The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) provides a workers compensation system for the employers and workers of Ontario. The WSIB and the Workplace and Safety Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) are established under Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance act. 1997, S.O. 1990, c.16, Sch. A. .
Employers pay premiums for “no-fault collective liability workplace insurance.” Even though employers are protected from lawsuits, any claim may increase the employer’s premiums.
Common workplace injuries are lower back, shoulder or fracture injuries accounting for over 30% of claims. When a worker suffers a work-related accident or illness, the employer has 3 days to file a Form 7 reporting the incident to the WSIB. This form records the employer’s account of the incident. If the employer anticipates a WSIB claim and intends to dispute it, the employer may include information that will contradict the position the worker is expected to take to make a claim. The worker must file a Form 6 within 6 months. This form collects the same details and information as the Form 7, but from the worker’s point of view.
In order to render a decision on the worker’s eligibility for compensation, the WSIB collects medical information from the worker’s doctors and may have their own doctor examine the worker. During the process the employer is informed of any decisions and results. WSIB may also use their own investigator to make inquires at the workplace as well as examining the workplace area. WSIB may also obtain information about other insurance or government benefits that may be available to the worker. The WSIB’s decision is then sent to the worker and the employer.
A worker if faced with an unfavorable decision may request the WSIB to reconsider their decision and/or appeal the decision to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT). The WSIAT hearings are court-like, and both inquisitorial and adversarial. Parties unsatisfied with the WSIAT decision may request the WSIAT exercise its reconsideration powers or submit the decision for judicial review through the Divisional Court.