f r a u d u l e n t . In our e x p e r i e n c e , the v a s t m a j o r i t y are not only l e g i t i m a t e , but have been g r o s s l y mishandled by the WCB a d j u d i c a t o r s " (March 1983: 49). BCPCC re c o r d s p o i n t to i n f o r m a t i o n on workers who had l o s t t h e i r homes because f i n a n c i a l o b l i g a t i o n s weren't met; or workers proud of t h e i r jobs s u f f e r severe d e p r e s s i o n and p s y c h o l o g i c a l trauma because they are no longer a b l e to work. For many of these i n j u r e d workers, the p s y c h o l o g i c a l s c a r s may l a s t long a f t e r the compensable i n j u r y has healed ( I b i d : SO). A c l a s s i c example of claims a d j u d i c a t i o n i n j u s t i c e i n v o l v e s the case of Mr. Gordon Hayne, a 72 year o l d man who has spent more than h a l f h i s l i f e d i s a b l e d and f i g h t i n g f o r compensation. At 29 y e a r s of age, he f e l l almost ten metres to the deck of an armed f r e i g h t e r a t Vancouver's Balantyne P i e r . S i n c e the f a l l , o c c u r i n g i n September 28, 1944, Hayne has s u f f e r e d from e p i l e p s y , r e c u r r i n g p a r t i a l b l i n d n e s s , numbness in h i s arms and l e g s and has a pronounced limp because h i s body i s not a l i g n e d . S i n c e the a c c i d e n t , s i x t e e n to nineteen d o c t o r s have t r a c e d h i s problems to i n j u r i e s s u f f e r e d i n the f a l l . In 1946, he was granted $20 per month f o r ten years f o r h i s l e g i n j u r y . But he has fought on f o r r e c o g n i t i o n of the c r i p p l i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s r e s u l t i n g from head i n j u r i e s t h a t have d e p r i v e d him of a n a t u r a l working l i f e . "The f a t a l flaw i n Hayne's c l a i m i s t h a t the i n i t i a l a c c i d e n t r e p o r t s f a i l e d to r e p o r t h i s head i n j u r i e s . The WCB re f u s e d to accept the su p p o r t i n g d o c t o r s ' o p i n i o n s because they were not a t the scene of the a c c i d e n t and were r e l y i n g on Hayne's own account or that of h i s witnesses" (The Sun. une 11, 1987). Consequently, the delay of Hayne's c l a i m c o s t him thousands of d o l l a r s , i n c l u d i n g the l o s s of h i s home. ( i i ) S t r u c t u r a l C o n t r a d i c t i o n s and L i m i t a t i o n s The WCB, a c c o r d i n g to some news r e p o r t s , says t h a t i t pays the h i g h e s t l e v e l of b e n e f i t s of any compensation system i n Canada, and t h a t 96 per cent of a l l WCB claims are accepted without d i s p u t e . But a review of WCB p o l i c i e s and s t a t i s t i c s r e v e a l s c e r t a i n c o n t r a d i c t i o n s . According to a r e p o r t on the WCB: 1. If you hu r t badly and want the WCB on your s i d e , you're b e t t e r o f f to have a severed hand than a bad back. 2. S t a t i s t i c a l l y , workers with the most severe i n j u r i e s are most l i k e l y to have to f i g h t the WCB f o r b e n e f i t s . 3. If you've been h u r t on the job and don't think your c l a i m has been handled p r o p e r l y , you c o u l d wait as long as s i x years f o r an answer to your a p p e a l . And even i f you win, the WCB might, not comply with the d e c i s i o n . 4. More workers say they are us i n g s h o r t - t e r m measures to a v o i d d e a l i n g with the WCB, such as depending on p r i v a t e h e a l t h insurance companies or n e g o t i a t i n g d i s a b i l i t y agreements i n t o t h e i r c o n t r a c t s (The Sun. J u l y 11, 1987). These c o n t r a d i c t i o n s r e f l e c t n e g a t i v e l y upon the WCB s t r u c t u r e in i t s treatment of workers. I t r e f l e c t s employer p r e s s u r e to keep assessment r a t e s down and to l i m i t workers* demand f o r in c r e a s e d d i s a b i l i t y b e n e f i t s . A ccording to a spokesperson from the Labourers* Membership S e r v i c e , although the workers gave-up the r i g h t to sue t h e i r employer, no matter how n e g l i g e n t , when the WCB was e s t a b l i s h e d i n 1917, i n l i g h t of decreased compensation, some workers are now convinced t h a t they would be b e t t e r o f f without a compensation board, and f r e e to sue t h e i r employers f o r i n j u r y on the job (The Sun. June 13,1937."). ( i i i ) Enforcement of Health and S a f e t y R e g u l a t i o n s In r e l a t i o n to the enforcement of h e a l t h and s a f e t y r e g u l a t i o n s , c r i t i c s argue t h a t the WCB r e c o r d i n t h i s area i s very poor and i n e f f e c t i v e because these r e g u l a t i o n s are too vague and g e n e r a l l y f o r m u l a t e d . For i n s t a n c e , a c c i d e n t p r e v e n t i o n i n s p e c t o r s are d e s c r i b e d by c r i t i c s as o r i e n t e d towards " f i x i t " type problems r a t h e r than p r e v e n t i v e measures. According to Hardwick, i n f o r m a t i o n on enforcement a c t i v i t i e s of the Board i s incomplete, and c r u d e l y r e p o r t e d i n the Annual Report. C i t i n g a 1976 submission by the IWA, Hardwick p o i n t s out that the Annual Report p r o v i d e s t o t a l p e n a l t y c o s t s f o r a l l i n d u s t r i e s (see Appendix 2) , but f a i l s to p r o v i d e p e n a l t y assessments by c l a s s or s u b c l a s s (1931: 10). Hardwick argues t h a t there i s no i n d i c a t i o n of how many o r d e r s , r e p o r t s , c l o s u r e s , p r o s e c u t i o n s , assessments have been i s s u e d with r e f e r e n c e to v a r i o u s r e g u l a t o r y breaches by c l a s s and s u b c l a s s . While recent Annual Reports are s a i d to pr o v i d e a d e t a i l e d breakdown of i n f o r m a t i o n , "the magnitude of average p e n a l t y assessments have not changed. And i t i s these minimal f i n e s which make the whole p e n a l t y assessment system f a r c i c a l , or a t l e a s t , i r r e l e v a n t to i n d u s t r y " ( I b i d . : l l ) . Again, the WCB along with the M i n i s t r y of Labour are c h a r a c t e r i z e d by c r i t i c s as embodying a r e a c t i v e , r a t h e r than a p r e v e n t i v e approach to o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y . The B.C. C o u n c i l of the Co n f e d e r a t i o n of Canadian Unions has been s h a r p l y c r i t i c a l of the Efoard's lax enforcement of the I n d u s t r i a l Health and S a f e t y R e g u l a t i o n s , which has d e t e r i o r a t e d s t e a d i l y s i n c e 1976 (1981: 2 ) . A C o n s t r u c t i o n Industry A d v i s o r y C o u n c i l study of B.C. i n d u s t r i e s c o v e r i n g 1977 through 1979, and c a l c u l a t i n g the number of f a t a l i t i e s per 10,000 man-years worked in each i n d u s t r y , concluded t h a t : by f a r , l o g g i n g has the worst-r e c o r d with 14.7 f a t a l i t i e s per 10,000, man-years worked. C o n s t r u c t i o n has 3.9 f a t a l i t i e s per 10,000, s t i l l c o n s i d e r a b l y above the a l l - i n d u s t r y r a t e of 2.4 per 10,000. B.C. Worker F a t a l i t i e s Per 10,000 Man-Years Worked (1977 - 1979.') Industry Logging 14.7 Pulp and Paper 2.3 Sawmills and Wood Mfg 1.9 Mining 4.4 Con s t r uc t i on 3 .9 A l l I n d u s t r i e s Covered by WCB 2.4 (Source; C.I.A.C., A p r i l 1382: 13.) Consequently, workers' compensation claims f o r i n j u r i e s and i n d u s t r i a l d i s e a s e s have s t e a d i l y r i s e n . Using a graph (Appendix 3 ) , the B.C. Co n f e d e r a t i o n of Unions p o i n t s out t h a t there i s a " . . . d i r e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p between d e c r e a s i n g numbers of o r d e r s w r i t t e n by o f f i c e r s of the Board f o r r e g u l a t i o n v i o l a t i o n s and the corresponding i n c r e a s i n g i n j u r y r a t e " (1381: 2.'). Apart from the d e c r e a s i n g trend i n the enforcement of I n d u s t r i a l Health and Sa f e t y R e g u l a t i o n s , workers lack the decision-making a u t h o r i t y on h e a l t h and s a f e t y i s s u e s (BCFL Report. 1985: 25). ( i v ) I n t e r n a l s t a f f problems I n t e r n a l l y , the cl a i m s department i s plagued by poor s t a f f morale. A recent s t a f f memorandum signed by 48 c l a i m s a d j u d i c a t o r s and sent to WCB chairman Jim N i e l s e n i s s a i d to have r e p o r t e d t h a t , " t h e r e c u r r e n t l y are s i g n i f i c a n t problems i n the cla i m s department, as i s evidenced by decreased morale, and in c r e a s e d f r u s t r a t i o n and s t a f f t u r n o v e r . . . Your a d j u d i c a t i o n s t a f f t h e r e f o r e , has grave concerns t h a t the go a l s and o b j e c t i v e s of the board are not met. We are of the unanimous o p i n i o n t h a t what has been a chronic problem i s now re a c h i n g c r i s i s p r o p o r t i o n s " (The Sun. November 19,1987). The r e a c t i o n of advocate groups was one of s u r p r i s e and support f o r the claims a d j u d i c a t o r s ' c o n c e r n s . According to compensation lawyer C r a i g Paterson : " T h i s i s the f i r s t time there has been any i n d i c a t i o n t h a t the board s t a f f are s t a r t i n g to s i t down and i l l u s t r a t e concerns over the work they are doing" ( I b i d . ) . He s a i d that the WCB Employees * Union has always been "too q u i e t and too p a s s i v e in the f a c e of a d e t e r i o r a t i o n of s e r v i c e " ( i b i d . ) . Apart from d i s a s s o c i a t i n g the WCB Employees Union from i n f o r m a t i o n leaks to the p r e s s about these problems, i t s p r e s i d e n t David Branshaw p o i n t s to the inadequate s t a f f i n g l e v e l s and other i s s u e s such as "work l o a d , the complexity of the c l a i m s , the lack of time to a d j u d i c a t e , and burn-out" ( i b i d ) . The present s t r u c t u r e of the W.C.B. has r e c e i v e d i t s share of c r i t i c i s m from advocate groups such as the Workers' A d v i s e r s of the p r o v i n c i a l M i n i s t r y of Labour and Consumer S e r v i c e s f o r i t s lack of a c c o u n t a b i l i t y and e f f e c t i v e d e l i v e r y of s e r v i c e s to i n j u r e d workers. The O f f i c e of the Workers' A d v i s e r s , which f a l l s under the Compensation Adv i s o r y S e r v i c e s , i s e s t a b l i s h e d under S e c t i o n 94 of the Workers' Compensation Act to p r o v i d e a d v i c e and a s s i s t i n j u r e d workers about the b e n e f i t s and p o l i c i e s of the WCB. I t r e p o r t e d i n i t s submission to the WCB t h a t i n the last-y ear, a heavy volume of over 17,000 i n q u i r i e s were r e c e i v e d from a c r o s s the p r o v i n c e . T h i s was confirmed by Sara D a n i e l l s , a Workers' Advisor who argued d u r i n g an i n t e r v i e w that the f i g u r e r e f l e c t s a d e f i n i t e i n c r e a s e i n the number of c a l l s r e c e i v e d by her o f f i c e . These c a l l s concern workers who complain about delay and l a c k s of progress i n the r e s o l u t i o n of t h e i r c laims by the WCB . A c c o r d i n g to D a n i e l l s , the f o l l o w i n g t a b l e i n d i c a t e s t h a t there has been a s u b s t a n t i a l i n c r e a s e i n the number of workers who have c a l l e d her o f f i c e f o r a d v i c e , i n c l u d i n g those who have r e c e i v e d a s s i s t a n c e f o r r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a t the Board i n 1985/1386: y2lli§£s^ A d v i s o r y S t a t i s t i c a l Summary of A c t i v i t i e s Incomirig c a l l s 15,581 New enqui r i e s 2,645 On-going adv i c e and a s s i s t a n c e C a r r i e d over 519 New F i l e s 249 Re-opened 98 T o t a l 866 Rep r esen ta t i on s Review Board h e a r i n g s attended 20 Review Board submissions 61 Commissioners submissions 53 WCB submissions 78 T o t a l 212 (Source: Annual Report 1985/86, M i n i s t r y of Labour). Thus, D a n i e l s r e a f f i r m s the c o n c l u s i o n reached by the Workers' Advisory* submission t h a t the present s t r u c t u r e of the WCB does not adequately ensure the p r o t e c t i o n and p a r t i c i p a t i o n of a l l p a r t i e s a f f e c t e d by the compensation system. I t i s unable to deal with the complex and d i v e r s e i s s u e s p r e s e n t l y a f f e c t i n g many i n j u r e d wor ke r s . (b) The Power of the Chairman