Occupational Health & Safety Management
HRM 3400 – Winter 2012 – Anna Blake
Lecture 8 – WCB – Mar 5
Workers’ Compensation in Canada
- Form of insurance.
- Governed by an act of parliament.
- Purpose of helping workers who are injured on the job return to work.
- Some provinces the scope has been enlarged to cover prevention.
- Origins in Germany 1884.
- Canada – 1914 when the Ontario workers’ compensation act passed after review
of existing systems including USA.
Principles of WC Legislation in Canada
- Compulsory and collective liability for employers, with some recognition of risk in
the amount of contribution paid by individual employers (employer funded).
- Workers to be compensated regardless of the financial condition of the employer.
- Compensation is based on loss of earnings.
- System is ‘no-fault’
- No legal recourse – employees can’t sue employers.
- Administered by Boards whose members are appointed by the lieutenant
governor in each province.
- Boards determine and collect assessments.
- Eligibility provisions for compensation.
- Pay compensation to injured workers.
- Determine who is classified as a worker, a subcontractor, or employer.
Social Goals of Workers’ Compensation
- Two main social goals
o To provide services intended to prevent injuries or reduce the
psychological impact of injuries when they occur.
o To provide the training and development necessary to prepare an injured
worker to return to work.
- Means of society to share with the worker the consequences of industrial
- Ensure the restoration of the worker to active participation in the life of the
- Vocational rehabilitation
o The steps taken by WCB to help injured workers return to their place of
employment or find similar or suitable work elsewhere. - Physical rehabilitation
o The steps taken to restore, whether fully or partially, the worker’s physical
- Social rehabilitation
o The psychological and practical services that help workers with severe
disabilities cope with daily life.
- The workplace safety and insurance board (WSIB) oversees Ontario’s workplace
safety education and training system, provides disability benefits, monitors the
quality of health care, and assists in early and safe return to work.
o Our vision is the elimination of all workplace injuries and illnesses in
- In order to promote health and safety in workplaces and to prevent and reduce
the occurrence of workplace injuries and occupational diseases, the Board’s
functions include the following:
o To promote public awareness of occupational health and safety.
o To educate employers, workers and other persons about occupational
health and safety.
o To foster a commitment occupation health and safety among employers,
workers and others.
o To develop standards of the certification of persons who are required to be
certified for the purposes of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and to
approve training programs for certification.
o To certify persons who meet the standards.
o To develop standards for the accreditation of employers who adopt health
and safety policies and operate successful health and safety programs.
o To accredit employers who meet the standards.
o To designate safe workplace associations, to designate medical clinics
and training centres specializing in occupational health and safety matters
and to oversee their operation and make grants or provide funds to them.
o To provide funding for occupational health and safety research.
o To develop standards for training about first aid and to provide funding to
those offering such training.
o To advise the minister on matters relating to occupational health and
safety that are referred to the board or brought to its attention.
- For injured workers
o Pay for medical treatment.
o Compensate for lost wages when employee unable to work.
o Provide pensions for those with permanent disabilities. o Provide benefits to dependants of a worker that is killed.
o Pay benefits for industrial diseases.
- Employers are divided into three broad categories
o Those who contribute to the accident fund and benefit from its collective
o Those who are individually liable for their own employees’ accidents.
o Those in low risk industries who are excluded.
Second Injury and Enhancement Fund (SIEF)
- Facilitate the re-employment of disabled workers.
- Portion of any new claims is charged to this reserve fund.
- Fund paid for all companies in a specific rate group.
Compensation Payments – Ontario
- Benefit for loss of earnings (LOE)
o Pays workers 85% of their take-home pay if they cannot work because of
work-related injury or illness, up to a maximum insured wage of $73,300 in
- Non-economic loss award (NEL)
o Workers who suffer permanent impairment.
o Covers physical or psychological loss beyond financial loss.
- Survivor benefits
o The WSIB provides four types of benefits to survivors of workers who die
as a result of workplace illness or injury.
Survivor payments (lump sum and monthly benefits).
Funeral and transport costs.
Supportive and financial counseling.
Help in joining the workforce.
o Retirement benefits.
If a worker is under 64 years of age, and has received benefits for
12 continuous months, the WSIB sets aside 5% of all loss-of-
earning benefits to create a retirement fund (the worker may
choose to set aside another 5%). The retirement benefit is paid
when the worker reaches age 65.
- The 12 HSAs restructured into 4 stream-lined health and safety organizations in
order to bring more innovative and cost-effective health and safety solutions to
firms across Ontario.
- WSIB pays for these safety associations out of employer assessments.
- Associations offer training programs, risk assessment and safety consulting
services auditing, and health and safety resources. Work-Related Injury/Illness
- Work-related injuries or illnesses are those caused by physical, chemical or
biological and ergonomic hazards in the workplace. They can also include acute
psychological trauma resulting from work.
- A willful and intentional act, not being the act of the worker.
- A chance event occasioned by a physical or natural cause, and
- Disablement arising out of and in the course of employment; (‘accident’)
- Some examples of first aids are
o Cleaning minor cuts, scrapes or scratches.
o Treating a minor burn.
o Applying bandages, a cold compress or ice bag.
o Putting on a splint at the workplace.
o Changing a bandage during a follow-up checkup that doesn’t result in
- An accident that requires the services of a health care professional.
- Includes the following costs:
o Medical and surgical care, hospitalization, nursing care, prescription
medication and supplies, physical and occupational therapy, and
- Modified work is any change in a regular job while a worker recovers from an
injury or illness.
o Reduced hours
o Different duties
- When an injured worker is unable to perform his regular job and required time off
work after the day of the accident to recuperate.
Role of Employer when a Worker is Ill or Injured?
- Provide first aid
o Provide first aid according to standard first aid practices, and make an