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.
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.