The power of the chairman has been a source of c o n t r o v e r s y i n the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of the WCB. The BC F e d e r a t i o n of Labour has p e r s i s t e n t l y argued that the A c t , S e c t i o n 85 (3) bestows too much a u t h o r i t y on the c h a i r p e r s o n . The BCFL maintains t h a t "we have experienced d u r i n g the past years with C h a i r p e r s o n Walter F l e s h e r , a s i t u a t i o n i n which a u t h o r i t y and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y have been s h i f t e d away from the commissioners and p l a c e d i n the hands of the c h a i r p e r s o n ' s appointed a d m i n i s t r a t i v e managers. These managers develop procedures and p o l i c i e s which never become p u b l i c knowledge or known to the c l i e n t s of the WCB, nor do they exhibit, any understanding of workplace i n j u r i e s or d i s e a s e (.January, 1987: 2) . Among other concerns r a i s e d by the BCFL i s the wide scope of the c h a i r p e r s o n ' s a u t h o r i t y and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to the detriment of the commissioners, the i n c r e a s e d r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t h a t managers have a s c r i b e d to themselves to the detriment of the commissioners, and the lack of experience on the p a r t of commissioners with r e s p e c t to i n d u s t r i a l c o n d i t i o n s which prevents them from a r r i v i n g at informed p o l i c y d e c i s i o n s ( I b i d . ) . (c) P o l i t i c a l I n t e r f e r e n c e The p o l i t i c a l i n t e r f e r e n c e of the S o c i a l C r e d i t government in the a f f a i r s of the WCB has undermined p u b l i c confidence i n the a b i l i t y of the Board to independently f u l f i l l i t s mandate as d e f i n e d i n the Workers* Compensation A c t . According to the BCFL, " ( s ) i n c e the f i r i n g of Chairperson A r t Gibbons, and the i n t e r f e r e n c e by the Cabinet i n 1984 i n the R e g u l a t i o n A d v i s o r y Committee's amendments to the I n d u s t r i a l Health and S a f e t y R e g u l a t i o n s , the Board has been i n f l u e n c e d by the government" (January, 1987: 3 ) . The p o l i t i c a l i n t e r f e r e n c e of the S o c i a l C r e d i t government in the appointment of commissioners to the WCB i s s a i d to be c o n t r a r y to the a l l e g e d government p o l i c y of n e u t r a l i t y . C u r r e n t l y , commissioners do not have independent tenure. They are Etppointed on the b a s i s of p o l i t i c a l patronage r a t h e r than e x p e r t i s e . There i s no o f f i c i a l guide to determine q u a l i f i c a t i o n s . One such example of p o l i t i c a l patronage i n v o l v e s the appointment of Jim N i e l s o n , a former M i n i s t e r of Health to the chairmanship of the WCB i n l a t e 1986. According to C r a i g Pater-son , a p r i v a t e lawyer s p e c i a l i z i n g i n WCB l i t i g a t i o n , the patronage appointment of Jim N i e l s o n as chairman was the f i r s t such appointment i n the h i s t o r y of the WCB. T h i s p o l i t i c a l appointment has, he argues, c o n t r a d i c t e d accustomed procedures which i s to appoint a chairman on the b a s i s of l e g a l and academic background. The WCB c o n s t i t u t i o n a l precedent t h a t the appointment of commissioners be on a t r i p a r t i t e b a s i s , ( i . e . , with r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s from l a b o r , management and the WCB), has changed s i n c e 1984 as employer b i a s became the dominant f e a t u r e of WCB h i r i n g p o l i c y and procedures. John Weir, of the BCFL, a l s o maintains t h a t the S o c i a l C r e d i t government t r e a t s the WCE-i l i k e a minute insurance company ra t h e r a p u b l i c i n s t i t u t i o n . A r e c e n t d e c i s i o n of the WCB to rebate employers approximately $99.3 m i l l i o n asssessment s u r p l u s as c r e d i t has i n f u r i a t e d o r g a n i s e d l a b o u r . Gene E r r i n g t o n , BCFL D i r e c t o r of Research and L e g i s l a t i o n sees t h i s development as p o l i t i c a l l y m otivated. "The WCB i s dominated by people who support a p a r t i c u l a r i d e o l o g y , even though you have a few r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of labour on i t s s t a f f . By g i v i n g t h i s money back, to employers, 100 the WCB i s c a t e r i n g to c o n s t i t u e n c y and f r i e n d s . " T h i s c r e d i t i s p a r t of the $262 m i l l i o n WCB s u r p l u s , and labour r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s argue t h a t i t comes from the Board's p r a c t i c e of denying and s t a l l i n g c l a i m s , t e r m i n a t i n g c l a i m s e a r l y , reducing the value of pension payments, r e a s s e s s i n g s e t t l e d c l a i m s and s c a l i n g them down, and f r u s t r a t i n g c l a i m a n t s u n t i l they g i v e up on the appeal p r o c e s s . In response, the BCFL launched l e g a l a c t i o n a g a i n s t the Board, arguing t h a t the money r i g h t f u l l y belongs to i n j u r e d and di s e a s e d workers whose cl a i m s are s t i l l being delayed. (e) Ombudsman's Study of the WCB Under the Workers Compensation Act the WCB i s e n t r u s t e d with a mandate to ensure balance, compromise, and due process i n i t s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of a wide a r r a y of i n t e r e s t s , but a rec e n t study suggests the o p p o s i t e . An Ombudsman study has r e v e a l e d t h a t : "Our e x p e r i e n c e has been that 66% of the workers' compensation complaints r e c e i v e d by the Ombudsman's o f f i c e have not yet been co n s i d e r e d i n t e r n a l l y and t h e r e f o r e r e f e r r e d back to the system f o r a p p e a l . T h i s very s i g n i f i c a n t involvement of the Ombudsman o f f i c e as an advic e and r e f e r e n c e agency suggests inadequate n o t i c e of appeal r i g h t s and procedures w i t h i n the system, and a widespread d i s q u i e t with the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of the process" (1987: 3 ) . The long d e l a y s w i t h i n the process suggests t h a t workers are not r e c e i v i n g f a i r and adequate r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . The new Ombudsman of B.C., Steven Owen, who r e p l a c e d K a r l Fr-iedmann three years ago, d e a l s with two f a i r n e s s i s s u e s - the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of the claims and appeal system i n reachin g c o r r e c t 101 and a c c e p t a b l e d e c i s i o n s w i t h i n a reasonable p e r i o d of time and -the a c c o u n t a b i l i t y of the system to i n d i v i d u a l s whose fundamental i n t e r e s t s of l i f e , h e a l t h , s a f e t y and l i v e l i h o o d are a t stake (Ombudsman News Release. -July 2, 1987). In h i s r e p o r t , the p r o v i n c i a l ombudsman i s c r i t i c a l of the UICB a d m i n i s t r a t i o n and appeal system and q u e s t i o n s the q u a l i t y of i t s decision-making p r o c e s s , and expresses doubts about whether i t s appeal process i s f a i r . The appeal system i s d e s c r i b e d by the Ombudsman as s u f f e r i n g from p r o t r a c t e d d e l a y s i n having an appeal heard. R e f e r r e d to as a ' t r e a d m i l l * - the appealant i s s a i d to continue to go through the appeal routes a v a i l a b l e , but experiences the process as f r u s t r a t i n g and meaningless (1987:62). One example of a t r e a d m i l l i n v o l v e s R i c h a r d Coulton who had to f a c e a s e r i e s of f r u s t r a t i n g appeals and r e - a p p e a l s , procedures t h a t l a s t e d almost s i x y e a r s . Mr. Coulton had s u f f e r e d a d i s a b l i n g i n j u r y to h i s s p i n a l cord f o l l o w i n g a gun-shot by an a s s a i l a n t i n 1972. Faced with overwhelming evidence i n favour of Mr. Coulton's case, which proved t h a t he was wounded while performing a h e r o i c a c t of going a f t e r an a s s a i l a n t who had .murdered a young woman, the WCB-controlled C r i m i n a l I n j u r y Compensation Board f i n a l l y agreed to a s e t t l e m e n t that i n c r e a s e d h i s monthly compensation from $1,200 to $2,000, i n c l u d i n g a lump some payment of $25,000 (The Sun. January 27, 1987). Coulton i s noted as having s a i d t h a t : " I t was f r u s t r a t i n g as heck. They would make you wait and wait and wait - and then, 10 months down the road, t e l l you your appeal i s denied" ( I b i d ) . Thus, because of the t r e a d m i l l , many workers are m i s t r u s t f u l of the p r o c e s s , so they turn to the Ombudsman- " A f t e r sometime, he or she may complain to the o f f i c e of the Ombudsman or MLA. An i n v e s t i g a t i o n may be undertaken, but by th a t time, years have e l a p s e d , and evidence which may have been e a s i l y a v a i l a b l e a t the beginning of the c l a i m , had i t been sought, i s no longer a v a i l a b l e or memories are not as f r e s h as they once were" (Ombudsman News Release. J u l y 2, 1987). The Ombudsman's r e p o r t has i d e n t i f i e d three areas i n which the mandate of the WCB has not been s u c c e s s f u l l y implemented by the Commissioners. They i n c l u d e c o n f l i c t of f u n c t i o n s ; d e l a y i n d e c i d i n g appeals and; lack of an o r a l h e a r i n g . ( i ) Delay i n De c i d i n g Appeals A c c o r d i n g to Owen, there i s s i g n i f i c a n t d e l a y i n c o n s i d e r a t i o n of S e c t i o n 96 (2) r e f e r r a l s of WCRB d e c i s i o n s - an average of s i x months. T h i s delay i s added to an 18 - 20 months wait to r e c e i v e a f a v o u r a b l e WCRB d e c i s i o n . The delay i n d e c i d i n g appeals i s s a i d to be longer i n d e c i d i n g S e c t i o n 91 app e a l s . The exten t of delay workers have to f a c e b e f o r e an appeal can be decided i s both lengthy and cumbersome. As of December 1986, the average time from the r e c e i p t of a n o t i c e of appeal to the ren d e r i n g of a d e c i s i o n a f t e r i s 20.S months o u t s i d e of the Lower Mainland of B r i t i s h Columbia. A worker or employer has the o p t i o n of e l e c t i n g a r e a l and review appeal , i n which the WCRB makes a f i n d i n g s t r i c t l y on the b a s i s of w r i t t e n submissions - However that o p t i o n s t i l l i n v o l v e s a delay of 10.6 months f o r the WCRB to i s s u e as a f i n d i n g ( i b i d . :15). In the event of such a lengthy delay union workers are f o r c e d to r e l y on d i s a b i l i t y insurance p l a n s to maintain themselves throughout the long wait ( i b i d . : 16-17) . As f o r those without d i s a b i l i t y i n s u r a n c e , they depend on income a s s i s t a n c e , and to q u a l i f y f o r th a t they must have l i m i t e d s a v i n g s and a s s e t s , says the r e p o r t . Apart from the economic c o s t s of d e l a y , the Ombudsman's r e p o r t maintains t h a t delay has an adverse e f f e c t on appeals because "memories fade and a l t e r overtime. Thus o r a l evidence a t a hea r i n g may c o n f l i c t with t h a t on f i l e " ( i b i d . . 18). The lengthy d e l a y s a t W.C.R.B. "seem to undermine the Commissioner's attempt to balance a worker's i n t e r e s t i n income c o n t i n u i t y and employer's i n t e r e s t i n an e f f e c t i v e appeal f i g h t " . Thus delay " i s a symptom of the d i f f i c u l t y the commissioners are having i n t r y i n g to perform both a d m i n i s t r a t i v e and a d j u d i c a t i v e f u n c t i o n s " ( i b i d . : 54). ( i i ) Lack of Oral Hearings Since the p o l i c y of the WCB i s to h o l d o r a l h e a r i n g s (the p o l i c y i s s e t i n Reporter D e c i s i o n No. 28 and 347) o n l y when there i s a doubt as to the c r e d i b i l i t y of the cl a i m a n t , employer or another w i t n e s s , the Ombudsman maintains t h a t o r a l h e a r i n g s have indeed been a r a r e occurrence a t the WCB. The f o l l o w i n g f i g u r e s are given by the Ombudsman as s e t t i n g out the number of new appeals to the Commissioners each year from 1380, and the number of o r a l h e a r i n g s granted. 