OHS Canada Magazine

Workers injured during wildfire evacuations, Good Samaritans may be eligible for benefits: WCB Alberta

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June 1, 2023
By OHS Canada

Workers Compensation alberta wildfires Workers Compensation

The Spreading Creek Wildfire close to the Saskatchewan River Crossing at Banff National Park in this 2014 file photo. Photo: Adobe Stock

The Workers’ Compensation Board of Alberta has a number of resources available for employers, and injured workers, impacted by wildfire evacuations in the province.

Fires continue to rage in the province, as just yesterday the northern hamlet of Fort Chipewyan was evacuated as an out-of-control blaze inched closer to the town.

“There’s nobody around,” said Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, whose people are among those ordered out of the remote northeastern community of Fort Chipewyan, population 800. “It was unreal. No sound of kids, no sound of motors. Just the essential services people. That’s it.”

Josee St-Onge of Alberta Wildfire said the province is dealing with 66 wildfires, with 18 out of control. The flames have scorched 11,000 square kilometres of forest. Firefighters continue to arrive from out of province, including 80 from Yukon and British Columbia.

WCB said any worker injured during an evacuation may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if the injury is determined to be work-related.


“If you’re not sure if an injury is work-related, call us or submit a claim and we’ll take a look,” it said.

It also noted that, in limited instances, workers are covered for injuries sustained due to smoke inhalation. This fact sheet provides more information.

Good Samaritans may also be eligible for benefits.

“Many people have provided support to citizens evacuating due to the fires,” it said. “We can provide coverage for injuries related to these kind acts when an employer has directed a worker to assist in a non-work related distress situation.” See this fact sheet for more information.

WCB is reminding employers that if their businesses have been impacted by the fires, they can reach out for information on adjusting coverage or assist with any billing inquiries.

For more information and assistance, visit https://www.wcb.ab.ca/about-wcb/whats-new/wildfires.html

With files from the Canadian Press



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