The family of a Saskatoon man who got hit while working at a carnival ride is upset he's been turned down for workers compensation.

Dustin Desjarlais, 21, sustained a massive head injury while working at the Saskatoon Exhibition.

On Aug. 7, while taking tickets for a ride called 1001 Nights, he was struck by the passenger gondola.

He's out of hospital now, but he'll be off work for at least a year.

Recently, he received some bad news — his claim for compensation was rejected.

His family, including stepfather Dan Kinar, can't understand why he's not eligible for help by the Workers Compensation Board.

"I couldn't believe it," Kinar said. "You assume when you work for someone you don't ask those kind of questions ... 'Am I covered by WCB? How many sick days do I get?' You just assume it's covered."

It turns out that because the operator of the ride, West-Coast Amusements, is based in British Columbia, under Saskatchewan law, it doesn't have to pay premiums to the Workers Compensation Board.

And because no premiums are paid, there's no coverage if a worker is injured.

Workers Compensation Board spokeswoman Janice Siekawitch said she's not surprised the family is angry.

"I think it's quite understandable," she said. "I suspect people do make the assumption that if they're in a workplace, they're covered, that Workers Compensation extends coverage."

There are about 30 industries that don't have to pay for coverage, including circus operations, dairy farmers and commercial fishing operations.

The provincial government is reviewing those excluded industries, Siekawitch said.