1980 271 8 1381 296 2 1982 373 11 104 1983 1984 1985 1986 517 490 411 377 15 12 6 4 (Sou r e e l Ombudman Repo r t Ju 1 y , 1987 > . Corntfi i 5 5 i oners c o n s i d e r the hear i n g s as too expensive and inconvenient-. But the q u e s t i o n a r i s e s as to who i s best served by tha t p o l i c y , the appealants or the commissioners? ( i b i d . . 5 5 ) . The major argument made by the Ombudsman i s th a t the Commissioners r a r e l y h o l d o r a l h e a r i n g s . "The d e n i a l of j u s t i c e can l e a d to f e e l i n g s of anger and f r u s t r a t i o n . Wo doubt the problem i s p a r t i c u l a r l y acute where a p a r t y has been s u c c e s s f u l b e f o r e the WCB, where an o r a l h e a r i n g was h e l d , o n l y to have the f r u i t s of tha t v i c t o r y snatched away under S e c t i o n 96 (2) by an unseen and anonymous appeal board" ( i b i d . ) . D. WCB Response to C r i t i c i s m The WCB reponse to c r i t i c i sm towards i t s s t r u c t u r e , p«o 1 i c i es and programs has been n e g a t i v e and d e f e n s i v e . For example, the WCB chairman, Jim N i e l s o n , lashed out a t the Ombudsman's. 1987 r e p o r t , arguing t h a t i t f a i l e d to address the reasons f o r delay i n the WCB system, and th a t some recommendations of the re p o r t would on l y i n c r e a s e d e l a y s (The Sun. J u l y 4,1987). P r i o r to t h a t , Jim N i e l s o n r e p e a t e d l y made p u b l i c statements to the effect, t h a t the workers' compensation system i n B.C. i s , o v e r a l l , a tremendous s e r v i c e to the people, and t h a t he does not understand why the "WCB i s o f t e n used as the whipping boy f o r p o l i t i c s i n B.C." (The Sun. J u l y 11, 1987). However, he 105 also acknowledged that delays in the system are an i n j u s t i c e . A 1987 WCB f a c t sheet reports (see chart below) that i t s claims acceptance rate is s t i l l among the highest in Canada. In recent-years, the acceptance rate has been about 96% : 1 9 8 2 1 9 8 3 1984 1 9 8 5 1 9 8 6 (Source: W.C.B., 1987) . In an interview with WCB Community Relations Director Judy Kirk,she argues that "the WCB must travel a middle ground between workers and employers",therefore, she does not accept the c r i t i c i s m , and f e e l s , instead, that "the board has a good record of claims management and my research across Canada indicates that we have a claims system that i s better than other major boards. Ontario and Quebec, for example, are under-funded by b i l l i o n s and have c1 a i ms pr ob1ems ". She maintains that " i t i s important to note that compensation claims can be complex and that by far the majority of our claims are handled within 17 days", a statement repeated by Maureen Cain, a Claims' Adjudicator at the Board. In re l a t i o n to labour's c r i t i c i s m of the Board over the $99.3 m i l l i o n t h a t the Board i s r e t u r n i n g to employers as c r e d i t , Judy K i r k s t a t e d t h a t "of a l l the s u r p l u s , in f a c t the Board kept j u s t $250 m i l l i o n " . She contends t h a t d e s p i t e o r g a n i z e d labour's c r i t i c i s m , i t was "a very f a i r p o s i t i o n " to g i v e back these funds f o r employer use s i n c e the employers fund the p r o v i n c i a l WCB i n the f i r s t pilace. When asked about an a l l e g a t i o n made by Alan Maclean, a lawyer with the Vancouver Community Legal A s s i s t a n c e , t h a t the Board has a 'cop m e n t a l i t y ' and i s s u s p i c i o u s of the a c t i o n s of i n j u r e d workers who wish to f i l e a c l a i m , K i r k r e a c t e d with dismay: "That i s completely i n v a l i d . Of the cla i m s r e p o r t e d i n 1987, 96 per cent were allowed. That i s not l o o k i n g a t workers with s u s p i c i o n . The Board assumes t h a t a c l a i m i s v a l i d . You can look a t how few f r a u d cases we have had". She f u r t h e r d i s m i s s e d any suggestion t h a t the Board i s s u s p i c i o u s of workers f i l i n g a c l a i m : "The Board views workers as having l e g i t i m a t e c l a i m s . The Board does not have the a t t i t u d e t h a t workers are t r y i n g to r i p - o f f the system. That kind of language i s inflammatory and does not do anyone any good". The WCB o f t e n d e f l a t e s p u b l i c c r i t i c i s m by p r i d i n g i t s e l f as having one of the best compensation systems i n North America. For i n s t a n c e , i n the 1337 Annual Report, Jim N i e l s o n mentions t h a t : " T h i s year a l s o saw i n t e r n a t i o n a l r e c o g n i t i o n of our e f f o r t s . We r e c e i v e d an award from the I n t e r n a t i o n a l A s s o c i a t i o n of I n d u s t r i a l A c c i d e n t Boards and Commissions f o r e x c e l l e n c e i n o c c u p a t i o n a l s a f e t y and h e a l t h s e r v i c e s . We a l s o r e c e i v e d awards from the American A s s o c i a t i o n of S t a t e Compensation Insurance Funds f o r a number of WCB brochures and video p r o d u c t i o n s " . In d i s m i s s i n g c l a i m s t h a t i t f a v o u r s employer i n t e r e s t s a t the expense of workers, the Board r e f e r s c r i t i c s to i t s s t a t i s t i c s on the growing s e v e r i t y of p e n a l t i e s i t assesses employers f o r workplace h e a l t h and s a f e t y v i o l a t i o n s . The Board argues t h a t assessments a g a i n s t employers have i n c r e a s e d 400 to 500 per cent in both number and s e v e r i t y over the past f i v e y e a r s (The Sun. A p r i l 22, 1988). " F i n e s t h a t ranged from $750 to $1,000 just-f i v e y e ars ago now are s e t a t a minimum of $1,500 and range as high as $10,000" ( I b i d . ) . B i l l Greer d e s c r i b e s t h i s new development as " . . .ptrobably a change of phi losopihy. . .We do p l a c e f a r g r e a t e r emphasis on g a i n i n g a compliance with r e g u l a t i o n s " . He f u r t h e r acknowledged t h a t the c o n s t r u c t i o n i n d u s t r y has the h i g h e s t v i o l a t i o n and p e n a l t y i n c i d e n c e , f o l l o w e d c l o s e l y by f o r e s t r y . The number of p e n a l t i e s recommended by the WCB's i n s p e c t o r s i s s a i d to have s t e a d i l y i n c r e a s e d from 1983 u n t i l l a s t year when they dipped: 83; 114 i n 1984; 249 i n 1985; 407 i n 1986, and 332 i n 1987 ( i b i d . ) . The 'tougher* WCB p o l i c y on p e n a l t i e s i s s a i d to have begun in 1384 i n c i d e r to reduce at-work a c c i d e n t s and a r e p o r t e d f a t a l i t y r a t e t h a t has hovered around 200 deaths per year over the past decade. Examples c i t e d by the Board in i t s e f f o r t s to combat non-compliance with i n d u s t r i a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y r e g u l a t i o n s i n c l u d e a January and February 1988 f i n e of $15,000 assessed a g a i n s t Wester Timber, Cariboo Pulp and Paper, the Township of Richmond and Nanaimo Regional H o s p i t a l ( i b i d ) . In i t s bi-monthly n e w s l e t t e r , the Board l e v i e d the h i g h e s t p e n a l t y assessments of $10,000.00 a g a i n s t P a c i f i c Log Homes L t d . f o r f a i l u r e to wear l e g p r o t e c t i v e equipment, and $11,000.00 a g a i n s t I s l a n d Shake and S h i n g l e L t d . f o r f a i l u r e to lock e n e r g i z e d equipment, lack of l i f e - j a c k e t s , guarding and personal p r o t e c t i v e equipment (WCB News. November/December, 1986: 4 ) . On the i s s u e of adminstering the Ac t , again the Board has adopted a r e a c t i v e and d e f e n s i v e a t t i t u d e toward c r i t i c i s m . For i n s t a n c e , i n an i n t e r v i e w with WCB A d j u d i c a t o r Maureen C a i n , she s t a t e s t h a t the Board has been e n t r u s t e d with d i s c r e t i o n a r y powers to i n t e r p r e t the A c t . T h e r e f o r e , i f the Board has made a d e c i s i o n on whether to d i s a l l o w a c l a i m , and the claima n t wishes to q u e s t i o n the degree of d i s c r e t i o n used by the Board, he or she can c h a l l e n g e the Ac t , i . e . , s p e c i f i c s e c t i o n s of the Act and not the d e c i s i o n i t s e l f . She argues t h a t i n cases t h a t have come befo r e the B.C. Supreme Court, c l a i m a n t s were c h a l l e n g i n g the ambiguity of the law because of t h e i r i n a b i l i t y to sue i n a c i v i l c o u r t . They were not c h a l l e n g i n g the Board d e c i s i o n . On the que s t i o n of whether there are d e l a y s i n the system, Cain argues t h a t " t h e r e i s no yes or no" answer, but t h a t any d e l a y s are understandable. " I f the delay i s due to too many cases and too l i t t l e manpower, then the workers have a p o i n t . Sometimes, the workers get annoyed because of the d e l a y . They themselves are the main f a c t o r i n the de l a y - they don't answer l e t t e r s , they don't respond to phone c a l l s , or go see or t e l l t h e i r doctor t h a t an i n j u r y i s wor k - r e l a t e d . . . " T h e r e f o r e , "workers cannot f a u l t the WCB f o r t h a t " , she contends. 109 O n the s u b j e c t of the $ 9 9 . 3 m i l l i o n s u r p l u s the WCB s e t a s i d e to g i v e back to employers as c r e d i t , and i n which the Board r e c e n t l y won a major c o u r t r u l i n g to go ahead a f t e r a BCFL c h a l l e n g e , she r e j e c t s the argument made by or g a n i s e d labour t h a t the money r i g h t f u l l y belongs to them and t h a t i t should be spent to p r o v i d e f u l l compensation to i n j u r e d workers. "The reason the Board ended up with more money than expected i s t h a t there was a d e c l i n e i n the number of a c c i d e n t s and c l a i m s r e s u l t i n g i n l e s s wage l o s s days. If you have a s u r p l u s why g i v e i t to the workers? They do not pay a cent toward workers' compensation. The employer should r e c e i v e .the money because he pays f o r the compensation system". I n g e n e r a l , the WCB responds to c r i t i c i s m by arguing t h a t i t i s pier i o d i c a l l y reviewed and reformed. For i n s t a n c e , the Board makes r e f e r e n c e to a r e c e n t announcement by the M i n i s t e r of Labour L y a l l Hanson, who appointed an a d v i s o r y committee to look i n t o problems and complaints a s s o c i a t e d with the Workers' Compensation Board (The Sun. February 1 7 , 1 3 8 7 ) . The Board a l s o g i v e s c r e d i t to i t s Occupational S a f e t y and Health d i v i s i o n ( O S S i H ) f o r p r o v i d i n g improved r e h a b i l i t a t i o n s e r v i c e s to workers and employers i n education and t r a i n i n g , f i r s t a i d , f i e l d s e r v i c e s , and research and standards (WCB Annual Report, 1 9 8 7 ) . E. I d e n t i f i a b l e p a t t e r n s of b i a s i n the o p e r a t i o n of the WCB Si n c e the i n c e p t i o n of the Workers Compensation Act i n 1 9 1 7 , the p u r s u i t of workers' compensation has been through a mixture of r e g u l a t i o n and i n s p e c t i o n , with these r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s 1 10 c o n s o l i d a t e d i n t o a c e n t r a l agency - the WCB. The Act was not designed to a f f e c t a l l people e q u a l l y . I t was d e l i b e r a t e l y designed and passed by the P r o v i n c i a l L e g i s l a t u r e to p r o v i d e some s e c t i o n s of the p o p u l a t i o n with r i g h t s and b e n e f i t s , and deny compensation to o t h e r s . As a r e s u l t , p a t t e r n s of b i a s i n the o p e r a t i o n s of the WCB have been e v i d e n t . While the workers' compensation system was i n i t i a l l y premised on the p r i n c i p l e of p r o v i d i n g workers with f u l l compensation r e g a r d l e s s of who was a t f a u l t , i t has f u n c t i o n e d p r i m a r i l y to r e l i e v e employers of the burden of time and money b a t t l i n g workers* c l a i m s a g a i n s t them i n the c o u r t s . The workers compensation system was supposed to have an independent mandate in the p r e v e n t i o n of a c c i d e n t s , s e t t i n g h e a l t h and s a f e t y s t a ndards, and mo n i t o r i n g the workplace to make i t s a f e f o r workers, and compensating i n j u r e d workers to f u l l h e a l t h . However, over time, many of these e x p e c t a t i o n s remain u n f u l f i1 l e d . The WCB has i n c r e a s i n g l y come under the i n f l u e n c e of employers concerned with the r i s i n g c o s t s of compensation. T h i s t r e n d has