Steps to take following an injury at the workplace

If you were injured at the workplace and are wondering what to do next, we can help you. This blog post will give you an overview of the first steps to take after being injured while at work.

About the WSIB

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is a part of the Ontario government that provides workers who have been injured with compensation for lost wages, coverage for medical bills and help to return to work. The WSIB collects its funds from businesses and uses them to compensate injured workers. If a workplace injury occurs, both the employee and employer are required to report the incident to the WSIB in order for compensation to be given. It is important that the claim be filed as soon as possible following the accident as there is a six-month limitation period for making claims. Typically, if an employer is covered by the WSIB, this means that an employee cannot sue their employer following an injury at work, and instead must follow the procedure below.

Initial steps

What the employee needs to do

  1. Obtain medical attention.
  2. Inform the employer of the accident.
  3. File a report to the WSIB: in order to do this, the employee must fill in “Form 6 – Worker’s Report of Injury or Disease.”

What the employer needs to do

  1. Provide first aid to the employee if necessary.
  2. Look into what happened and record the accident and everything that occurred afterwards in writing. The employer is required to investigate the accident and record what steps they took to address it and prevent it from reoccurring.
  3. Within three days of learning of the incident, file a report to the WSIB: in order to do this, the employer must fill in “Form 7 – Employer’s Report of Injury or Disease.”

Getting compensation

After the WSIB receives the report of the accident, it will begin investigating potential compensation that could be offered to the employer. The WSIB offers an array of forms of compensation. This includes:

  • Coverage for medical care costs
  • Loss of earnings benefits
  • Retirement and other employment benefits
  • Non-economic loss benefits

Return to work 

Once the employee is ready, the WSIB will also help facilitate the employee’s return to work through its Work Reintegration Program. The employee will be assigned a Return-to-Work Specialist who will ensure that the employee’s reentry into the workplace is safe, sustainable, and accessible through dialogue with both the employee and employer. The Return-to-Work Specialist will usually visit the work site to verify that the necessary accommodations have been properly put into place. 

Making an appeal

If the employee is not happy with the compensation given to them by the WSIB or if their claim was rejected, the employee can appeal the decision to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal.

An employee can make an appeal by completing and submitting an “Intent to Object” form to the WSIB. The appeal must be made within six months following the WSIB decision.

If your workplace is not covered by the WSIB 

Schedules 1 and 2 of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, SO 1997, c 16 list the employers that are covered by the WSIB. However, employees injured at workplaces not listed here are not without recourse. Employers who are not covered by the WSIB can be sued by employees who have been injured for compensation. Similarly, if an employee has been injured at a WSIB-covered workplace but due to the actions of a third party, the employee can sue the third party for compensation.  

Anisha Nag

Anisha Nag is a Juris Doctor student at Osgoode Hall Law School. She has extensive experience in immigration and refugee law and aspires to practice in this area of law upon her graduation in 2022. In 2021, Anisha participated in Osgoode Hall’s Intensive Program in Immigration and Refugee Law and completed a legal internship at the law office of Raoul Boulakia. Volunteer work is very important to Anisha. She has done pro bono legal research for the Centre for Refugee Studies and the Empowerment Council. She currently volunteers at the refugee shelter Romero House where she serves as an English as a Second Language tutor for teenaged refugees.

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