WSIB stands for Workplace Safety & Insurance Board. It used to be called the Workers Compensation Board. The WSIB is an Ontario government agency. It works like this:

  • Employers contribute to an province-wide insurance fund. Contributions (insurance premiums) are based on the employer’s payroll and the accident experience in their industry. Mining companies, for example, pay more than restaurants.
  • Injured workers are compensated by the WSIB on a “No Fault” basis. This means that compensation is paid no matter who is at fault, the employer, the employee or someone else. In return for automatic compensation, the employer is shielded from any other liability. This means you cannot sue your employer for negligence if that negligence causes a work-related injury or disease.
  • The employer has the right to contest an employee’s WSIB claim. For example, an employee might have a back injury which he says was caused on the job. The employer may claim that the injury was caused on the hockey rink or in a car accident. In any contested claim where there is a legitimate question of how the injury happened, the injured worker is supposed to be given the benefit of the doubt.
  • The main focus of the WSIB system is to get the injured worker back to his or her work as soon as practicable. The worker and the employer must cooperate towards this goal. If the injured worker cannot perform his or her regular work, the employer may offer suitable modified work that the worker can perform without aggravating the injury. If the work is, in fact, suitable the injured worker must accept it.
  • Most WSIB claims are straightforward. The injured worker is paid benefits while recovering and returns to his or her regular work. But some cases are complicated and may take time to resolve. Some injured workers are denied WSIB benefits or have their benefits stopped by the WSIB. In these “problem cases” help is available for injured workers. Contact the Union for assistance and advice.

Multilingual WSIB Worker Guides