been r e f l e c t e d . under both NDP and S o c i a l C r e d i t governments. During the NDP government between 1972 and 1975, workers d i d make some ga i n s i n the form of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n on the Board and a review of appeal procedures, but r e l a t i o n s with labour were s t i l l s t r a i n e d because the NDP f a i l e d to abandon the r e s t r a i n t l e g i s l a t i o n of the former S o c i a l C r e d i t government. T h i s c o n s e r v a t i v e s t r a t e g y was i n reponse to employer p r e s s u r e which threatened to lower s a f e t y standards and undermine c o l l e c t i v e 111 b a r g a i n i n g u n l e s s growing labour power was c u r t a i l e d . When the S o c i a l C r e d i t Party came i n t o power re-emphasizing p o l i c i e s of f r e e - e n t e r p r i s e and f i s c a l r e s t r a i n t , i t reduced compensation s e r v i c e s to workers. "Rather than being a b e n e f i t to the worker, the WCB has now become a s h i e l d f o r employers, where workers get. nothing except mistreatment, and employers are p r o t e c t e d from l i t i g a t i o n a g a i n s t them by t h e i r employees as a r e s u l t " (BCFL, 1985). T h i s p o l i c y s h i f t on the p a r t of the S o c i a l C r e d i t government was s i g n i f i c a n t i n t h a t i t not o n l y a t t a c k e d the c o n t r o l p o l i c i e s of the p r e v i o u s NDP goverment, but excluded workers from the decision-making process of the WCB. P a t t e r n s of b i a s at the WCB have manifested themselves i n many forms. The Board does not p u b l i s h d e t a i l e d s t a t i s t i c s and i n f o r m a t i o n on i t s a c t i v i t i e s . T h i s i s i n d i r e c t evidence t h a t the Board i s s e r v i n g the i n t e r e s t s of employers. For i n s t a n c e , i n f o r m a t i o n on enforcement a c t i v i t y i s incomplete and c r u d e l y presented i n annual r e p o r t s . The Board does not compute and p u b l i s h a c c i d e n t or i l l - h e a l t h r a t e s , a g a i n s t which can be measured enforcement a c t i v i t i e s and t h e i r apparent success or f a i l u r e . Only between 1972 and 1975 when a new chairman, Ison, was appointed to the Board by the NDP, was there some change i n the amount of i n f o r m a t i o n made a v a i l a b l e . The a c t i v i t i e s of the WCB have been e v a l u a t e d from time to time by a number of Royal Commissions. The impact of these r e p o r t s on the subsequent f u n c t i o n i n g of the Board have not been examined. However a d e c i s i o n was made in 1976 to appoint a f i r m of management consultants, P.S. Ross and Company, to investigate the Board, through a private rather than public hearing. Prior to that, the chairman of the Board, Terry Ison, an NDP appointee, was forced to resign. Ison's subsequent response to the Ross Report concludes that the report was a political manoevre to shift the WCB pro-worker bias during the NDP back towards the employer (Ison, 1986). A possible explanation for this unusual pattern of events is that- Royal Commissions have been used in the past- as a mechanism to lull the public into thinking that any needed reforms would occur as a result of the inquiry. However, when serious changes did occur that favoured the interests of workers, there was quite a dramatic reaction, as in the Ross report. The effects of a shift towards employer bias and fiscal restraint has taken many forms. Since about 1981 the Board has been said to be looking towards hiring "tough people" as opposed to the previous period times when they were looking for "sensitive and caring people". Apparently the sensitive and caring people burnt out- more easily, and it was argued that the tough people "would stand up to the system" (meaning the Board). The Board however, seems to have turned this expectation on its head, using its managerial powers and control of the purse strings to get adjudicators to stand up to claimants. Adjudicators and consultants are described by one WCB employee as "always overworked, tired,, harassed". Management was thought to favour that state, as it would toughen personnel towards c l a i m a n t s . While i t was never " s a i d d i r e c t l y " , i t was c l e a r to everyone i n s i d e the system that the personnel department was " l o o k i n g f o r the tough type of person" (Friedmann, 1986}. The WCBfs p r e f e r e n c e f o r "tough guys" shows i t s e l f c l e a r l y i n management's personnel and promotion d e c i s i o n s . The ones who get promoted are the ones who take the hard, l i n e , ( i . e . who have no f i l e s on t h e i r desks, because they r e g u l a r l y cut o f f c l a i m s ) . A d j u d i c a t o r s have enormous powers of d i s c r e t i o n . "They deci d e what to i n v e s t i g a t e . They can s l a n t t h i n g s and pad cases" ( i b i d : 6 ) . Given management's a t t i t u d e s i t i s easy f o r a d j u d i c a t o r s to be r e s t r i c t i v e , to cut o f f b e n e f i t s , to deny c l a i m s and adopt the a t t i t u d e : " L e t them a p p e a l " . The day of reckoning, when t h e i r d e c i s i o n i s overturned on app e a l , i s so remote they are not t r o u b l e d by the pro s p e c t ( i b i d . ) . R e h a b i l i t a t i o n c o n s u l t a n t s who have some p r o f e s s i o n a l standards and p r o f e s s i o n a l i n t e r e s t i n the w e l l b e i n g of c l i e n t s now f i n d themselves hemmed i n at every stage by a management more i n t e n t on c u r b i n g c o s t s than i n p u t t i n g i n j u r e d workers back on t h e i r f e e t and back i n t o the p r o d u c t i v e work f o r c e . In the words of one former r e h a b i l i t a t i o n c o n s u l t a n t : "Forget about r e t r a i n i n g " « Or the r e t r a i n i n g o f f e r e d would be much s h o r t e r than necessary i n the p r o f e s s i o n a l judgement of the c o n s u l t a n t . "You have to f i g h t with the manager who j u s t wouldn't approve i t " (budget). When they are s u f f i c i e n t l y worn out by management's r e s t r a i n t t a c t i c s , c o n s u l t a n t s q u i t , so th a t concerned s t a f f a re decimated by a t t r i t i o n . "Next time they say they won't h i r e someone who i s pro-worker" ( i b i d . : 7 ) . That comment i s i n t e r p r e t e d by Friedmann (1986) as r e v e a l i n g a s u b t l e put-down by d i s t o r t i o n . The p r o f e s s i o n a l judgements of c o n s u l t a n t s are themselves s a i d to r e f l e c t a pro-worker b i a s . "You don't need to deal with the substance of h i s o p i n i o n " (ibid.."). One c o n s u l t a n t has d e s c r i b e d a p a t t e r n of behaviour whereby c o n s u l t a n t s are asked by the Board to prepare a l i s t of jobs t h a t a d i s a b l e d worker could perform. The Board then p i c k s t h a t job out of the l i s t t h a t has the h i g h e s t e a r n i n g s p o t e n t i a l and uses that j o b alone- f o r i t s d e c i s i o n on whether there i s a l o s s of e a r n i n g s . The j u s t a l t e r n a t i v e would be f o r the Board to s e l e c t a job a t the mid-range of e a r n i n g s p o t e n t i a l from a l l jobs on the l i s t . C o n s u l t a n t s soon get the message: "We don't want to pay l o s s of e a r n i n g s p e n s i o n s " . "The bottom l i n e i s : save money, at the expense of the worker". T h e r e f o r e , the p r e v a i l i n g management a t t i t u d e appears to be that "the employers are i n the d r i v e r ' s s e a t . They pay the i n s u r a n c e " , and they c a l l the shots (1986: 7 >. Friedmann expressed the f o l l o w i n g concern about the Board's adverser i a 1 t-endenc i es : I am d i s t u r b e d by what I p e r c e i v e as an i n c r e a s i n g tendency of the Workers' Com-pensation Board to d i s b e l i e v e workers and to d i m i n i s h or d i s a l l o w c l a i m s . Many c l E k i m a n t s are shocked a t the a d v e r s a r i a l a t t i t u d e t a k e n by an i n c r e a s i n g number of Board p e r s o n n e l . S e c t i o n 99 of the Workers' Compensation Act s t a t e s t h a t the b e n e f i t of the doubt should go to the worker i n cases where the f a c t s are evenly balanced. Current p r a c t i c e appe-ar s to put the burden of proof on the worker. The Board's h a r d l i n e stance p l a c e s the worker i n a d e f e n s i v e and s t r e s s f u l p o s i t i o n . T h i s s i t u a t i o n would be l e s s s e r i o u s i f the appeal system c o u l d q u i c k l y review the c l a i m . However, o n c e art a d j u d i c a t o r denies a c l a i m , i t may take two and a h a l f y e a r s , to exhaust the appeals a v a i l a b l e ( i b i d . : 7-8) . Thus, the Board makes major d e c i s i o n s without imput from labour, and although there has been a s l i g h t r ecent change, the Board has been r e w r i t i n g i n d u s t r i a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y r e g u l a t i o n s w h i l e , f o r the most p a r t , i g n o r i n g labour i n p u t . E x c l u s i o n of domestic workers, farmers, and a r t i s t s from compensation and r e g u l a t i o n i s a c l e a r t r e n d . Health and s a f e t y committees have no d e c i s i o n -making power, as d e c i s i o n s made by these committees are f r e q u e n t l y r e j e c t e d by higher l e v e l management, Eind lower l e v e l management are u s u a l l y a s s i g n e d to these committees, r e n d e r i n g t h e i r d e c i s i o n s i n e f f e c t u a l (BCFL, 1985). In sum, the p a t t e r n s of b i a s o f f e r i n c o n t r o v e r t i b l e evidence t h a t the WCB does favour employers at- the expense of workers. O p e r a t i o n a l t a c t i c s such as those r e l y i n g upon s e c r e c y , d e l a y s i n p r o c e s s i n g c l a i m s , u n d e r r e p o r t i n g of workplace f a t a l i t y r a t e s , shortage of s a f e t y i n s p e c t o r s , e t c . , are more than s u g g e s t i v e of the r o l e performed by the WCB i n attempting to cope with the c l a i m s of workers while not a l i e n a t i n g employers. 1 16 Foot-notes B.C. F e d e r a t i o n of Labour. Submission to the M i n i s t e r of Labour on the B.C. Workers' Compensation Board of Commissioners. January, 1387. P r e s e n t a t i o n to the Workers' Compensation Board. June 3, 1386. Report, of the F e d e r a t i o n of P u b l i c I n q u i r y i n t o the Ef.C. Workers' Compensation System, 1985. B.C. Reporter S e r i e s . D e c i s i o n No. 2, June 4, 1373. _ D e c i s i o n No. 3, 1373. m D e c i s i o n No. 20. 1373. _ Dec i s i on• No. 33. 1374„ m D e c i s i o n No. 128, 1975. . D e c i s i o n No. 410, October 8, 1387. Canadian Employment S a f e t y and Health Guide. V o l . 1, Commerce C l e a r i n g House Inc., 1382, pp. 403-408. Con f e d e r a t i o n of Canadian Unions. Re: Occupational Health and S a f e t y , Workers' Compensation Board. B.C.: November 16, 1381. S a f e t y Inquiry Committee, C o n s t r u c t i o n Industry Court c i 1 , B.C. November , 1381 . C o n s t r u c t i o n Industry A d v i s o r y C o u n c i l . Report of the B r i t i s h Columbia C o n s t r u c t i o n Industry S a f e t y I n q u i r y . A p r i l , 1982. Friedmann, K. A. "The I n s i d e S t o r y . " Vancouver: B.C. F e d e r a t i o n of Labour Conference, September 23, 198S. Hardwick, J . "The I d e n t i f i c a t i o n of I n d u s t r i a l Disease." Un i ver s i ty of E<. C . , May , 1380 „ Interviews with Jene E r r i n g t o n (Workers' A d v i s o r ) , C r a i g Pat-erson ( l a w y e r ) , Bruce E l p h i s t o n e (BCFL), Maureen Cain (WCB), J u d i t h Lee ( L a y e r ) , A l l a n MaClean (Lawyer), Cathy Walker (CCU), John Weir (BCFL), Sarwan Boal (CFU), and Judy K i r k (WCB). Ison, T.G. The Dimensions of I n d u s t r i a l Disease.. U n i v e r s i t y of K i n g s t o n : I n d u s t r i a l R e l a t i o n s Centre, 1978. Ison, T. " P o l i c y A l t e r n a t i v e s to Present S t r u c t u r e " . Vancouver: Conference on Workers' Compensation o r g a n i s e d by the B.C. 117 F e d e r a t i o n of Labour, September 2 9 , 1 9 8 6 . Ombudsman of B.C. S p e c i a l Report No. 8 . A p r i l 1 2 , 1 9 8 4 . Malcolmson, P.E. Occupational HealthI An On t a r i o P e r s p e c t i v e ^ Occupational Health i n O n t a r i o , 3 , 1 9 8 2 , pp. 2 0 6 - 2 1 7 . McKenzie, H.S. " E x p l o r i n g the Current Role of Occupational Health P h y s i c i a n s i n B.C. M.Sc. t h e s i s , U.B.C., 1 9 8 1 , 1 3 6 p. M i n i s t r y of Labour. Annual Report, 1 9 8 5 / 1 3 8 6 . Napoli v s . Workers' Compensation Board, ( 1 9 8 1 } , 2 7 B.C.L.R. 3 0 6 (S .C . } Nixon, G-.B. and Lome J . K a v i c . "The 1 2 0 0 Days, a s h a t t e r e d dream: Dave B a r r e t t and the NDP in B.C." B.C. P u b l i c P o l i c y , 1 9 7 3 , 1 9 7 9 . O f f i c e of the Workers' A d v i s o r s . Submission to the Ad v i s o r y Committee on the S t r u c t u r e of the Workers' Compensation Board. M i n i s t r y of Labour and Consumer S e r v i c e s , June 2 4 , 1 9 8 8 . . Ombudsman of B.C. Workers' Compensation System Study. P u b l i c Report No. 7 , J u l y , 1 9 8 7 . „ » N E W S R £ , l e a s e . " Ju 1 y 2 , 1 9 8 7 „ m s p e c i a l Report No. 8 , A p r i l 1 2 , 1 3 3 4 . Tennant, P. "NDP Government of B r i t i s h Columbia: Unaided P o l i t i c i a n s i n an unaided Cabinet." Canadian P u b l i c P o l i c y , 1 9 7 7 , Autumn, 3 : 4 8 9 - 5 0 3 . The F i n n i s h Occupational Disease A c t . ( 6 3 8 / 6 7 ) . In: Vaanen, V. and Vasama, M. The F i n n i s h Occupational, Disease R e g i s t e r ^ 1 9 7 7 . H e l s i n k i : I n s t i t u t e of Occupational H e a l t h , 1 3 7 8 . The P r o v i n c e . A p r i l 2 3 , 1 9 7 S . The Vancouver Sun. March 1 8 , 1 9 8 8 . _ November 3 0 , 1 9 7 6 _ January 2 7 , 1 9 8 7 . _ . j u r i e 1 3 ? 