The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is an independent agency of the Ministry of Labour and provides compensation to workers injured or made ill on the job.
ONA and the WSIB
ONA is involved in several ways with the WSIB:
ONA lobbies the government and to the WSIB directly about its policies and practices. ONA has been at the forefront in raising health and safety awareness and holds employers accountable for workplace illness and injury prevention.
With the support of labour partners and allies, ONA rallies the WSIB and employers to help improve their health and safety practices.
ONA represents members in WSIB appeals and adverse decisions before the WSIB Operations and Appeals Services Divisions as well as before the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT).
Of significance, ONA led the first case that successfully challenged the constitutionality of the mental stress provisions of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA). The provisions state that there will be no compensation for mental stress that is not “an acute reaction to a sudden and unexpected traumatic event” essentially excluding all work-related, gradual onset stress conditions from being eligible for compensation.” Since this decision was released on ONA’s case, there have been more successful cases on this issue.
How ONA helps members
ONA represents members in appeals of WSIB denials of claims and adverse decisions before the WSIB Operations and Appeals Services Divisions as well as before the WSIAT, the independent tribunal and final level of appeal.
ONA’s WSIB Appeals Team helps members navigate through the complex appeals system and supports members through their appeals claims. ONA’s WSIB Appeals Team has about 300 members’ files at any given time.
The WSIB Appeals Process is complicated and lengthy. For instance, the WSIAT has a waiting time of up to three years from the date a Notice of Appeal is filed to a hearing date.
WSIB Rebate/Surcharge Information
Please find below the 2015 WSIB Rebate/Surcharge information for Hospitals, Long-Term Care Homes and Community Care employers.
The spreadsheet is sorted alphabetically and indicates which rate group your employer falls under. The following are the rate groups listed by number:
851 Homes for Nursing Care
852 Homes for Residential Care
857 Nursing Services
858 Group Homes
861 Treatment Clinics & Specialized Services
To search your employer within the document simply hit Ctrl F and enter the name of your employer. A Positive number /Zero, denotes a surcharge while a negative number denotes rebate.
Depending on the employer’s lost-time injury rate compared to its peers, the employer may receive money back from WSIB, or if comparative performance is poor, will receive a surcharge.
This information may assist you in building a business case for prevention with your employer especially employers who have received surcharges.
If your employer is receiving a rebate this may not necessarily mean they are a safe employer. We are aware of at least two hospitals that were keeping whole, the wages of all its workers on WSIB, to avoid being surcharged. They wrote on the WSIB Form 7’s (employer’s WSIB reporting form) that these were “No lost time” claims, so it appeared they had fewer lost time injuries than their peers, and thus wrongfully achieved rebates.
Therefore if you are aware of unsafe working conditions and injured workers who are off work because of an injury or occupational illness but are not losing wages, you should speak to your Labour Relations Officer to determine if your employer is properly reporting lost time injuries to the WSIB.
Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Joint Health and Safety Committee and the Union is entitled to receive all reports of accidents and illnesses within 4 days when a worker is unable to perform usual duties or requires medical attention or when a claim for an Occupational Illness is simply made to the WSIB. Reviewing these reports of accidents and illnesses will help you determine if your employer has a large number of injured or ill workers losing time from work. If they do and your employer is receiving rebates you should question their WSIB reporting practices. Employers who have a really good return to work program and who are bringing injured and ill employees back quickly to full modified duties and hours could legitimately receive these rebates.
But if they are not properly reporting WSIB lost time injuries and illnesses or are discouraging workers from filing WSIB claims please speak to your Labour relations Officer about alerting Special Investigations at the WSIB and possibly filing a grievance.
If you are injured at work
Many delays and complications can be avoided by following some basic steps when injured at work and when filing a WSIB claim. Most important: Report it. If you feel pain at work, however minor, report it – complete an employer incident report, even if nothing comes of it or the pain goes away completely. If you require medical attention OR have to stop working and/or lose time from work, file a WSIB Claim.
ONA has produced a detailed guide for dealing with the WSIB in filing claims and appeals. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board: A Guide for ONA Members can be downloaded here or it can be obtained by contacting the ONA mailroom or the ONA WSIB Intake line.
If you receive an adverse decision or receive notification of an employer appeal, contact ONA WSIB Intake for assistance as soon as possible at 1-800-387-5580, press 0 for Toronto, ask for WSIB Intake or dial extension 7721 or email WSIBintake@ona.org.