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Workers' Safety and Injury Compensation
90% of 300,000 Workers Injured Every Year Gets Workplace Compensation
Workplace Safety and Injury Compensation
By Edwin C. Mercurio
Over 300,000 workers are injured on the job every year in Canada. When workers sustain injury, they lose earnings and require special services. When this happens, it then becomes the responsibility of the workers’ compensation system.
In Ontario, Canada, the law governing workers compensation is called the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA). The agency tasked to administer the law is the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) or commonly known as the “Board”.
There are two types of injuries: Sudden and Gradual -arising out of and in the course of employment.
Work related injury arising out of and in the course of employment.
Section 13 (1) of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act states that benefits are payable for “personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of employment”. Workplace accident as defined in section 2(1) of the Act states that benefits are payable for any work related personal injuries. If the work performed caused the injury, and is proven, compensation is payable.
Sudden onset injuries or chance events are injuries suffered when a worker become injured lifting, pushing, twisting, or making any other type of movement arising of and in the course of employment.
Gradual onset injuries include repetitive strain injuries, injuries caused by unaccustomed workloads, injuries and disease that result from workplace substance exposures, disabilities caused by heat or cold, heart attacks and others.
In some cases, gradual onset of injuries comes while the worker is still on the job. In other cases, there can be many years of delay or latency between the workplace exposure to hazards and the onset of disability. In this case, it is important to determine whether or not the work was a significant contributory factor of the injury. Proof of causation may involve vital medical evidence which workers may have no control.
Lack of proof that the work caused the injury is the major reason for the denial of some claims. Workers have better chances of obtaining favorable medical evidence when reports of injuries contain clear descriptions of the workplace conditions that led to the disability.
About 90% of the 300,000 WSIB claims filed each year are allowed. WSIB pays a large percentage of the claims without delay. However, there are lengthy investigations and more frequent denials when an injury is not reported properly. (End of Part 1)