1 9 8 7 . . J u l y 1 1 , 1 9 8 7 . m November 1 3 , 1 9 8 7 . . February 17, 1987. March 30, 1983. . Ap,, i l 4 , 1988 . _ A p r i l 22, 1988. Tysoe, C. Commision of I n q u i r y , Workers' Compensation A c t . 1966. W e i l e r , P.C. Reshaping CeJI'E'^Olsat-ign f o r O n t a r i o ^ A Report-submitted to R.G. E l g i e , M i n i s t e r of Labour, November, 1980. Workers' Compensation Act of B r i t i s h Columbia. V i c t o r i a : Queen's P r i n t e r f o r B.C., 1379, 61 pp. Workers' Compensation Board of B r i t i s h Columbia. I n d u s t r i a l Disease No. 93, 1974, p. 4. 65th Annual Report f o r the Year Ended December 31, 1381. Finance and S t a t i s t i c s . WCB of B.C., 1980. Workers* Compensation Board News. November/December, 1986. Workers' Compensation Board Annual Report. 1987. World Health O r g a n i z a t i o n . E v a l u a t i o n of Occupational Health and iQ d y s . t r i a l Hygiene S^ryi£es_. Copenhagen: Report on a WHO Working Group, Regional O f f i c e f o r Europe, WHO, 1982, 34 pp. 2enc , C. i ed . ) Development i n 0c c up_a t i o n a 1 Medicine^. Chicago: Year Book Medical P u b l i s h e r s , 1980, 477 pp. 0c c u p a t i o n a l M§d.icine_: P r i n c i p l e s arid P r a c t i c a l Aj2B.Li.cations_. Chicago: Year Book Medical P u b l i s h e r s , 1375, 944 p. 1 19 IV. Summary and Cone 1usion5 Evidence and data p r o v i d e d i n e a r l i e r chapters have shown t h a t the e v o l u t i o n of workers' compensation i n B.C. s i n c e the i n d u s t r i a l r e v o l u t i o n has come a long way i n e n s u r i n g t h a t workers f a c i n g h e a l t h and s a f e t y hazards enjoy at l e a s t a modicum of p r o t e c t i o n under the law. The f a c t t h a t the WCB i s only w i l l i n g to guarantee minimum workplace h e a l t h and s a f e t y s t a ndards, and t h a t i t i s u n w i l l i n g to ensure f u l l compensation f o r a l l workers, shows t h a t the Board i s r e l u c t a n t to antagonize management with c o s t l y p<reventi ve measures. As the source of f u n d i n g f o r the o p e r a t i o n s of the Board, employers oppose r a d i c a l s t r a t e g i e s which co u l d s i g n i f i c a n t l y reduce s u r p l u s value - e n g i n e e r i n g c o n t r o l s , the s u b s t i t u t i o n of hazardous m a t e r i a l , worker m a j o r i t y on h e a l t h and s a f e t y committees with decision-making power, r i g h t of worker s a f e t y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s to shut down unsafe equipment, the c o l l e c t i v e r i g h t of workers to r e f u s e unsafe work. e t c . The Board's response has been to adopt d e l a y i n g t a c t i c s such as r e f u s i n g workers access to t h e i r f i l e s , r e f u s i n g to implement d e c i s i o n s of the Board of review, m i s a p p l y i n g the A c t , d e n i a l of l e g i t i m a t e c l a i m s , and cutbacks to s t a f f and s e r v i c e s to workers. However, t h i s study has a l s o shown t h a t i n i t s r o l e as a mediator between the i n t e r e s t s of labour and c a p i t a l , the s t a t e (WCB) does sometimes accommodate the concerns of workers. For i n s t a n c e , the NDP government which came i n t o power with the support of o r g a n i z e d labour i n 1972, i n t r o d u c e d a t r i p a r t i t e s t r u c t u r e r e p r e s e n t i n g l a b o u r , employers and the s t a t e to govern the WCB. I t f u r t h e r e s t a b l i s h e d a labour r e l a t i o n s board to mediate d i s p u t e s between employers and labo u r , and took a h a r d l i n e a g a i n s t some employers who ignored workplace h e a l t h and s a f e t y concerns. On the other hand, the c u r r e n t S o c i a l Credit-government r e c o r d has been h o s t i l e towards o r g a n i z e d labour and f r i e n d l y towards management. I t denies a l l e g a t i o n s that modest f i n e s imposed a g a i n s t companies v i o l a t i n g s a f e t y r e g u l a t i o n s have had no e f f e c t . But whether under an NDP or S o c i a l C r e d i t government, the WCB w i l l not " c u t - o f f the hand that f e e d s i t " nor implement p o l i c i e s t h a t would s i g n i f i c a n t l y a l t e r the fundamental c a p i t a l i s t s t r u c t u r e . I t remains e s s e n t i a l l y l o y a l to employers and a c t s so as to l e g i t i m a t e the economic and p o l i t i c a l s t a t u s quo. A. E v a l u a t i o n of the A p p l i c a b i l i t y of the L i b e r a l - P l u r a l i s t . Theory I t i s a n t i c i p a t e d , f o l l o w i n g the l i b e r a l - p l u r a l i s t , theory of the s t a t e , t h a t i n the arena of the Workers' Compensation Board of B.C., competing i n t e r e s t groups would p a r t i c i p a t e as cl a i m a n t s and/or i n t e r v e n e r s by p r e s e n t i n g i n f o r m a t i o n to the WCB i n support of t h e i r persptective. I t i s f u r t h e r assumed from the s t a n d p o i n t of l i b e r a l -p l u r a l i s t theory t h a t the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n accorded the f u l l and r e l e v a n t d i v e r s i t y of i n t e r e s t s , i n c l u d i n g those of the p u b l i c , ensures a balance of p e r s p e c t i v e s r e g a r d i n g any i s s u e t h a t comes b e f o r e the Board. Procedural f a i r n e s s i s assured by adherence to a s t a n d a r d i z e d and q u a s i - j u d i c i a l format f o r a l l i n t e r v e n i n g i n t e r e s t s . Moreover, worker and employer access to l e g a l advocacy, t e c h n i c a l e x p e r t i s e , f u n d i n g , and other r e s o u r c e s assumes equal access f o r a l l p a r t i c i p a n t s . Although l i b e r a l p l u r a l i s t theory r e c o g n i z e s that there may be d i f f e r e n c e s among p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n t e r e s t s i n power and e x p e r t i s e , these are presumably o f f s e t by the WCB's e g a l i t a r i a n / a p p e a l measures and the unique c a p a b i l i t i e s of each s e t of p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n t e r e s t s . F i n a l l y , the n e u t r a l i t y of the decision-making process i s presumably guaranteed by the formal s e p a r a t i o n of the d e c i s i o n -making body (WCB) from other f o r c e s in government and i n d u s t r y , and by the h e t e r o g e n e i t y and i m p a r t i a l i t y of i t s members (c omm i ss i oner s ) . In the s t r u c t u r e of the WCB there i s s u r f a c e conformity to p l u r a l i s t assumptions in the area of c l a i m s a d j u d i c a t i o n . As e a r l i e r s t a t e d , workers can f i l e claims and appeal d e c i s i o n s of the Board, thus e n s u r i n g a p l u r a l i t y of input to the WCB and p r o v i d i n g a balance among d i v e r s e and competing f o r c e s (e.g., i n d u s t r y , l a b o u r , s t a t e and p u b l i c i n t e r e s t ) . P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n WCB proceedings takes p l a c e to a l i m i t e d extent through d i r e c t i n t e r v e n t i o n by i n d i v i d u a l s , but p r i m a r i l y by r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of o r g a n i s e d i n t e r e s t s ( o r g a n i z e d labour, employers' groups, advocate groups, and so o n ) . T h i s i s c o n s i s t e n t with the l i b e r a l -p l u r a l i s t emphasis on d i v e r s e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . On the i s s u e of f a i r n e s s of procedures, the procedures of the WCB suggest a general observance of a p l u r a l i s t , standard of f a i r n e s s . WCB procedures have been s t a n d a r d i z e d so as to grant uniform access to a l l i n t e r v e r n o r s , and are c h a r a c t e r i z e d as q u a s i - j u d i c i a l to accommodate workers whose appeals f o l l o w a standard format- which include filing a claim submission of evidence, cross-examination, and summation. All interveners, regardless of interest, follow similar procedures. Liberal pluralist. theory presupposes that differences in competitive abilities among intervernors will be minimized through this process. But as argued earlier, certain characteristics of the WCB detract from a balance among participants. Decision-making on health and safety regulations and their enforcement is restricted to the Commissioners of the Board. Employers have complete access to a worker's medical file, while the affected worker does not. Political interference of the state in the appointment of Board staff affect the balance among participants and the integrity and effectiveness of personnel. Expertise is formally available to and utilized by all intervenors in filing and appealing a claim in the form of legal counsel and expert witness; however, unlike the situation facing employers, funding resources for workers are 1imi ted or simp1y unavai1ab1e. B. Structural Role of the WCB vis-a-vis state theory The application of the liberal - pluralist theory to the study of the state poses a challenge as to the fairness and impartiality of the WCB. Difficulties cited in various sources involved in workers' compensation in B.C., such as delaying appeals, bureauctratic red-tape, inadequate compensation of claims, non-implementation of regulations, lack of accountability and fairness, conflict of functions and interest, ineffective 124 procedures and regulations, and so on, are widespread. Therefore, the liberal - pluralist interpretive framework is not consonant with the systematic inequalities found in the daily operations of the WCB. Going against the liberal - pluralist interpretation, the structuralist theory acknowledges a structure of administrative relationships within the state and between the state and entrepreneurial interests. It denies the concept of a balance among competing interests and, in this case, rejects the purported neutrality of the WCB administrative process. This perspective contends that the WCB functions in the interest- of capitalist. hegemony, and interprets worker intervention in claims adjudication as contributing to social control and the 1 egi timat-ion of capi ta 1 . An E t n a lysis of the WCB structure and how it deals with individual worker cases that come before it, reveals further-shortcomings in the 1iberal-pluralist interpretation of the WCB. The theory fails to reflect the actual experience of worker participation, and it obscures the disproportionate power among competing interests (workers, industry, the state:) through the Board's guise of fairness, objectivity, and impartiality. In fact, the claims ajudication process is marked by a systematic and structural disadvantage suffered by the worker and the public at large, which reflects reflects larger social inequalities embedded in the capitalist foundations of the soc iety. P a r t i c i p a t i o n and r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of workers i s l i m i t e d to persons or groups who lack formal a c c o u n t a b i l i t y to a c o n s t i t u e n c y . Furthermore, the general r e l i a n c e of the Board on l e g a l and t e c h