April 2017: PWHS research assistant and MSc graduate Niloufar Saffari and Co-Director Chris McLeod, Saffari’s thesis supervisor, presented the results of Saffari’s thesis examining differences in disability duration after a work injury for immigrant and Canadian-born workers to the WorkSafeBC Interorganization Committee (IOC) Conference on April 6, 2017. Their talk, entitled Lost in Translation: How do immigrant workers in BC fare after a work injury?, opened the conference, and was followed by a keynote address by Lionel Laroche of MultiCultural Business Solutions about effectively communicating with culturally different people, and an introduction to the plans for the commemoration of WorkSafeBC’s 100 year anniversary. Attendees included senior members of WorkSafeBC, the Review Division and Fair Practices Office, the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal, the Employers’ Advisers Organization, Workers’ Advisers Organization, and the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism & Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour.
Saffari and McLeod shared their finding that immigrant workers do experience longer disability durations when compared to Canadian-born workers. The relationship between disability duration and immigrant status is especially strong for men, younger workers, and more established immigrants (>10 years in Canada). The idea for the work was sparked by Saffari’s personal experience as an immigrant to Canada and as the wife of an injured immigrant worker. This study is the first time that injury claim data from WorkSafeBC and data on permanent residents from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has been linked. Detailed findings from this novel research are available: Immigration status and work disability duration in British Columbia