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Ontario's WSIB: Essential Workplace Safety and Insurance Coverage


Ontario's WSIB: Essential Workplace Safety and Insurance Coverage

Information and news on the construction sectorOntario's WSIB: Essential Workplace Safety and Insurance Coverage

No matter the workplace, whether it's a construction site, restaurant, or hair salon, safety is always the number one priority. However, despite the importance placed on fostering a secure work environment in Ontario, accidents can and do happen, and workers sometimes get injured or fall ill while on the job.

Despite the potential for reduced income, the burden of purchasing medication or medical devices, and even lawsuits, Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board aims to mitigate these challenges by providing comprehensive coverage and support to both employers and workers alike. Let's delve deeper into what the WSIB is and how it functions within Ontario's workplace landscape.

What is Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)?

several contractors reading architect's plans 

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, often shortened to WSIB, is an independent trust agency in Ontario, operating under the province's Ministry of Labour. The organisation is responsible for providing no-fault collective insurance coverage for workplace injuries and illnesses to Ontario workplaces in line with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

Workplaces registered with the WSIB pay monthly premiums which go towards protecting them in the event that an employee injures themself on the job. This collective liability insurance reassures employers that they are generally protected from lawsuits by injured workers.

In the event of a workplace accident, the employee, on the other hand, is entitled to workplace insurance benefits, which include healthcare coverage, wage-loss benefits, and return-to-work assistance, without having to prove their employer was at fault for their injury or illness. They simply need to show that it's work-related.

Which Businesses Must Register With the WSIB?

contractor welding 

Most business in Ontario are required to register with the WSIB. They have 10 days to do so from the day they hire their first employee. Workplaces that are required to register include:

  • construction businesses

  • restaurants or bars

  • sales and services, agriculture or manufacturing businesses

  • trucking or transportation companies

  • homeowners or private residents hiring a domestic employee (babysitter, nanny, cook, gardener, handy person, housekeeper, etc.)

Not all employers need to register, however. Those who are not required to register with the WSIB, but may choose to, include:

  • banks, trusts, and insurances companies

  • trade unions

  • private day cares

  • travel agencies

  • photography businesses

  • barber shops and many hair salons

  • funeral or embalming establishments

Businesses which must register but fail to do so may face penalties, investigations, and provincial offence charges. Furthermore, they may have to pay retroactive premiums. In other words, to mitigate potential risks, it's imperative to register your business if mandated.

Ontario Workers' Health Care Benefits, Coverage, and Compensation

contractor on the roof 

After a workplace injury or illness, the Workplace Safety Insurance Board covers all approved healthcare costs, regardless of missed work or personal insurance coverage. This includes medical treatment, hospitalisation, prescriptions, medical devices, travel expenses, and more.

If a worker requires specialised care, their directories can help locate registered providers. Pharmacies can bill them directly for medications, but if that's not possible, individuals can request reimbursement by filling out a form and submitting receipts. Furthermore, a clothing allowance is available annually for damage caused by medical devices, and they also cover approved healthcare equipment and supplies like braces, walkers, and wound care items.

In terms of income replacement, if the WSIB finds that a worker's work-related injury or illness prevents them from working, or if they can only safely return to work for reduced compensation, they may provide them with compensation of up to 85 percent of their pre-injury take-home pay.

What Steps Should Be Taken If an Injury Occurs at Work?

contractor fixing gypsum board 

Per the WSIB's guidelines, these are the steps to be taken by both the employee and employer in an event of a workplace injury or illness:

As an Employee

  1. Seek medical help: Seek immediate first aid. Visit a doctor or hospital if further treatment is needed. Your employer covers transportation costs on the day of the injury.

  2. Document: Immediately inform your employer about your injury or illness and any medical treatment received.

  3. Notify the WSIB: Report your injury or illness if you require treatment beyond first aid, are unable to go to work, or experience reduced pay or hours.

  4. Maintain contact: Keep in contact with the WSIB. They'll collaborate with you and your employer.

As an Employer

  1. Administer first aid: Administer initial aid. If further treatment is required, either arrange transportation to a medical facility or cover the cost of transportation for your employee on the day of the injury.

  2. Document: Investigate and maintain a thorough record of the incident along with the actions taken to address it.

  3. Notify the WSIB: Submit an Employer’s Report of Injury/Illness (Form 7) within three days of learning about a workplace injury or illness if your employee requires more than first aid, is absent from work, earns less than regular pay, or needs modified work at regular pay for over seven calendar days. Additionally, provide a copy of the injury or illness report to your employee.

  4. Maintain contact: Maintain communication with the WSIB. They'll collaborate with you and your employee.

If you'd like to read more about health and safety in the workplace, check out our articles on the subject:

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Last modified 2024-05-31

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