n i c a l s k i l l s has f o r c e d c l a i m a n t s to t r y to o b t a i n comparable e x p e r t i s e . But l e g a l s k i l l s are a c o m p e t i t i v e weapon which are more a c c e s s i b l e to the WCB and management a g a i n s t workers. On the s u b j e c t of the " h e t e r o g e n e i t y of i n t e r e s t s " emphasized by the p l u r a l i s t model, the s t r u c t u r a l i s t , p e r s p e c t i v e i s more attuned to the f a c t t h a t i n c l a i m s a d j u d i c a t i o n , the s u b j e c t i v e and d i s c r e t i o n a r y d e f i n i t i o n of " i n t e r e s t " produces an under-r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of unorganized or disempowered i n t e r e s t s . A s t r u c t u r a l c r i t i q u e of the WCB decision-making process q u e s t i o n s the i m p a r t i a l i t y of the Board of Commissioners as well as the l i m i t e d power of workers in the a c t u a l decision-making p r o c e s s . Moreover, a s t r u c t u r a l i s t a n a l y s i s of the WCB examines the way i n which c l a s s s t r u g g l e i s i n c o r p o r a t e d by the s t a t e i n the g e n e s i s of workers' compensation l e g i s l a t i o n (Navarro, 1978). The s t a t e responds to working c l a s s p r e s s u r e s f o r reform so as to d i f f u s e c o n f l i c t and promote s o c i a l harmony by enhancing the l e g i t i m a c y of the system. However, concessions to labour do not a l t e r e x i s t i n g c l a s s r e l a t i o n s of p r o d u c t i o n ; though they may have a humanizing e f f e c t , they do not change c a p i t a l i s t r e l a t i o n s of p r o d u c t i o n ( M i l i b a n d , 1973). Thus, the c a p i t a l i s t c l a s s has not t o t a l l y opposed measures to improve h e a l t h and s a f e t y i n the workplace. The very f a c t t h a t 126 i l l n e s s c o n s t i t u t e s a d r a i n on s u r p l u s value has l e d employers to seek to reduce i n d u s t r i a l i l l n e s s and i n j u r y . However, only a f r a c t i o n of the c o s t s of i n d u s t r i a l i l l n e s s have been addressed and t h i s m i l i t a t e s a g a i n s t concerted e f f o r t s to improve working c o n d i t i o n s ( A s h f o r d , 1976). C o n f l i c t i n g i n t e r e s t s between labour and management have been f u r t h e r r e f l e c t e d i n numerous submissions and annual r e p o r t s to the government with r e s p e c t to h e a l t h and s a f e t y r e g u l a t i o n s , and the changing content of s u c c e s s i v e d r a f t s of the r e g u l a t i o n s p o i n t s to the r o l e of the s t a t e i n mediating these c o n f l i c t s . Thus i t i s c l e a r t h a t under the s t r u c t u r a l i s t theory, i d e o l o g i c a l and p o l i t i c a l f a c t o r s play an important p a r t i n the d e t e r m i n a t i o n of how workers are d e a l t with under the WCB. These f a c t o r s are viewed as c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to the nature of the c a p i t a l i s t , s t a t e and i t s unequal s t r u c t u r e of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . The b a s i c c l a s s d i v i s i o n s between owners of c a p i t a l and owners of labour are manifest i n the s t a t e s t r u c t u r e . Consequently, the WCB, a mediating forum which a l l e g e d l y r e p r e s e n t s both c a p i t a l and l a b o u r , n e v e r t h e l e s s ensures that the i n t e r e s t s of c a p i t a l dominate, s i n c e a p a r t from i t s r o l e of f o s t e r i n g a l e g i t i m a t i o n f u n c t i o n , the Board must a l s o continue to f a c i l i t a t e p r i v a t e ac cumulation. The p o s i t i o n of i n d u s t r y i s t h e r e f o r e b o l s t e r e d by the l e g i t i m a t i o n and accumulation f u n c t i o n s of the WCB, and i t i s u n l i k e l y t h a t workers can reverse t h i s o b f u s c a t i o n p r o c e s s . In consequence, many i n d u s t r i a l d i s e a s e s and o c c u p a t i o n a l a c c i d e n t s continue to go o f f i c i a l l y unrecognised. Rather than i d e n t i f y i n g c o n d i t i o n s of the environment and the workplace which are a t f a u l t , a blame-the-worker p o l i c y p r e v a i l s , and the number of cases compensated do not r e f l e c t the t r u e nature or extent of the problem. L i b e r a l - p l u r a l i s t theory i s a t a l o s s to make sense of these c o n f u s i n g circumstances. A s t r u c t u r a l i s t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f f e r s a more r e l e v a n t a n a l y t i c a l framework to grasp the s t r u c t u r a l c o n t r a d i c t i o n s inherent i n the WCB, a s t a t e l e g i t i m a t i o n i n s t i t u t i o n o p e r a t i n g w i t h i n a c a p i t a l i s t , economy. The weakness of t h i s study has been the d i f f i c u l t y i n o b t a i n i n g i n f o r m a t i o n e s s e n t i a l to understanding the i n t r i n s i c r e l a t i o n s h i p between employers and the WCB. I t i s d i f f i c u l t to o b t a i n such i n f o r m a t i o n , e s s e n t i a l as i t i s to the s t r u c t u r a l i s t argument that the WCB serves the i n t e r e s t s of employers a t workers. T h i s i n f o r m a t i o n i s t r e a t e d by the WCB as c o n f i d e n t i a l although i t i s the very i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t would c l a r i f y the o p e r a t i o n a l b i a s e s of the o r g a n i z a t i o n . The d i f f i c u l t y i n a c q u i r i n g t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n i s a t t e s t e d to by the p a u c i t y of p u b l i s h e d s t u d i e s examining t h i s i s s u e . A major overhaul of WCB p<olicy r e g a r d i n g access to f i l e s and other c l a s s i f i e d i n f o r m a t i o n would be needed i n order to put c r i t i c a l sc r u t iny on f i rimer ground . C. P o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r Reform of the WCE< Among the minor reforms t h a t have been pursued by the WCB are the i n t r o d u c t i o n of l e g i s l a t i v e committee i n q u i r i e s , ad hoc committees i n q u i r i e s , task f o r c e s , r e p o r t s by management c o n s u l t i n g f i r m s and other modes of i n q u i r y that seek to examine the r e a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of the Board's a c t i o n s . With some e x c e p t i o n s , brokerage p o l i t i c s have commonly p r e v a i l e d i n more recent years over the r a t i o n a l - a n a l y t i c a l process of f a c t - f i n d i n g i n q u i r i e s . The most re c e n t example of proposed reforms i s an announcement by Premier Vander Zalm i n -January 1988, t h a t he would soon arrange a two-day forum where i n j u r e d c l a i m a n t s and employers c o u l d get- together and d i s c u s s ways to improve the workers'compensation system. " I t i s something t h a t occured to me today and I want to pursue i t with the m i n i s t e r and the chairman of the board. The advantage of a forum where you have r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s from the employers and the employees i s t h a t i f they say there i s n ' t enough and they want more, t h e y ' l l a l s o have to say how much more they're prepared to pay." (The Sun. Jan. 11,1988). The r e a c t i o n of o r g a n i s e d labour towards t h i s p roposal was one of mixed p r a i s e and c a u t i o n . "We have been c a l l i n g f o r a f u l l r o y a l commission i n t o the WCB f o r y e a r s . It-i s 10 years overdue...The idea of a conference i s good, but i t s only the b e g i n n i n g " , s a i d Ron Burm, lawyer f o r Labourers' Union ( I b i d ) . Another recent announcement- in A p r i l 1988, by the M i n i s t e r of Labor, L y a l l Hanson, naming an a d v i s o r y committee to look i n t o problems and complaints a s s o c i a t e d with the WCB was warmly embraced by both employers and o r g a n i z e d l a b o r . The t h i r t e e n -member a d v i s o r y committee was composed of r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s from b u s i n e s s and labor with Don Munroe, a former Labor R e l a t i o n s Board chairman, as the chairman. Munroe has d e s c r i b e d the new committee as a "very a b l e and r e p r e s e n t a t i v e group...I think i t 129 demonstrates t h a t the i s s u e of workers' compensation cuts a c r o s s t r a d i t i o n a l a d v e r s a r i a l l i n e s and i s one everyone has i n common" (The Sun. A p r i l 7,1388) . According to Labor M i n i s t e r L y a l l Hanson, the mandate of the committe, which e x p i r e d on August 31st, 1388, was not to look a t i n d i v i d u a l complaints but to examine the WCB and make recommendations on "how workers and employers can p a r t i c i p a t e more e f f e c t i v e l y i n d e v e l o p i n g WCB p o l i c i e s , programs and procedures" ( i b i d ) . The response of employers to the proposed committee was summed up by Jim Matkin, p r e s i d e n t of the Business C o u n c i l of B.C.: " . . . ( T ) h a t seems to be moving i n the r i g h t d i r e c t i o n t h a t the c o u n c i l has advocated, which i s the gr e a t e r involvement of busin e s s and labor in more of a d i r e c t o r ' s model," but Matkin cautioned t h a t the proposal does not go f a r enough towards meeting a l l the c r i t i c i s m s a g a i n s t the WCB (The Sun. February 17,1388). He, no n e t h e l e s s , expressed optimism t h a t the committee "may r e s u l t i n a more p a r t i c i p a t o r y approach" i n the Board's o p e r a t i o n s . On a more c a u t i o u s note, Cathy Walker, the n a t i o n a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y d i r e c t o r of the Canadian A s s o c i a t i o n of I n d u s t r i a l , Mechanical and A l l i e d Workers (CAIMAW) p r a i s e d the i n i t i a t i v e , but argued t h a t i t f e l l s h o r t of a r o y a l commission ( i b i d . ) . With r e s p e c t to workplace h e a l t h and s a f e t y , c r i t i c s have argued t h a t i f the WCB i s committed to meaningful reform, then i t must be prepared to comply with the recommendations of a 1381 review by the Economic C o u n c i l of Canada i n t o a number of areas of government r e g u l a t i o n . The review determined t h a t o c c u p a t i o n a l 130 h e a l t h and s a f e t y i s one which i s not over- r e g u l a t e d . The B r i t i s h Columbia C o n f e d e r a t i o n of Canadian Unions (BCCCU) a l l e g e d in i t s study t h a t government i n t e r v e n t i o n i n t h i s area i s necessary because of f a i l u r e of market f o r c e s to v o l u n t a r i l y a l l o c a t e adequate res o u r c e s to o c c u p a t i o n a l h e a l t h and s a f e t y (December 1933: 1.) Employers n e g l e c t i s a t t r i b u t e d to a number of f a c t o r s : e.g. n e i t h e r employers nor workers are f u l l y informed about h e a l t h and s a f e t y hazards, p a r t l y because of the s i g n i f i c a n t c o s t s of o b t a i n i n g and p r o c e s s i n g e x i s t i n g i n f o r m a t i o n and because much i s not known about o c c u p a t i o -n a l h e a l t h hazards p a r t i c u l a r l y ? c o s t s c r e a t e d by o c c u p a t i o n a l d i s e a s e and i n j u r y are not a l l accounted f o r i n the f i r m ' s balance sheet (piartly because the o r i g i n of the d i s e a s e , or l e s s f r e q u e n t l y , the i n j u r y , goes unrecognized. T h i s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y t r u e f o r d i s e a s e s to the p u b l i c r e l a t e d to p r o d u c t i o n p r o c e s s e s ) ; wages do not r e f l e c t a c c u r a t e l y a r i s k po-emiurn f o r hazard l e v e l s i n v a r i o u s kinds and p l a c e s of employment, p a r t l y due to lack of labour m o b i l i t y and lack of f u l l employment ( i b i d . : l - 2 > . To s u c c e s s f u l l y improve the p r e s e n t h e a l t h and s a f e t y standards the WBC must c o n f r o n t the problems r e s u l t i n g from market f a i l u r e and i n t r o d u c e p o l i c i e s and a d m i n i s t r a t i v e mechanisms which can achieve the f o l l o w i n g : - address a broad range of hazards - ensure hazard abatement s t r a t e g i e s a p p r o p r i a t e to a d i v e r s e workplace - p r o v i d e i n c e n t i v e s to employers to make investment i n h e a l t h and s a f e t y - p r o v i d e i n c e n t i v e s to workers and employers to r e s p e c t