Atlantic Canadians injured on the job tend to take longer to return to work than those living in most other provinces. To further assist workers as they recover from workplace injury, Atlantic Canada’s workers’ compensation organizations have teamed up to launch a region-wide program .
Working to Well is one of several shared initiatives produced over the past decade by WCB Nova Scotia, WorkplaceNL, WorkSafeNB, and the Workers Compensation Board of PEI. Its goal is to keep people connected to their workplace, whenever possible, following an injury.
Working to Well aims to reduce both the human and financial impact of workplace injury. Application varies in each province, but the core of the Working to Well program features four powerful stories of Atlantic Canadians who overcame life-changing workplace injuries.
Working to Well in New Brunswick
“At WorkSafeNB, we are committed to ensuring a safe work culture so all New Brunswickers return home at the end of their shift in the same way they arrived. But accidents still happen, and when these do, we are just as committed to ensuring workers, and their employers, get the support they need to help get that employee safely back to employment following a workplace injury – to return them to well,” said Tim Petersen, WorkSafeNB’s acting president and chief executive officer.
And while New Brunswick’s lost-time workplace injury frequency continues to remain lower than the Canadian average, the volume of case-managed claims and their duration increased last year.
“We understand how important work is to a person’s physical and psychological well-being. That’s why we are so committed to helping workers who are injured maintain a workplace connection and safely return to wellness and work,” Petersen said.
Workers like Darren Shaw.
Darren Shaw was an experienced carpenter with 24 years on the job. One day, as he helped a co-worker carry some drywall, the load slipped causing him significant elbow and shoulder injuries.
Right away, members of the WorkSafeNB return to work team facilitated Darren’s recovery plan, but just before he was due to go back to work, Darren experienced a setback injury. It became clear he would be unable to manage the physical demands of construction work.
With the help of his case management team, and the support of his wife, Karen, he explored vocational rehabilitation. Ironically, it revealed he had an aptitude for a career in health and safety.
That aptitude became a passion and today, Darren is an accredited and certified safety expert, committed to workplace injury prevention.
Visit the Working to Well website to learn about the benefits of return to work.