h e a l t h and s a f e t y p r a c t i c e s 131 - be r e s p o n s i v e to change ( i b i d . : 2 ) . However, e f f o r t s a t reforming the h e a l t h and s a f e t y standards remain u n s u c c e s s f u l p r i m a r i l y because the WCB l i m i t s any-e f f e c t i v e p a r t i c i p a t i o n by o r g a n i z e d l a b o u r . P u b l i c h e a r i n g s on the s t a t e of occup<ational h e a l t h and s a f e t y i n B.C. are now under way a t the WCB, but the Board has so f a r r e f u s e d to lobby the F e d e r a l government f o r the i n c l u s i o n of hazardous p e s t i c i d e s which a f f e c t farmworkers, i n the newly c r e a t e d f e d e r a l i n f o r m a t i o n system. Furthermore, re c e n t r e p o r t s of s k y - r o c k e t i n g f a t a l i t i e s i n the l o g g i n g , c o n s t r u c t i o n and f i s h i n g i n d u s t r i e s -190 worker deaths - a 23 per cent i n c r e a s e s i n c e 1936 (The P r o v i n c e . September 11, 1333.'), i n d i c a t e t h a t the S o c i a l C r e d i t government and the WCB are not s e r i o u s about i n t r o d u c i n g b e t t e r t r a i n i n g and tougher s a f e t y r u l e s to p r o t e c t the 70,000 u n i o n i z e d workers and thousands of non-union workers in these s e c t o r s . In summary, the p o s s i b i l i t i e s a p p e a r remote f o r meaningful reform of the WCB and i t s decision-making p r o c e s s . So f a r , the appointment of l e g i s l a t i v e committees, task f o r c e s and management c o n s u l t a n t f i r m s to i n v e s t i g a t e the WCB are the o n l y reformist, a c t i o n s t h a t have taken p l a c e , and with the e x c l u s i o n of p u b l i c i n p u t . Thus any p r o s p e c t of meaningful reform of the WCB r e q u i r e s t h a t the WCB c o n f t r o n t the main concerns a f f e c t i n g workers - the r i g h t to know about hazards i n the workplace, the r i g h t to p a r t i c i p a t e i n matters r e l a t i n g to h e a l t h and s a f e t y , and the r i g h t to r e f u s e hazardous work. Most of a l l , f o r the Board to be taken s e r i o u s l y by workers* employers and c r i t i c s , i t must promote and defend a commission of i n q u i r y i n t o a l l aspects of workers' compensation i n B.C., D. A l t e r n a t i v e s to the WCB It should now be obvious from t h i s study t h a t no matter what e f f o r t s are made by the WCB to adopt reforms, the f a c t t h a t the system r e s t s upon an unsound system of compensation f o r human disablement means th a t i t w i l l remain u n j u s t as f a r as workers i n t h i s p r o v i n c e are concerned. C u r r e n t l y , workers i n B.C. are do u b t f u l t h a t the system w i l l meet the b a s i c human need f o r d i s a b i l i t y compensation because i t co n c e n t r a t e s on a l i m i t e d range of d i s a b i l i t i e s , and upon a l i m i t e d range of a c c i d e n t s . As Terr y Ison has argued, The system i n v o l v e s b r o a d s c a l e i n j u s t i c e and waste, and much of t h i s r e s u l t s from the d i f f i c u l t i e s of d i s t i n g u i s h i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s t h a t are compensable from those t h a t are not. T h i s p r o c e s s a l s o i n v o l v e s delay and sometimes a d v e r s a r i a l c o n f l i c t , both of which have-n e g a t i v e impacts on the p s y c h o l o g i c a l s e c u r i t y of a d i s a b l e d worker, and hence may aggravate the d i s a b i l i t y C1936: 27.) Ison f u r t h e r contends t h a t : Perhaps the most fundamental problem i s th a t workers* compensation r e s t s , and always has r e s t e d , on a f a l s e assumption. I t assumes the f e a s i b i l i t y of c l a s s i f y i n g human d i s a b i l i t i e s and deaths by r e f e r e n c e to causes. I t assumes the f e a s i b i l i t y of d i s t i n g u i s h i n g d i s a b i l i t i e s t h a t result, from employment from those that do not. The assumption i s absurd, and yet it-has been r e t a i n e d throughout the years with Ei 11 the co n s e q u e n t i a l i n j u s t i c e s , i n c l u d i n g the d e n i a l of compensation to many workers whose d i s a b i l i t i e s probably d i d r e s u l t from t h e i r emp1oyments ( i b i d . ) . In response to the many policy and structural problems that have plagued the WCB, critics and labour leaders alike have made recommendation upon recommendation on ways to prevent injuries in the workplace. Cathy Walker, health and safety expert for the CCU has even recommended that the WCB be dismantled and replaced with a universal disability system that would compensate all people who get hurt regardless of the case or injury. Under such a system, the functions of the WCB, the Insurance Corporation of B.C., Canada Pension Benefits and other schemes would be combined into a single system. Based on the current New Zealand model, which operates at about one - third the WCB budget, this system would eliminate competing bureacracies and avert suffering among workers (CCU. July 3, 1380SS). Sir Owen Woodhouse, the designer of the New Zealand model, is quoted by I son as having said that: Short sighted answers are bound to follow from short- sighted methods of examination. It is even worse if the sweep and philosophy and the broad purposes of such a project are ignored in favour of the sheer pragmatism of the moment (133S: 25.'). The implication of this model for British Columbia's industrial economy is that: "No longer would disabled or other individuals be forced to fight with an administrative agency because the injury did not fall within the perimeters of the first agency's jurisdiction" (CCU. July 13, 1380: 6). Under such a model, the persistent demand made by labor critics that all authority for occupational health and safety for workers employed in B.C. be transferred to the WCB, would be fulfilled. (At present the jurisdiction for occupational health and safety is scattered 134 among a v a r i e t y of m i n i s t r i e s such as the M i n i s t r y ' s of Labour Occupational Environment Branch, the M i n i s t r y of T r a n s p o r t a t i o n , the M i n i s t r y of H e a l t h , and the M i n i s t r y of Energy, Mines and Petroleum resources.') . The B.C. F e d e r a t i o n of Labour (BCFL) has expressed i t s support f o r u n i v e r s a l coverage f o r a l l workers, i n c l u d i n g farmworkers, f i s h e r i e s , domestic workers, performers, and a r t i s t s , who are p r e s e n t l y excluded from the d e f i n i t i o n of the worker under the Workers' Compensation A c t . Lawyer Barbara Bluman, who r e c e n t l y won a landmark B.C. Supreme Court d e c i s i o n t h a t found the WCB to be " p a t e n t l y unreasonable" and i n v i o l a t i o n of the " r u l e s of n a t u r a l j u s t i c e " , advocates a r e t u r n to the r i g h t to sue employers f o r i n j u r i e s where the employer i s n e g l i g e n t . She. i s convinced t h a t an overhauled WCB could s u r v i v e i f workers were given the r i g h t to sue. Nonetheless, o r g a n i z e d labour i s not d i s p l e a s e d with the present Workers' Compensation A c t . I t i s c o n s i d e r e d to be among the most p r o g r e s s i v e l e g i s l a t i o n of i t s kind i n North America. While o r g a n i z e d labour does not agree with a l l i t s p r o v i s i o n s , and would l i k e to see numerous changes, any wholesale r e v i s i o n s o f f the Act are viewed as u n d e s i r a b l e . What o r g a n i s e d labour i s c a l l i n g f o r i s the replacement of the S o c i a l C r e d i t Party with a government committed to a u n i v e r s a l compensation system. However, i t i s u n c e r t a i n whether the New Democratic P a r t y (NDP), i f e l e c t e d , would be prepared to f u l f i l l or guarantee such a system. In sum, while a u n i v e r s a l compensation system i s viewed by some, org a n i z e d labour i n p a r t i c u l a r , as the only genuine s o l u t i o n to the problems t h a t a f f l i c t WCB o p e r a t i o n s , i n d u s t r i a l r e l a t i o n s e x p e r t s advocate a new philosophy i n d e a l i n g with i n d u s t r i a l s a f e t y . They are proposing a s h i f t from a 'blame-the-worker* approach to a h o l i s t i c approach which t r e a t s s a f e t y as an i n t e g r a l p a r t of the p r o d u c t i o n p r o c e s s . "Only when a l l branches of government work together to achieve p r o d u c t i v i t y and q u a l i t y w i l l i t be p o s s i b l e to reduce or e l i m i n a t e a c c i d e n t s " (Globe and M a i l . August 29,1988.) T h i s approach f u r t h e r c a l l s f o r the a p p l i c a t i o n of a manaigemerit-styled q u a l i t y - c o n t r o l p h i l o s o p h y t h a t combines ergonomics (the design of the workplace), and i n d u s t r i a l psychology, and i n d u s t r i a l e n g i n e e r i n g and s a f e t y , i n order to reduce a c c i d e n t s and i n c r e a s e both worker-morale and p r o d u c t i o n . Japanese i n d u s t r i e s are c i t e d as an example of the s u c c e s s f u l a p p l i c a t i o n of such a management ph i l o s o p h y . However, i t remains un c l e a r whether p o l i t i c a l , s o c i a l and economic o b s t a c l e s can be overcome in order to make t h i s approach work i n Canada. Footnotes B r i t i s h Columbia - C o u n c i l C o n f e d e r a t i o n of Canadian Unions "Submission; Second D r a f t Amendments to the WCB's I n d u s t r i a l Health and S a f e t y R e g u l a t i o n s " . B.C., December, 1383. Doern, G.B., The E'egkUlst-ory; E P r o c e s s in Canada^, Toronto: McMillan, 1373." " Globe and M a i l . August 29, 1388. Friedmann, A. K. "The I n s i d e S t o r y . " Vancouver: B.C. F e d e r a t i o n of Labour Conference, September 29, 1986. Hardwick, J . "The I d e n t i f i c a t i o n of I n d u s t r i a l D isease." J n i v e r s i t y of B.C., May, 1380. Ison, T.G. " P o l i c y A l t e r n a t i v e s to Present S t r u c t u r e s " . Vancouver: Conference on Workers* Compensation organized by the B.C. F e d e r a t i o n of Labour, September 23,1986. Manor., R. Canadian P u b l i c Pol i c y : The Unequal S t r u c t u r e of Re pre sen t a t ion . In I Pani tch , ed„, The Canadian State.. Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto P r e s s , 1977 O f f i c e of the Workers* A d v i s o r s . "Submission to the A d v i s o r y Committee on the S t r u c t u r e of the Workers* compensation Board. " M i n i s t r y of Labour and Consumer S e r v i c e s , June 24, 1988. Pan i t c h , L. The Canadian State_: P o l i t i c a l Economy and P o l i t i c a l Power.. Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto,, 1977. Reschenthaler , G.Ei. O c c u p a t i o n a l Health and S a f e t y i n Canada... Montreal: I n s t i t u t e f o r Research on P u b l i c P o l i c y , 1973. The P r o v i n c e . September 11, 1383. The Vancouver Sun. February 17, 1388. _ „ October 31, 1988. APPENDIX I SCHEDULE B S e c t i o n 6(4) o f W o r k e r s ' C o m p e n s a t i o n A c t o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a D e s c r i p t i o n o f D i s e a s e D e s c r i p t i o n o f P r o c e s s o r I n d u s t r y 1. P o i s o n i n g b y : ( a ) L e a d (b ) M e r c u r y ( c ) A r s e n i c o r a r s l n e (d) Cadmium (e ) M a n g a n e s e ( f ) P h o s p h o r u s , p h o s p h i n e o r due t o t h e a n t i -c h o l i n e s t e r a s e a c t i o n o f o r g a n i c p h o s p h o r u s compounds ( g ) O r g a n i c s o l v e n t s ( n -h e x a n e , c a r b o n t e t r a -c h l o r i d e , t r l c h l o r o -e t h a n e , t r f c h l o r o -e t h y l e n e , a c e t o n e , b e n z e n e , t o l u e n e , x y l e n e a n d o t h e r s ) (h ) C a r b o n m o n o x i d e (1 ) H y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e ( j ) N i t r o u s fumes ( I n -c l u d i n g s i l o f i l l e r ' s d i s e a s e ) ( k ) N i t r i l e s , h y d r o g e n c y a n i d e o r i t s s o l u b l e s a l t s (1 ) P h o s g e n e (m) O t h e r t o x i c s u b -s t a n c e s Where t h e r e i s an e x p o s u r e t o l e a d o r l e a d compounds . Where t h e r e i s an e x p o s u r e t o m e r c u r y o r m e r c u r y compounds . Where t h e r e 1 s an e x p o s u r e t o a r s e n i c o r a r s e n i c compounds . Where t h e r e i s an e x p o s u r e t o cadmium o r cadmium compounds . Where t h e r e i s an e x p o s u r e t o manganese o r manganese compounds . Where t h e r e i s an e x p o s u r e t o p h o s p h o r u s compounds . Where t h e r e 1s e x p o s u r e t o o r g a n i c s o l v e n t s . Where t h e r e 1s e x p o s u r e t o p r o d u c t s o f c o m b u s t i o n , o r any o t h e r s o u r c e o f c a r b o n m o n o x i d e . Where t h e r e 1s e x c e s s i v e e x p o s u r e t o h y d r o g e n s u l p h i d e . Where t h e r e i s e x c e s s i v e e x p o s u r e t o n i t r o u s fumes i n c l u d i n g t h e o x i d e s o f n i t r o g e n . Where t h e r e 1 s e x p o s u r e t o c h e m i c a l s c o n t a i n i n g -CN g r o u p i n c l u d i n g c e r t a i n p e s t i c i d e s . Where t h e r e 1s e x c e s s i v e e x p o s u r e t o phosgene I n c l u d i n g i t s o c c u r r e n c e as a b reakdown p r o d u c t o f c h l o r i n a t e d compounds by c o m b u s t i o n . Where t h e r e i s e x p o s u r e t o s u c h t o x i c g a s e s , v a p o u r s , m i s t s , fumes o r d u s t s . .138 2. I n f e c t i o n c a u s e d b y : ( a ) P s i t t a c o s i s v i r u s Where t h e r e i s e s t a b l i s h e d c o n t a c t w i t h o r n i t h o s l s - 1 n f e c t e d a v i a n s p e c i e s o r m a t e r i a l . (b ) S t a p h y l o c o c c u s a u r e u s , S a l m o n e l l a o r g a n i s m s , H e p a t a t i s B v i r u s Employment where c l o s e and f r e q u e n t c o n t a c t w i t h a s o u r c e o r s o u r c e s o f t h e I n f e c t i o n has been e s t a b l i s h e d and t h e emp loyment n e c e s s i t a t e s : (1 ) t h e t r e a t m e n t , n u r s i n g o r e x a m i n a t i o n o f o r i n t e r v i e w s w i t h p a t i e n t s o r 111 p e r s o n s ; o r (2) t h e a n a l y s i s o r t e s t i n g o f body t i s s u e s o r f l u i d s ; o r (3 ) r e s e a r c h i n t o s a l m o n e l l a e , p a t h o g e n i c s t a p h y l o c o c c i o r H e p a t i t i s B v i r u s . ( c ) B r u c e l l a o r g a n i s m s ( U n d u l a n t f e v e r ) Where t h e r e i s c o n t a c t w i t h a n i m a l s , c a r c a s s e s o r a n i m a l b y - p r o d u c t s . (d ) T u b e r c l e b a c i l l u s Employment where c l o s e and f r e q u e n t c o n t a c t w i t h a s o u r c e o r s o u r c e s o f t u b e r c u l o u s I n f e c t i o n ha s been e s t a b l i s h e d a n d t h e emp loyment n e c e s s i t a t e s : (1 ) t h e t r e a t m e n t , n u r s i n g o r e x a m i n a t i o n o f o r i n t e r v i e w s w i t h p a t i e n t s o r i l l p e r s o n s ; o r (2") t h e a n a l y s i s o r t e s t i n g o f body t i s s u e s o r f l u i d s ; o r (3 ) r e s e a r c h I n t o t u b e r c u l o s i s by a w o r k e r who: (1 ) when f i r s t e n g a g e d , o r , a f t e r an a b s e n c e f r o m employment o f t h e t y p e s m e n t i o n e d 1n t h e s e r e g u l a t i o n s f o r a p e r i o d o f more t h a n one y e a r , when r e - e n g a g e d i n s u c h emp loyment was f r e e f r o m e v i d e n c e o f t u b e r c u l o s i s ; and ( i i ) c o n t i n u e d t o be f r e e f r o m e v i d e n c e o f t u b e r c u l o s i s f o r s i x months a f t e r b e i n g so e m p l o y e d ( e x c e p t 1n p r i m a r y t u b e r c u l o s i s a s p r o v e n by a n e g a t i v e t u b e r c u l i n t e s t a t t i m e o f e m p l o y m e n t ) . I n t h e c a s e o f an emp loyee p r e v i o u s l y compensa t ed f o r t u b e r c u l o s i s , any s u b s e q u e n t t u b e r c u l o s i s a f t e r t h e d i s e a s e has become i n a c t i v e and has r e m a i n e d i n a c t i v e f o r a p e r i o d o f t h r e e y e a r s o r more s h a l l n o t be deemed t o have o c c u r r e d a s a r e s u l t o f t h e o r i g i n a l d i s a b i l i t y f o r t h e p u r p o s e o f t h e A c t , u n l e s s t h e w o r k e r i s s t i l l engaged i n employment l i s t e d above o r t h e B o a r d 1s s a t i s f i e d t h a t t h e s u b s e q u e n t t u b e r c u l o s i s i s t h e d i r e c t r e s u l t o f t h e t u b e r c u l o s i s f o r w h i c h t h e w o r k e r has been c o m p e n s a t e d . 139 P n e u m o c o n i o s l s : ( a ) S i l i c o s i s Where t h e r e I s e x p o s u r e t o a i r b o r n e s i l i c a d u s t I n c l u d i n g m e t a l l i f e r o u s m i n i n g and c o a l m i n i n g . Where t h e r e i s e x p o s u r e t o a i r b o r n e a s b e s t o s d u s t . ( b ) A s b e s t o s l s ( c ) O t h e r p e n u m o c o n l o s e s Where t h e r e 1 s e x p o s u r e t o t h e a i r b o r n e d u s t s o f c o a l , b e r y l l i u m , t u n g s t e n c a r b i d e , a l u m i n u m o r o t h e r d u s t s known t o p r o d u c e f i b r o s i s o f t h e l u n g s . . C a n c e r : ( a ) C a r c i n o m a o f t h e l u n g when a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a s b e s t o s l s Where t h e r e i s e x p o s u r e t o a i r b o r n e a s b e s t o s d u s t . ( b ) M e s o t h e l i o m a ( p l e u r a l o r p e r i t o -n e a l ) Where t h e r e i s e x p o s u r e t o a i r b o r n e a s b e s t o s d u s t . ( c ) C a r c i n o m a o f t h e l a r y n x o r p h a r y n x a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a s b e s t o s i s Where t h e r e i s e x p o s u r e t o a i r b o r n e a s b e s t o s d u s t . ( d ) G a s t r o - i n t e s t l n a l c a n c e r ( i n c l u d i n g a l l p r i m a r y c a n c e r s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e o e s o p h a g u s , s t o m a c h , s m a l l b o w e l , c o l o n , a n d r e c t u m ( e x c l u d i n g t h e a n u s ) , a n d w i t h -o u t r e g a r d t o t h e s i t e o f t h e c a n c e r i n t h e g a s t r o -i n t e s t i n a l t r a c t o r t h e h i s t o l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r e o f t h e c a n c e r ) Where t h e r e i s e x p o s u r e t o a s b e s t o s d u s t 1 f d u r i n g t h e p e r i o d b e t w e e n t h e f i r s t e x p o s u r e t o a s b e s t o s d u s t a n d t h e d i a g n o s i s o f g a s t r o - i n t e s t i n a l c a n c e r t h e r e h a s been a p e r i o d o f , o r p e r i o d s a d d i n g up t o , 20 y e a r s o f c o n t i n u o u s e x p o s u r e t o a s b e s t o s d u s t and s u c h e x p o s u r e r e p r e s e n t s o r i s a m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f t h e m a j o r c o m p o n e n t o f t h e o c c u p a t i o n a l a c t i v i t y i n w h i c h i t o c c u r r e d . ( e ) P r i m a r y c a n c e r o f t h e l u n g Where t h e r e i s p r o l o n g e d e x p o s u r e t o : (1 ) a e r o s o l s a n d g a s e s c o n t a i n i n g a r s e n i c , c h r o m i u m , n i c k e l o r t h e i r c o m p o u n d s ; o r (2) b i s ( c h l o r o m e t h y l ) e t h e r ; o r 140 ( f ) L e u k e m i a o r p r e -l e u k e m i a ( g ) P r i m a r y c a n c e r o f t h e s k i n ( 3 ) t h e d u s t o f u r a n i u m , o r r a d o n g a s a n d i t s d e c a y p r o d u c t s ; o r ( 4 ) p a r t i c u l a t e p o l y c y c l i c a r o m a t i c h y d r o c a r b o n s . Where t h e r e i s p r o l o n g e d e x p o s u r e t o b e n z e n e o r t o I o n i z i n g r a d i a t i o n . Where t h e r e i s p r o l o n g e d c o n t a c t w i t h c o a l t a r p r o d u c t s , a r s e n i c o r c u t t i n g o i l s o r p r o l o n g e d e x p o s u r e t o s o l a r u l t r a - v i o l e t l i g h t . ( h ) P r i m a r y c a n c e r o f t h e e p i t h e l i a l l i n i n g o f t h e u r i n a r y b l a d d e r , u r e t e r o r r e n a l p e l v i s Where t h e r e i s p r o l o n g e d e x p o s u r e t o b e t a - n a p h t h y l a m i n e , b e n z i d i n e , o r 4 - n i t r o d l p h e n y l . ( i ) P r i m a r y c a n c e r o f t h e mucous l i n i n g o f t h e n o s e o r n a s a l s i n u s e s Where t h e r e i s p r o l o n g e d e x p o s u r e t o d u s t s , f u m e s o r m i s t s c o n t a i n i n g n i c k e l o r t h e d u s t s o f h a r d w o o d s . U ) A n g i o s a r c o m a o f t h e 1 i v e r Where t h e r e 1s e x p o s u r e t o v i n y l c h l o r i d e monomer . 5. H e a r t i n j u r y o r d i s e a s e i n c l u d i n g h e a r t a t t a c k , c a r d i a c a r r e s t o r a r r h y t h m i a , d i s e a s e o f t h e p e r i c a r d i u m , h e a r t m u s c l e o r c o r o n a r y a r t e r i e s Where t h e w o r k e r i s e m p l o y e d a s a f i r e f i g h t e r . 6. A s t h m a Where t h e r e i s e x p o s u r e t o : ( 1 ) w e s t e r n r e d c e d a r d u s t ; o r (2) i s o c y a n a t e v a p o u r s o r g a s e s ; o r (3) t h e d u s t , fume o r v a p o u r s o f o t h e r c h e m i c a l s o r o r g a n i c m a t e r i a l known t o c a u s e a s t h m a . 7. E x t r i n s i c a l l e r g i c a l v e o l i t i s ( i n c l u d i n g f a r m e r s ' l u n g a n d mushroom w o r k e r s ' l u n g ) Where t h e r e I s r e p e a t e d e x p o s u r e t o r e s p i r a b l e o r g a n i c d u s t s . H i 8 . R e s p i r a t o r y I r r i t a t i o n Where t h e r e 1s e x c e s s i v e e x p o s u r e t o a g a s , v a p o u r , m i s t , fume o r d u s t o f a c h e m i c a l o r o t h e r m a t e r i a l o r d i n a r i l y c a u s a t i v e o f r e s p i r a t o r y I r r i t a t i o n . 9 . M e t a l fume f e v e r Where t h e r e i s e x p o s u r e t o t h e fume o f z i n c o r o t h e r m e t a l s . 1 0 . F l u o r o s i s Where t h e e i s e x p o s u r e t o h i g h c o n c e n t r a t i o n s o f f l u o r i n e o r f l u o r i n e compounds I n g a s e o u s o r p a r t i c u l a t e f o r m . 1 1 . N e u r o s e n s o r y h e a r i n g l o s s Where t h e r e i s p r o l o n g e d e x p o s u r e t o e x c e s s i v e n o i s e l e v e l s . 1 2 . B u r s i t i s Where t h e r e i s e x c e s s i v e f r i c t i o n , r u b b i n g o r p r e s s u r e on t h e b u r s a i n v o l v e d . 1 3 . T e n o s y n o v i t i s , t e n d i n i t i s Where u n a c c u s t o m e d and r e p e t i t i v e u s e o f t h e a f f e c t e d a r m , h a n d , l e g o r f o o t 1s r e q u i r e d . 1 4 . D e c o m p r e s s i o n s i c k n e s s Where t h e r e 1s e x p o s u r e t o I n c r e a s e d a i r p r e s s u r e . 1 5 . C o n t a c t d e r m a t i t i s Where t h e r e i s e x c e s s i v e e x p o s u r e t o I r r i t a n t s , a l l e r g e n s o r s e n s i t i z e r s o r d i n a r i l y c a u s a t i v e o f d e r m a t i t i s . 1 6 . V a s c u l a r d i s t u r b a n c e s o f t h e e x t r e m i t i e s Where t h e r e i s p r o l o n g e d e x p o s u r e t o e x c e s s i v e v i b r a t i o n s a t l o w t e m p e r a t u r e s . 1 7 . R a d i a t i o n i n j u r y o r d i s e a s e : ( a ) Due t o I o n i z i n g r a d i a t i o n Where t h e r e 1s e x p o s u r e t o I o n i z i n g r a d i a t i o n . (b ) Due t o n o n - 1 o n 1 z 1 n g r a d i a t i o n : ( i ) c o n j u n c t i v i t i s , k e r a t i t i s Where t h e r e i s e x p o s u r e t o u l t r a - v i o l e t l i g h t , ( i i ) c a t a r a c t o r o t h e r t h e r m a l damage t o t h e eye Where t h e r e i s e x c e s s i v e e x p o s u r e t o I n f r a - r e d , m i c r o w a v e o r l a s e r r a d i a t i o n . 1 8 . E r o s i o n o f I n c i s o r t e e t h Where t h e r e i s e x p o s u r e t o a d d fumes o r m i s t . S o u r c e : Husman, K.R.H. O c c u p a t i o n a l D i s e a s e i n B.C.: F r e q u e n c y . D i s t r i b u t i o n and I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r P r e v e n t i o n . U n i v . of B.C., 1983. 142 APPENDIX 2 Penalty Assessments levied against Industry for the years, 1970 - 1975 Penalty Assessments 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 Total Ho.. 7 39 37 125 253 232 Estimated Total Penalty Costs 1 ' $ 40,000 $190,000 $380,000 Estimated Average Penalty Costs ' ' $ 320 $ 750 N/A* Estimated Total No. of Observed: Violations (Inspector's Orders) 30,186 29,622 27,334 44,463 44,417 51,187 Reported New Yfork Injuries 96,645 109,186 117,211 129,282 145,908 135,324 Total Reg. Employers 44,349 46,564 49,717 52,907 55,176 57,399 * N/A since a substantial proportion of total penalty costs are attributable solely to one employer, Cominco. Source: IWA Regional Council 1, Submission on V.'orkers' Compensation i n B.C. to the Minister of Labour and the Commissioners of the WCB i n B.C., November 1976. A P P E N D I X 3 WCB - DECREASING ENFORCEMENT/INCREASING CLAIMS SO,000 . 9 V ' %-\ \ V •v \ % \ V i0,000 . & , V V \ \ s s -incAjdzvvtii -*• • % ^s*— AjijuAif fiats. 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